Customers can feel the culture, tone and atmosphere of a store the moment they walk in – or click on. Who determines that culture? Is it the corporate office? Is it the frontline employees? Maybe. Partially. But the key determinant of the culture of any store is the manager.
- Know their business: the marketplace, the competition and the consumers.
- See their role as “Chief Engagement Officer,” not as just a great individual contributor wearing a manager’s badge.
- Engage their teams in the culture, business, strategy and in delivering the Customer Experience.
- Drive results through their employees.
Empowering Your Managers is as Easy as 1, 2, 3, 4
- Take managers offline to learn about your business and their role in it. Don’t let your manager feel like the best individual contributor on the team, make him or her feel like a business owner! Every manager in your organization should understand how their success is driven by the success of their team. The best managers are the lynchpins between the corporate office and the frontline. It’s up to you to make sure people understand this critical function of being a manager.
- Immerse them in your industry, the marketplace you serve and your strategy to win. As people deepen their understanding of the marketing, the competition and consumers, they’ll feel like the experts they are and bring that confidence to work with them. This will make your customers trust them, seek them out even and hopefully, if all goes as planned, become loyal customers who appreciate the knowledge your team provides them. All because you took the time to invest in your managers and give them all the knowledge they needed to truly understand your organization and your industry.
- Let them make decisions as if they owned the store, while upholding the standards of the business. Encourage and empower your managers to make split-second, real-time decisions that convert window-shoppers to buyers and first-time customers to loyal ambassadors. Yes, organizations have protocols set in place that should be followed . . . in most instances. But, be sure your managers understand when on-the-fly decisions are safe risks with big customer experience rewards.
- Build their skills so they can be CEOs – Chief Engagement Officers – of their teams. Your managers should view their role as Chief Engagement Officer, someone who main responsibility is to engage, coach and empower their team members. The best managers? The ones who understand the business and know how to engage each of their team members to this mission too. It’s all about driving results through their team members.