200 Service Businesses Have Spoken: Here’s The Scoop with Robert Galop
In February 2022, hundreds of leaders from service businesses across the world gathered together online to take part in the Global Frontline Experience Summit, an event we are delighted to sponsor and host again after its hugely successful first run in 2020. It was a phenomenal event with a contagious heaping of inspiration, excitement and possibility for anyone working in the customer experience and frontline service space.
If you missed the summit, brought to you by our Frontline Magic Community don't worry! All of the sessions are available right here, and are just as powerful the second time around.
A lot has changed for service businesses in the midst of the current pandemic. New technologies have arisen, remote workforces are becoming the new norm and customer expectations are rapidly increasing. What does this all mean? AskNicely’s VP of marketing, Robert Galop, revealed all in his presentation on the state of frontline work in 2022 in partnership with research firm, Metrigy. This hot off the press study included interviews with over 200 service businesses from around the world and reveals how best-in-class service businesses are rising above competition.
Let’s dive in!
The Magic 4 - What Do The Best Performing Service Brands Have in Common?
Since our friends at Metrigy have done all the hard research, interviewing, number crunching, and calculations for us – let’s focus on the key outcomes. Of all the service businesses interviewed, what did the ones with the highest levels of employee efficiency, customer satisfaction and revenue have in common?
Everybody Knows Their Service Standard
The best performing service businesses all have a clear set of service standards that are known by everyone who interacts with the brand; employees, customers, even the office pets. Seriously, ask Frank at the Disney offices, he’ll tell you the seven service guidelines off by heart.
Put simply, service standards are a set of tangible guidelines that help to define a) what a customer can expect from a service, and b) how the experience should be delivered by the frontline. It’s important that managers, frontline teams and customers are all on the same page, which is exactly what setting your service standards helps to do.
As well as getting managers, frontline teams and customers on the same page, setting strong service standards means —
- Customers are clear on the outcomes they’ll receive.
- Frontline workers have a strong sense of direction, accountability and motivation.
- Management can assess and measure performance against defined targets.
- Rewards can be given based on whether standards are reached.
- Awesome customer experience is consistently delivered.
However, less than 20% of the companies surveyed had accessible standards for both staff and customers. The few businesses that did have strong, and widely understood service standards, were experiencing big benefits. Robert says, “your service standard aligns your team around what success looks like” and the research found that it directly improves employee efficiency and customer satisfaction.
They Track, Share AND Act on Feedback
The study found that service businesses that track, share and most importantly act on customer feedback outperform their competitors. While over half of surveyed businesses had mechanisms in place to receive some kind of feedback, only 16.3% of businesses made good use of it. Collecting feedback without acting on it is like collecting winning lotto tickets without cashing them in. Over time, the tickets become obsolete. It’s all well and good to ask customers to fill out surveys or questionnaires, but if the customer insights don’t reach the right people at the right time, and workflows are not set up to address customer feedback, you may as well have not collected it in the first place.
Of the best in class (the top 16.3% who were regularly tracking, sharing and acting on feedback), well, the results speak for themselves:
Brands with the highest levels of feedback mastery saw:
- 41% increase in revenue improvement
- 68% increase in employee efficiency improvement
- 105% customer satisfaction improvement
They Recognize & Empower Their Team
If you’re not already, start empowering, recognizing and rewarding your frontline team! It will pay off in more ways than one. Frontline workers are often the first point of contact for customers and represent the face of a service business. Robert reports that two thirds of customer experience is impacted by things delivered directly through the frontline, which outlines just how critical they are. When we forget to recognize, reward and empower our teams, our employee experience, customer experience and bottom line all take a hit. Like feedback tracking and sharing, businesses that had formal frontline experience and satisfaction programs seriously outperformed competitors.
Businesses with strong frontline satisfaction programs saw:
- 25% increase in revenue improvement
- 64% increase in employee efficiency improvement
- 73% increase in customer satisfaction improvement
They Provide Personalized Coaching
Thriving businesses have thriving employees, and employees can’t thrive without personalized coaching. In the same way that many businesses are emphasizing personalizing the customer experience, frontline coaching also needs to be personalized to get the best results. Robert emphasizes that when it comes to frontline training, “it’s not just one-size-fits-all, and we know it’s not a one-time proposition”. In other words, standard, one-off coaching will not make the cut. Businesses who invest in the tools and technology to allow for personalized coaching to prosper, see increases to employee efficiency, revenue growth and customer satisfaction.
Businesses with strong frontline coaching programs in place saw:
- 13% increase employee efficiency improvement
- 30% increase in revenue improvement
- 38% increase customer satisfaction improvement
The stats are clear. When companies are able to master the magic 4, they have happier employees that drive customer satisfaction and revenue growth.
In fact, when you look at businesses who have mastered three to four of the areas above, in comparison to no mastery, the numbers do the talking:
- 22% increase in employee efficiency
- 17% increase in customer satisfaction improvement
- 7% increase in revenue
“When we looked at the data we found the companies that aced the implementation of these four focus areas, really produced outsized results against their peers”
To summarize, your frontline holds the key to success, especially for employee efficiency, revenue growth and customer satisfaction. It was found that companies that mastered three to four of these key focus areas outpaced their competitors, big time. It may seem like a tall order, but our team at AskNicely are here to help you join the world’s leading service brands. Click here to book a demo.
Want to see more presentations from the Global Frontline Experience Summit? We’ll be releasing blogs every week diving into all the juicy insights from our incredible lineup of speakers. In the meantime, you can join the Frontline Magic Community to receive updates, frontline news and more!