Frontline workers in the driver’s seat

High-performing companies know that every employee counts. They can either help or hurt your reputation. Customer-facing people in particular, whether engaging face to face, on the phone, chat, or email can affect how an organization is perceived.

Frontline workers – those on the frontlines of customer-focused services such as hospitality, retail, transportation, healthcare, among many other industries — face an even greater challenge of being “the face” of an organization.

How can these people create “the wow effect” for customers? What’s the secret sauce behind the employees who charm people time after time leading to a cheering and loyal customer base? Recent research shows that investments into employee experience will lead to higher customer satisfaction with culture of learning being a crucial cornerstone. Today’s employees have choices and are looking for leaders who invest in their growth. Wise organizations back up their frontline managers with leadership skills required to onboard and keep talent. They create an engaging and fun learning environment that demonstrate their stake in people’s development in their everyday work life.

As an example, Arnold Clark, Europe’s largest independently owned motor dealer, saw 40% growth in employee engagement after the initial launch of their company-wide learning programs that ensure staff consistently stays on-message, responds knowledgeably, empathetically, and appropriately, and provides the same level of service across each branch. As a result, they provide world-class customer experiences.

How can you get to this level of CX?

First, organizations must increase their frontline managers’ leadership skills, as well as build solid leadership programs for the future – skills like leading change, changing organizational culture, and trust building and empathy. Organizations will benefit by introducing existing off-the-shelf training to kick off the change, as well as learning management systems that include built-in content authoring, which allows proprietary content to be created in-house.

Second, investments into employees’ skillsets will not only pay back in better customer experiences, but also in loyalty and retention. Similar to frontline managers, the first step in showing investment in people’s development can be done through existing high-quality courses focusing on skills needed in customer service. An easy-to-implement learning management system will allow building career development programs with existing course materials in days. Courses like identifying and exceeding customer needs, delight every customer, and handling customer complaints become parts of the first layer of employee development programs that can be enhanced with in-house authored L&D programs.

Third, choose a training platform that fits the modern workforce. Agile, smart organizations look for solutions that are easy and fast to deploy, and that provide high quality, engaging off-the-shelf courses to kick off development programs in days. Make sure you have a platform that enables you to author learning content easily. Make training available on mobile – there’s no better way to reach people than on their mobile phones. Finally, make your choice based on ease of use for fast adoption with learners.

The only way to influence how your customers see your organization is to invest in the people who face your customers every day. Bringing the wow into your employee experience with captivating training will turn into the wow in customer experiences.