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Empowerment. It works

By Greg Coffone
Published: 07/01/11 Topics: Comments: 0

Empowerment means to give someone power or authority. In a customer contact role that could mean allowing key employee’s the ability to make decisions that are exceptions to the rules like offering something to the guest that would not be normal, perhaps a concession if they have had a bad experience.

Are your key employee’s empowered? By allowing key employees to make some exceptions, it saves valuable time for the customer and you, the VRM. Can your reservationist “make a deal”? Is your head of maintenance authorized to offer a concession for a major inconvenience?

Maybe offer a pass to a local attraction, or a meal? If a guest has been inconvenienced, the proactive course should be for them to be offered something, instead of having to ask. Believe me, they will ask.

When you empower an employee, they begin to take “ownership” in the company. You will know when they take ownership when hear instead of “that’s they way they do it here” you hear “that’s our policy”. All of a sudden it becomes more important to close that reservation, then to get off the phone and on to Face Book. (I will address those issues in a later newsletter)

It becomes more urgent to clear that maintenance issue, then to take a break.

Of course, the key to empowerment is training. My wife and I recently went to one of the fast food restaurants here in town. They have $3.99 special, a burger and a shake. I asked if I could substitute a malt for the shake. Blank stare, then “ah it won’t be $3.99 then”.

The prices of a shake/malt on the menu are the same. The difference between them, a tablespoon of malt. The VRM should make certain that an empowered employee is aware of the benefits and possible consequences of their decisions. Are they creating a loyal guest, or giving away the business.

Keep in mind; don’t over criticize what you consider a bad decision, because in the employees mind it was a good one.

I used to tell our folks “I would rather you make a bad decision then no decision”. If handled properly a bad decision is a learning tool. A good decision makes money.

Author: Greg Coffone, Vacation Rental Association
Blog #: 0184 – 07/01/11

Comments: 0

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