Customer service refers to provision of services to customers before and after the actual purchase. Every successful organization has ways in which it enhances its customer service. From this, it can be deduced that customer service management is a system that deals with management of interactions with present customers, as well as those in the future. Unless they are trained, most employees do not have knowledge that can cause radical changes in the way they handle customers. It means that employees should be empowered with tools and skills that would prove to be important for their relationships with customers. This forms the basis of this essay, in which importance of empowering these employees to that effect is discussed.
Empowerment of employees involves giving them more power. This is something that an organization can approach from many angles. For example, groups can be formed in an organization with leaders chosen among them. This way, they can have leaders to whom they are close. The other way is that employees can be allowed to voice their views on improvements that they would like to have implemented in the company. This gives them power that they have not had previously. The effect that it has on them is that it increases their self-worth. They discover that the organization values their views. This causes an increase in productivity at all levels of production. Customer service is not only about delivery of services. Instead, it also involves actual production that enables availing of goods that customers need. From this, it is clear then that empowerment will bring out the best of all employees. This directly translates to an increase in the quality of customer service (Brink & Berndt 2004). If an organization does not promote views of employees, this may leave them feeling unappreciated and undervalued. This would in turn kill their morale and discourage efforts and sacrifices employees make in the course of their work. This would ultimately lead to lower levels of production and poor quality of goods and services.
Empowerment of employees should also be based on their performance. In short, the best performing employees are the ones that should receive more duties and roles. This can be viewed as a reward for their efforts. When other employees see this, they tend to desire the same. To acquire these promotions, all employees would be willing to please the management. Through their efforts, this would mean that customer services improve with time. This is a process that should never end in the organization. At all times, there have to be people that are rewarded for their efforts, as well as those who are demoted for poor performance. However, it should be done at a magnitude that does not cause a lot of pressure on employees. Otherwise, the whole idea of empowerment would have been scrubbed out (Gro?nroos 2007). The process of promotion should however be open and fair and have clearly laid plans. Otherwise, if employees sense favoritism and bias, this will lead to divisions and negative rivalry in the organization, which could translate to poor customer services.
Favorable Working Environment
Empowerment of employees comes with creation of an atmosphere, in which employees are comfortable. A comfortable atmosphere is the one where employees feel comfortable interacting amongst themselves and also between themselves and their customers. In most organizations, senior employees seem to be extremely distant from the junior ones. This causes a lot of tension at the work place. Most employees just see their jobs for what they are: ‘work’. However, empowerment of employees can change this completely. When an employee discovers that his/her opinion is affecting significant decisions, they tend to feel comfortable in the organization. During the delivery of services to customers, this is something that is extremely important. This is because they represent a company in which they believe. During their interaction with customers, they try to make the best impression of their company (Faulkner 2003). This is in gratitude of freedom and power that are granted to them by the organization. However, it happens subconsciously. This means that employees do not feel pressured into delivering. They just find themselves giving more since they have received more from the company.
Apart from increasing powers of employees, empowerment also involves increasing their knowledge and training. Just like many aspects in businesses, customer service management is as dynamic as it can get. For example, most present companies have largely incorporated technology in their customer service management. This was not the case a decade ago. Therefore, customer service techniques that were used in the past are not the same today. Therefore, there is no day that a company shall sit back and believe that it has achieved all that it can in terms of the customer service management. There is always something new that they should apply (Gro?nroos 2000).
Empowerment of employees can be taken to another level, apart from training them on skills that they should use in customer relations. It can be used to prepare employees for changes that might occur in the future with regards to customers. This can involve studying of customer trends. Deduction that can be made from this is that training can take care of the future. In case any changes occur in terms of customers, the organization would have anticipated it in advance. This would also mean that future opportunities are anticipated. For this reason, the company shall always be one step ahead of customers, as well as competitors. This is because if they know what to expect of customers, they can easily adjust their customer services to their favor (Ferrucci 2013).
Faster Problem Solution
Employee empowerment involves giving more power to employees. Therefore, the frontline becomes stronger. This means that senior employees acquire more power than before. When problems arise, these employees on the frontline are able to make decisions on the spot. The disadvantage of having many powerless people is that it takes too long to make any decision. This is because consultation causes delays and can also lead to confusion. In turn, there may emerge poor quality decisions. However, a few powerful employees can be in a position to resolve this situation. One would argue that these top employees would reverse the very process of a free organization. However, it is vital to note that empowered individuals are a part of the group of employees. For this reason, the rest of employees feel that their views are well-represented in most decisions that are made. This means that they would not have a problem with decisions made (Gallagher 2013). Having powerful employees in the midst of other junior employees also serves to reduce time required to make consultations and arrive at decisions.
At times, the market might be flowing with customers. This mostly happens in businesses that have high and low seasons. In such a scenario, it is easier to have a few employees making the decisions. This would reduce congestion of customers and make sure that they are all served. Even in the absence of this congestion, most customers feel that they are served in the least time possible. This amounts to customer satisfaction. In return, these customers advertise the good name of the company to others. In the end, the company is able to achieve customer loyalty and acquire more customers as well. In the same light, empowerment creates an environment that is free for all employees (Gallagher 2013). This means that they are all able to express their views. In return, these employees can easily communicate with each other.
Communication within an organization is one of the most desirable qualities for managers. They feel that if there is adequate flow of information, it becomes easier to monitor each and every department. On the one hand, this would mean that the production process is made faster. On the other hand, customers would not have to wait long to receive services. In that sense, empowerment of employees seems to be mandatory for success of any organization.
The inverse is also true in that when there are slower modes of communication, not only decisions take much longer to be made, but this also leaves customers distraught and they fail to appreciate services of the company. In turn, they may tarnish the name of the company and this costs the company potential customers and clients. Additionally, the company loses valuable customer loyalty and falls prone to departure of customers to competitors.
From the essay above, it is clear that customer service management is vital to the success of a company. Moreover, it is clear that empowerment of employees can enhance and improve customer relations. For this reason, any company that desires success should make efforts towards empowering employees to that effect. This can help establish loyalty among numerous customers in the present. It can also attract more customers to feed the market that the company would need for the future. In short, this empowerment directly results in success of the company, lack of which would cost the company in several spheres. Additionally, employee empowerment serves to ensure that employees own the company and, in this regard, they feel appreciated. This directly translates into better production, better customer service, and several other circumstantial benefits.