October 22, 2013

Strengthening Quality and Service From the Inside Out

Strengthening Quality and Service From the Inside OutHow can you best support your frontline employees, the ones directly performing the work your customers pay your organization to do?

Whether you’re in an office or support role position, this question is something you should ask yourself. The frontline employees working directly with your customers know they must do everything possible to understand their needs. They engage in dialogue, helping provide better services or products to fit their needs and expectations; yet do those in the support and leadership roles have a system in place to communicate and better understand the needs of the frontline workers?

Undercover Boss, a CBS television program, in many ways exposes this disconnect between those who perform work and those who provide leadership and support. One of the most striking things I often see on this program is a leader’s surprise revelation when they realize that they have many dedicated, hardworking, and high-performing frontline employees who deal with life’s struggles each day. These are the people who represent the face of the business, so what comes as a surprise, really shouldn’t be a surprise.

In my career across several jobs and organizations, I have always worked closely with those on the “get work” side, and frankly, I wouldn’t have it any other way. In my current role at Faith Technologies, I am fortunate to work amongst many leaders who started at the bottom, and have moved up to leadership roles; thus they personally have an understanding of how important frontline workers are to the business because they have been there.

So, what can you do to provide the best possible support for those who directly perform the work your customers pay you to do? You need to be exposed and learn what the needs and expectations are in the field. You can participate in some of the training opportunities with those who perform work for your organization. You can also be open to soliciting the field personnel by talking to your employees, learning what their needs are, and most importantly by asking – what can I do to better serve your needs?

This is what successful companies do best – they relentlessly work on finding out what a customer’s needs and expectations are, and then turn those answers into action and results to help improve your customer service.