Phil Geldart: In an empowering organization, they can help. They have the authority, they have the freedom.
You know, employees who are dealing with customers all the time really want those customers to be well served, by and large. They see the problems that customers have, they feel the problems viscerally – emotionally sometimes. And they would really like to help. In an empowering organization, they CAN help. They have the authority, they have the freedom, they know what the boundaries are – what they can, and what they can't do – so they can step in, take initiative and do something.
In an organization that is not empowering, all they can say is, "Sorry, I can't help you. I have to talk to somebody else. I have to pass it up and get approval." The customer is not happy, and they're not happy. In the first scenario, an empowered organization is success building on success; in the second scenario, you get people being frustrated and just disengaged with the whole process – and that passes on to the customer. So, empowerment is a vital component of customer centricity.