Creative Leadership

How a Single Employee Can Damage your Brand

We regularly see stories of how a single employee’s bad decision can create a firestorm of negative press coverage. The lesson? Here’s some key ideas you can do for your employees that will generate positive stories:

1. Give them options. When a customer, church member, client, or whoever has a problem, make sure your front line employees have the flexibility to give them options. One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to solving customer problems.  There comes a time when “policies” matter far less than sensitivity and understanding.

2. Give them financial leeway to make customers happy. Have you heard of the Ritz Carlton $2,000 rule? Each employee has the freedom to spend up to $2,000 (per incident, not per year) to solve problems for customers – without asking a manager. Organizations like Ritz Carlton know that in the long run they will be rewarded with loyalty and that relationships they preserve is worth far more than any individual transaction.

3. Teach them people skills. In my experience, the vast majority of customer problems could be solved if the employee simply understood how to respect and deal with people. Taking the time to teach those lessons now, could save hundreds of thousands of dollars (maybe more) in the long run.

In so many situations, with a more sensitive employee, bad moments could have been turned into an incredibly positive story. But in a social media world, a single act of stupidity, disrespect, or rudeness can blow up to a national incident.

How you teach your employees to handle a crisis can save your organization’s reputation for years to come.

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

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