Whether you are part of a small or a large organization, you have the same challenge of finding the right people to be the face and voice for your company. It is likely these front-line people are the only contacts with whom your customers and clients interface when buying or using your products and services. Do they have the power and the right perception to service your customers?
Last week we had a sudden death in the family. Unfortunately many of us were away on vacation when we heard the news. This tough time presented an opportunity for our airlines and our hotels to demonstrate exceptional empathy. Emergency flights were arranged. Hotel reservations were cancelled.
Your client facing employees need to be able to demonstrate and communicate empathy. When we tried to tell the hotel of our immediate departure after checking in just a few hours earlier, the young attendant brought us a box of tissue so we could gather ourselves while trying to explain our situation. The simplest gestures are sometimes the most lasting. We received a definitive affirmation that we could check out 3 days early without penalty. No proof was required. No unending list of questions. Just a confirmation that we were free to leave at no cost to us. Confident, concise and empathetic.
You need to empower your employees to make decisions that are right for your clients. On the airplane it was clear the vacationing daughters were distraught. The flight attendant quickly provided them with drinks to comfort them. Supervisors didn’t have to be contacted. No discussion had to take place about whether this flight attendant could or should reach out with a little special treatment.
This has been a particularly tough week on our family and friends. What has been so helpful is working with vendors who know how to demonstrate empathy and will rise to the occasion for unplanned events and inconvenient requests.
Do you lead by example by demonstrating empathy? Do you encourage empathy? Do you empower your employees so they can be empathetic with your customers, business partners, and vendors? Allowing negative talk about them creates an unsupportive underlying tone in their customer interactions. Lead by example as my friend and sister-in-law did during her short life.