Do You Engage the Frontline Workers in Your Operational Improvement Efforts?

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Customer reps are often overlooked as a source of pragmatic ideas and customer insight for re-engineering operations. As the face of your business, frontline workers play a significant role in building solid customer relationships, which ultimately affects customer loyalty, your brand, and the growth of your business.

The following examples illustrate why the engagement of frontline workers is so important.

  1. Service delivery

Customer reps spend hours dealing with inquiries every day. They field questions and complaints. Through the conversations, they learn about customers’ likes and dislikes. They hear about deficiencies that fail to meet expectations. The wealth of information offers invaluable insights that form the basis for operational improvements.

In engineering improvements, customer benefits ought to be a key focus because you want to avoid optimizing internal operations at the expense of serving your customers.

  1. Design of applications

One of the mandates for the frontline workers is to solve customer problems as quickly and as thoroughly as possible. This requires the customer rep to have pertinent information at his finger-tips. He needs to see the customer’s profile, purchase history, or recent communications in order to respond intelligently.

In the design of a new application, you need to consult the customer reps and incorporate their needs in a manner that serves them so they won’t be wasting time and become frustrated.

  1. Empowerment

As you modify procedures and introduce new tools, it is highly likely that certain scenarios are missed due to their infrequent occurrences. What do you want your agent do in those situations? Do you prefer her put the customer on hold and seek advice from a manager? Or do you want her to make a decision to deal with the situation in a satisfactory manner?

In tailoring your operational rules to meet evolving needs, you want to establish boundaries that are practical from the role of the frontline worker. Otherwise, the intended improvement just generates another barrier.

It is essential to engage frontline workers for customer intelligence as well as their expertise in fulfilling your service commitment. In doing so, you will improve your operations in a way that truly helps employees who are involved in the work and better serves your customers.

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