Employees often feel their hands are tied by corporate policies that focus on bottom-line needs rather than those of the customers they are called to serve, according to a survey of nearly 2,900 employees across several industries, including hospitality, by Maritz Research.
According to the survey, only 8% of employees say their company’s policies and procedures make it easy to satisfy customers and just 13% say they have the authority they need to respond promptly to customer problems and requests. Only 20% of employees said they feel providing excellent customer service is their company’s top priority — down from 29% in 2011.
Maritz also focused on hospitality employees in particular. Among that group, 31% said they feel providing excellent service to their customers is their company’s top priority. Additional findings from hospitality employees include:
- 15% of hospitality employees say their company’s policies and procedures make it easy to satisfy customers.
- 17% say policies, systems and procedures at their company support the delivery of outstanding customer service.
- 21% say they have the authority they need to respond promptly to customer problems and requests.
- Only 10% say their employers provide recognition for behaviors that positively impact guests.
“Companies are struggling to recapture a flailing customer base, but seem at a loss to come up with a solution,” said Rick Garlick, senior director of consulting for the Hospitality Research Group at Maritz Research. “Yet, our survey respondents make the solution quite clear: empower employees to help customers, and both will view the company in a more positive light.”