5 Ways to Scale Awesome Customer Experiences through Frontline Empowerment & Collaboration
In the race to outshine your competitors with exceptional customer experiences, it's not enough to provide a single outstanding interaction. Each of your customer-facing employees must consistently deliver a 5-star experience, every time. However, the question remains: how can you achieve this level of consistency, especially when dealing with extensive teams dispersed across numerous branches and locations? The solution lies in empowering and fostering collaboration at the frontline. Join us as we unveil five strategies that will genuinely empower your team to unlock world-class customer experiences at scale.
1. Real-time Customer Feedback for Every Frontline Employee
Here’s the problem: each frontline employee in your organization is probably delivering a varying level of service. Some employees will be delivering awesome experiences, some average, and some poor. To get your lowest performers to match your best, and to both level up and level out to a consistently exceptional experience, real-time feedback is mission critical.
Real-time feedback helps each of your frontline employees to:
- Deliver on what matters most to YOUR customers
- Understand areas they’re personally doing well in, and areas for improvement
- Feel recognized and celebrated for great work when it happens
- Recover from negative experiences promptly, address issues and turn potentially unhappy customers into brand advocates.
When every employee in your organization is helped with the above, you start to build a team of empowered individuals who band together to create a motivated, skilled and confident frontline workforce. Without the real-time feedback, they’re left in the dark and your experience, reviews, retention and bottom line all suffer as a result.
2. Use a Streamlined CX Metric to Measure Success
Effective management and the scaling of exceptional customer experiences require access to the right metrics. Streamlined Customer Experience (CX) metrics, such as the Net Promoter Score (NPS), provide a clear view for managers of which teams and individuals are excelling and where additional support may be needed. These CX metrics serve as a compass, guiding your organization toward a singular, customer-centric goal. By adopting a standardized metric, you establish a common language that transcends branches and locations, allowing for a seamless comparison of performance across your entire team.
Additionally, a well-chosen CX metric helps identify areas in which your team can refine their approach. Whether it's identifying which services or products resonate most with your customer base or pinpointing specific pain points in the customer journey, a consolidated metric streamlines the path to improvement. The data-driven insights garnered from these metrics empower your organization to make informed decisions and allocate resources more efficiently, creating a stronger foundation for consistent excellence in customer experiences.
Take Aptive, a pest control company on a mission to disrupt their industry with superior customer experience. They started measuring their NPS scores across their frontline teams, which helped them understand their most crucial areas of improvement.
“Using AskNicely has transformed how we work with our field service team. We have already seen a dramatic rise in our lowest performers toward our best performers leading to a 28 point NPS increase. The rework cost we are saving alone pays for the tool and we have a lot more we can do now that we have AskNicely.” — Dane Dellenbach, Sr Director of Strategy and Innovation.
3. Cultivate a Culture of Frontline Recognition and Positivity
Recognition is the adhesive that binds a great customer experience together. When every employee feels genuinely supported and valued, everyone becomes more inclined to go the extra mile to create extraordinary experiences.
Recognizing employees face-to-face every day at scale, especially for larger organizations is a tall order. There’s only so many “thank you”s that are verbally possible in one day. While some appreciation needs to be in person, a lot of it can also take place using technology. Recognition tools help you reach employees at scale, wherever they are. Managers can identify high performing employees, and send them personal messages in just a few clicks. You can learn more about frontline recognition here.
4. Encourage Collaboration and Cross-Training
Building a culture of collaboration and cross-training within your teams is another indispensable approach to scaling exceptional customer experiences. By encouraging frontline employees to learn from one another and share best practices, you create a powerhouse of customer service. This collaborative atmosphere not only fosters a sense of unity but also allows your team to tap into the collective wisdom and skills of its members, leading to continuous improvement.
If you witness a great customer experience take place, use it as a blueprint in team huddles and meetings. Run through what made the experience so good, what the frontline associate did to go above and beyond for the customer. Similarly, if a bad experience occurs, turn it into a learning opportunity. Discuss what went wrong, how it could have been handled differently, and what steps can be taken to prevent such situations in the future. This open dialogue not only amplifies the positive aspects of your customer service but also provides valuable insights into areas that require refinement. Encouraging collaboration and cross-training, alongside a culture of shared learning, empowers your team to adapt and excel, consistently delivering world-class customer experiences on a grand scale.
5. Invest in Ongoing Frontline Coaching & Development
The value of well-trained employees cannot be overstated. Investing in ongoing coaching and development programs for your frontline staff ensures they are equipped to handle even the most challenging customer situations.
This is not only important for scaling awesome experiences, but for your bottom line and employee retention, too. Research conducted by Sierra Consulting revealed that companies that invest in employee training enjoy a 24% higher profit margin and a 46% lower turnover rate than those that neglect this crucial aspect. Additionally, it's essential to consider the long-term benefits of investing in employee development. A study by Deloitte found that companies that provide comprehensive training programs are more likely to retain employees for a more extended period, resulting in reduced hiring and onboarding costs.
In summary, the formula for scaling awesome customer experiences through frontline collaboration is within your reach. By harnessing technology to provide real-time customer feedback, equipping managers with streamlined CX metrics, fostering a culture of recognition and positivity, encouraging collaboration and cross-training, and investing in employee training and development, you can build a committed and confident frontline team that not only meets customer expectations but consistently exceeds them.