Hey 2022, we need to talk about fixing frontline work
Today's a big day for AskNicely as we announce a fresh new round of funding (a $32m Series B to be exact) and launch of the Frontline Success Platform. It's certainly big news for our business but bigger still for our clients and the millions of frontline workers they employ because this signals a fundamental change that’s happening to the way we lead businesses.
We launched AskNicely in 2014 with a vision of pioneering the next generation of customer experience software which started with revolutionizing how businesses measured the customer experience using customer feedback and the Net Promoter Score (NPS) framework. This struck a chord with businesses looking to win with customer experience who, like us, believed in the Drucker maxim, "if you can't measure it, you can't manage it."
Savvy service businesses saw the value of daily NPS measurement as a powerful tool for acting on customer feedback rather than analyzing it and, now that AskNicely is a recognized leader here, we now start our next chapter - transforming how customer experience is delivered with what we call Frontline Success.
Watch Aaron's interview with Startup daily for more on our mission to make frontline work awesome.
If your business relies on people to deliver your service (we call them "people-powered businesses"), a quality customer experience is your lifeblood - this is what dictates whether customers come back for more and recommend your service to others. The frontline worker is the key to winning here - they bring the magic that determines whether a customer's experience is awesome or awful.
So, how do you ensure every frontline worker arrives focused and motivated for every customer? Most businesses approach leadership from the top down. Bosses in the back office communicate their aims and decrees through layers of managers and supervisors to the frontline staff. Think about that for a second - it's literally back to front!
But now there's a new breed of service businesses (think Uber, Starbucks, Disneyland) that win on customer experience by leading from the frontline - by trusting and empowering their frontline employees to serve every customer right. They practice a set of Seven Daily Habits which include sharing customer feedback, coaching and recognition with each individual frontline worker.
For a business to do this everyday, for thousands of frontline workers is an impossible task because they rely on supervisors and managers to connect to their frontline. That's why we built the world's first Frontline Success Platform - a simple but powerful mobile app platform that connects the dots between frontline success, customer success and business success. It's the first software of its kind that's designed specifically for frontline workers and it's about time.
Let’s pause on this for a moment. The software industry has done a pretty good job building software for salespeople, marketers, developers, accountants but have all but ignored the service person on the frontline who deals with the actual customer. Frontline workers have the most impact on the customer experience AND make up 80% of the planet's working population yet they're under-served, under-appreciated and under-paid. It's kinda crazy. We also think they're under-estimated which is why we've made it our mission to help make frontline work awesome.
There's a mix of software, science and psychology at work here that starts with a fundamental belief in the value of catching people doing things right (remember how you felt when you received a gold star at kindergarten?). It’s about bringing more appreciation into the day for every frontline worker so they wake up each day knowing that what they do really matters - to their customers, their boss, their peers and the leaders of the company. And making sure they finish each day knowing they nailed it.
By closing that feedback loop, we give frontline workers purpose, we support their autonomy, and help them develop mastery over time as they're more likely to stay in their role. Frontline work starts to feel more awesome, the customer experiences more awesome and the business grows faster on a diet of happy customers and happy people. There's our "why", right there.
Finally, we're living the same philosophy inside AskNicely as we build our "experience-first" culture where work isn't defined by where you do it (remote, office, hybrid etc) but by the experiences you have doing it. Check out our Careers page to see how we support our people to work anywhere in the world (we buy the flights!), learn any skill they're interested in or spend time doing whatever fills their soul. If that sounds interesting, you should definitely join the team and help us make frontline work awesome!