Meet Frontline Employees Where They Are: On Mobile
Back in the day, when mobile phones weren’t a thing (wrack that brain), software and technology to improve work was generally reserved for employees who worked at a desk. The clunky old box that was the computer would send and receive emails, streamline workflows and make the work of many employees far more efficient. Then came the mobile. A technological revolution that took the world by storm. Yet, despite this new advancement that had the potential to reach deskless employees, they continued to be left out of tech.
As AskNicely CEO Aaron Ward said: 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.
For service brands serious about winning on customer experience, this needs to change. We need to provide technology to frontline workers to help them deliver awesome experiences, meeting them where they are: on mobile.
Out and About
Most frontline employees spend a large majority, if not all of, their time away from a desk. Retail workers are on the floor, talking to customers and helping them refine their choices, hospitality workers are at the till taking and delivering orders and taxi drivers spend their day behind the wheel. Yet, many frontline workers are still lacking technology that’s practical for them to use on the go, simply because they don’t have an email address or laptop. As a result, communication between managers and frontline teams is hindered, feedback lines are virtually non-existent and employees can very easily feel isolated, disconnected and undervalued. This poor employee experience directly impacts the customer experience, creating inconsistent experiences, poor conflict resolution and the inability to act on customer feedback in real-time. The long days of waiting to get home to check a desktop computer are over, and service brands that fail to invest in a frontline mobile app become stuck in an era that no longer exists.
All in Real-Time
Mobile is instant, and allows frontline employees to reach their team, respond to customer feedback and solve conflicts in real-time, via a device that fits on their pockets. When frontline employees don’t have access to mobile technology, lag times stretch and the repercussions are deadly.
Say Steve is a frontline worker for a cleaning company. He can only access customer feedback via a clunky survey tool on his desktop computer at the office. At the end of the day, he returns to HQ to check his emails, look over feedback and sign off for the day. Unfortunately, he spots some negative feedback. A client he attended to that morning was frustrated over the standard of cleanliness in the bathroom. He makes a note to return the following day and resolve the issue. However, by the time Steve wakes up, the customer has left a terrible Google review, talked to five people at a dinner party about how disappointed she was and has started looking for an alternative company. It’s too late.
All of this could be avoided. If Steve had received the real-time feedback directly to his phone, he could have immediately acted upon the negative feedback, having the opportunity to leave the customer feeling impressed, happy and satisfied with the service. Furthermore, with the feedback quite literally in his hands Steve is able to prevent such hiccups from happening again – he learns to prevent customer experience fires instead of continuing to put them out.
A Culture of Connection & Support
The most effective frontline work takes place where communication between frontline employees, their team and their higher-ups is free flowing and instant. Deskless workers should have all the communication and support tools that an office worker would have, only on mobile.
Let’s return to Steve. Remember that poor bathroom job he did? As it turns out, he rushed the job as his schedule was so packed that he only had half the time he needed to do a thorough job. Steve had tried to talk to his manager about this before, but finding them in person amongst his packed days was no easy feat. When connected on mobile, Steve can instantly reach his manager and communicate how he’s feeling. Steve’s manager notices a trend is this kind of feedback amongst his other employees, and adjusts the employee schedule so that the cleaners have the time to do an exceptional job every time. Happy employees. Happy customers.
Send Your Thanks
A recent McKinsey study found that 54% of employees who quit felt that their employers didn't value them. If you’ve read the Seven Habits of Frontline Teams, you’ll know that recognizing achievement doesn't just make employees feel valued and appreciated for the incredible work they do, but it also significantly drives employee satisfaction, engagement and productivity.
Frontline workers, who often work out of sight from managers, are even more susceptible to recognition neglect. They miss out on the face to face appreciation that many office workers receive.
The good news is, with the right mobile app in place, you can deliver a boost of dopamine to every employee, every day. The AskNicely recognition feature is designed to catch employees doing things right, building a customer obsessed frontline culture based on positive feedback.
What does this all mean? When you meet your frontline where they are (on mobile) you ultimately improve their experience. You connect employees, provide them with the tools they need and create a culture of self-improvement and empowerment. This all results in more consistent customer experiences which boost repeat business, referrals and revenue.
The evidence is clear. Brands that utilize mobile frontline satisfaction programs reap significant benefits in comparison to those that don’t. In fact, the State of Frontline Work survey found that service brands with mobile frontline satisfaction apps experience a 64% increase in employee efficiency, a 73% increase in customer satisfaction and a 25% increase in revenue.
When companies invest in frontline satisfaction mobile apps and meet frontline employees at the comfort of their own phones, they can support the frontline, create a great workplace culture, and ultimately win on customer experience.