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The Hidden Power of Your Customers: Four Keys to Growing Your Business Through Existing Customers by Becky Carroll

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EMPLOYEE EMPOWERMENT

It's important that companies empower their employees to do what is right for the customer. As you read in the Nicor National case study, employees who are empowered and feel good about where they work can turn their own positive feelings into positive experiences for customers.

By “empowered” I don't mean giving employees carte blanche to reward every customer who complains with a discount or a free item. What I do mean is that employees should be trained to listen to a customer's complaint or problem and then be allowed to do whatever they need to do in order to make it right, without always having to get a supervisor's approval.

Setting Guidelines

Not long ago, something caught my eye behind a friendly teller at my local Wells Fargo bank branch. Another employee was preparing a chart to go on the wall titled, “11 Ways to Wow the Customer.” Of course, being the customer-focused professional that I am, I had to ask about it.

My teller told me that it was a way to help remind the team about customer service, with the main goal to make customers feel welcome each time they come into the bank. Wells Fargo wants the experience to be such a positive one for customers that they will seek out the branch for their future banking activities—even if it isn't their home branch.

Most of the items on the chart, I noted, were simple, such as welcoming customers into the bank verbally when they walk in the door, smiling, and, as my teller put it, “Keeping your grump to yourself!” ...

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