Empower Employees

Employees often feel their hands are tied by corporate policies that focus on bottom-line needs rather than those of the customers they are called to serve, according to a survey of nearly 2,900 employees across several industries, including hospitality, by Maritz Research in Sept 2012.

As one would expect, since they focus almost entirely on serving customers, hospitality employees rank their companies’ customer service attributes better than employees in the general population. However, what is surprising is that only one-third (31%) feel that providing excellent service to their customers is their company’s top priority. Similarly, while directionally higher in several categories, several surprisingly negative results came out of the survey data from the hospitality sector:

  • Only 15% of hospitality employees say their company’s policies and procedures make it easy to satisfy customers.
  • 17% say policies, systems, and procedures at their company support the delivery of outstanding customer service.
  • 21% say they have the authority they need to respond promptly to customer problems and requests.
  • Only 10% say their employers provide recognition for behaviours that positively impact guests.

“Companies are struggling to recapture a flailing customer base, but seem at a loss to come up with a solution,” said Rick Garlick, senior director of consulting for the Hospitality Research Group at Maritz Research. “Yet, our survey respondents make the solution quite clear: empower employees to help customers, and both will view the company in a more positive light.

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