Frontline Staff: The Font of Customer Experience Knowledge

September 13, 20185min

Over the years we have seen that the fastest, most efficient way of diagnosing Customer Experience issues is talking to your customer-facing teams. Here is a quick primer on what to ask them.

Having started my career in customer support myself, I know how many real customer issues frontline staff come across daily. Quite often, these insights stay in the frontline staff’s heads or get buried in paperwork during “business as usual” which seems like a big waste. If your organisation is starting to look more closely at their Customer Experience, tapping into this resource will be a quick and (hopefully) easy way of gaining insight into your customer base and their needs.

Here are five questions to ask:

1. What is the number one thing customers complain about?

Understanding what the biggest issue your customers feel strongly enough to complain about is will tell you how to remove the largest obstacle from customer satisfaction, and provides a good starting point for researching pain points within your customer journey.

2. Which channels do most queries come though?

This will be limited by the number of channels on which you allow them to contact you but will give you a good place to start looking at trends. After all, your customers are likely to try and contact you by the channel that is most convenient from them. If these don’t include social media, it would be wise to also review how your company is being discussed in these channels as that can be very enlightening.

3. If you could improve one thing about the service/product what would it be?

Your customer service staff talk to the customers every day and solve a myriad of issues for them. Because of this, they will develop a pretty good gut feeling on the issues causing the biggest trouble for your customer base and will be able to pinpoint the most urgent ones.

4. Which internal document is helping you most in answering customer questions?

Knowing which documentation they find the most helpful when dealing with customer queries will help you gain an understanding of the kind of content you should be putting in front of your customers during their usual journey.

5. What tool or process would help you to do your job better?

Internal tools and processes used by frontline staff can often make or break the customer’s experience of the company, so ensuring they have the things they need to be as efficient as possible is key to improving experience.

These are just a starting point to improving your Customer Experience; ideally you would follow this insight up by conducting first-hand research directly with your customers.

Not only will this way of engaging with your staff enable you to gain a deeper understanding of your customers but it will also go a long way towards making your frontline staff finally feel heard, and we all want happy people to help our customers, right?


Merje Shaw

Merje Shaw

Merje Shaw is the managing Director of innovation firm Path59, which brings start-up level disruption and agility to traditional industries. She is also a Judge at the 2018 UK Customer Experience Awards.




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