Empowering Employees

Empower your Employees to deliver Customer Delight

CloudCherry | Featured | November 25, 2014

Empower Your Employees To Deliver Delight

How many times have you heard “Sorry sir, but our rules do not allow this”. It’s a recurring theme where an employee hides behind a ‘company policy’ to deny you something which might be fairly insignificant – like my friend who was recently not allowed to cut a small ceremonial birthday cake at a restaurant.

The resultant Facebook rant perhaps accounted for a few dozen people who might never go to there again. It almost makes it look like the employee and the establishment were working at cross purposes; with the establishment’s rules pulling back an employee’s ability to delight a customer.

In this context I read something recently that came as a breath of fresh air – a friend’s Facebook post about an experience she had at Toni & Guy in Express Avenue, Chennai.


Notice the number of likes and the number of comments.

Cost of Marketing = Zilch!
Life Time Value of a happy, recurring customer = Infinite!

So, what was different in this instance?

An empowered employee at Toni & Guy did not need to check the ‘rules’ or with ‘bosses’ to give a free treatment to a regular client based on a genuine grievance. I would go so far as to say that the employee perhaps took ‘ownership’ of the situation making her an invaluable part of the delivery of Toni & Guy’s brand promise.

The delight delivered perhaps had a more positive impact than even a regular, uneventful experience where the staff may have done their jobs well.

Rudyard Kipling said ‘If we can meet triumph with disaster and treat those two imposters just the same’ and this amplifies just the point. Having delivered a sub-par customer experience is not always the end of the world. A liberal dose of empathy along with a strong initiative towards service recovery goes a long way in ensuring your good customers come back to you again and again.

So while brands spend millions on marketing and customer acquisition, a little attention to empowering your customer-facing employees to deliver delight is critical to sustained, profitable growth. Think about it and well done, Toni & Guy!

For the quants/more statistically inclined ones who seriously do not care about Customer Delight, here are some fun facts:

· It costs 7 times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one

· Recurring customers spend 67% more than new ones

· A 5% reduction in churn increases profitability between 25-125%

Now, let’s do a little math.

An average session at any high-end salon might conservatively work out to INR1000 or around 20$. One would reasonably expect to visit around 6-12 times a year. Let us average it to 9 visits a year.

Let’s take a 5-year horizon for the business – The post got 60 plus likes, many like me who have never been to Toni & Guy.

Now assuming even 10% of them choose to give it a shot, and assume they keep up the superlative customer service effort.

That is 7 visitors x 9 visits a year x 5 years = 315 visits. Now, that’s INR 3,15,000 or 6300$ worth of business!

Read it again – One staff member, at ZERO MARKETING spend just won them a deal worth 315,000INR or 6300$!

Now, let’s not even get into the cascading effect that repeat customers can have. It is plausible that each new visitor influences a similar set and you can see exponential footfall due to the viral effect of positive word of mouth. The deal size just became multiple times that value and that’s a nice bit of money you’re making.

So where do the qualitative and quantitative stories converge? With this one simple takeaway – Go delight your customers – the profits will follow!

Empower Your Employees