This week we feature an article by Brett Patrontasch, CEO of
Shyft. Brett provides three insightful ways to help improve
customer satisfaction and employee empowerment.
Most retail businesses understand that the best service
strategies won’t succeed if store-level employees don’t feel
When given proper training, support, and encouragement,
employees can make your business. If service seems to lag, you
might take a look at your service strategy – as well as employee
More often than not, bad customer service can be attributed to
employee ambivalence. Usually, the reality of the issue can be
summarized in one sentence: A lack of employee empowerment.
Dale Carnegie study found that companies with high employee
engagement outperform those without it by 202%. And yet, a separate
report from Deloitte found that less than a quarter of
companies believe they offer excellence in this area.
So, how do you encourage your retail business to stand out by
creating a company culture that employees feel invested in while
offering top of the line customer service?
Here are three ways you can boost employee empowerment and
engagement to increase customer satisfaction and provide a
stand-out store experience.
1. Empower Your Staff to be Efficient and Flexible
Any business with customer service needs to learn to expect the
unexpected. At any given moment, a customer can approach an
employee member with an unusual or unique question or concern.
Empower your staff with the autonomy to make important decisions
and provide them with the tools necessary to remain flexible.
Relying on outdated processes like paper schedules and manual shift
swapping will create a more rigid culture and a precedent of
running every decision by management.
According to a
study by Aberdeen, companies with engaged employees experience
a 233% greater customer loyalty and 26% revenue
Engaged and empowered employees help your business reach new and
greater possibilities with your customers. All you need to do is
provide them with the support and encouragement to help them think
on their feet and make those possibilities happen. Scheduling is
one example where staff should be encouraged to make the changes
they need to be as engaged and available as possible. Using
up-to-date tools can help support that initiative and give managers
the potential to be more hands-off.
2. Encourage Tech-Usage
With a smartphone in nearly everyone’s pocket these days,
customers have the chance to be better informed than staff.
By equipping your store-level employees with the latest
technology for communication and task management, you increase
their mobility and empower them to be as effective as possible.
Mobile solutions provide an array of capabilities to support
associates’ working lives, such as communication, shift swapping,
inventory management, and more.
Empowering staff through technology allows staff to create an
in-store experience that’s as smooth and effective as your
store’s website – while appealing to the Gen Zs and millennial
staff and customers.
3. Unification is The Name of The Game
Gathering actionable information from other departments, then
applying that information to everyday support information is
While technology and self-motivating encouragement are two ways
to increase staff empowerment and therefore customer service
quality, providing staff with as much information as possible while
bringing together all interactions and data into one place are
teamwork effect helps streamline customer interactions, making
every situation straightforward for both staff and the
Successfully applying actionable information from multiple
departments gives your staff the chance to make better decisions
while fueling cross-team collaboration. To do this, make sure
communication between all departments is open and geared towards
the same outcome: a happy and loyal customer base.
Bonus: Helping Staff “Be Themselves”
While maintaining a professional approach to customer service is
always a top priority, if you’re setting the right example, you
can achieve this while also empowering your staff to “just be
When staff feel empowered to be themselves, they’re also
happier. And, according to a study at the University of Warwick,
happier staff are
12% more productive.
What’s more, when staff feel encouraged to be themselves,
creativity levels are also likely to rise as they’re able to
share their ideas and opinions with the team and customers. This
boosts innovation and changes the store environment in a positive
way for everyone present.
One way to directly affect this is through the company’s
culture in terms of how it fosters communication – from etiquette
to processes and tools that collectively help staff feel supported
by their team, increase chemistry, and boost team morale. Giving
your employees a way to communicate in and out of the workplace is
a great way to get them feeling comfortable around each other and
helping to improve productivity.
In this modern age, customer behavior is constantly evolving –
which demands new ways of developing and strengthening your
relationship with them.
However, sometimes, the answer simply lies internally, within
the very people who are interacting with customers on a daily
basis. If you want your customers to feel the “WOW” factor
every time they interact with your brand, ensure your frontline
employees are empowered to take charge of their own schedules,
better engage with customers and team members, and deliver the best
possible experience for everyone.
The secret to memorable retail store customer service can be
found in strategies that involve empowering and engaging your staff
– developing and upholding one of the core foundations your
business leans on.
Brett Patrontasch is CEO and
Shyft, the mobile-first workforce management solution
empowering hourly workers to trade shifts, manage their schedules,
and communicate with their teams. Brett is passionate about
improving the lives of hourly workers and leading teams to develop
high-quality product design and best-in-class user experiences. He
has a deep background in hourly workforce optimization and
more articles from Shep Hyken and his guest contributors go
Read Shep’s latest Forbes article:
Transform The Customer Experience
Guest Post: The Secret to Stand-Out Store-Level Customer
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