Training Your Frontline Employees

Excerpts from:

Your Frontline Employees Are Your Brand. How Do You Hire The Right Ones?   Written by Craig LaRosa and Jon Campbell

Frontline employees—the people behind the counter, on the phone, in the cloud, and walking the floor—possess a large measure of control over the customer experience. Their actions determine whether a customer becomes a brand evangelist or detractor. Understanding how best to motivate these employees—and designing processes and strategies to ensure that they’re empowered, energized, and personally vested—is at the core of delivering standout service and creating a compelling brand experience. Here are four critical areas to consider when creating a standout experience.


You know the old adage, “You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression”? The interactions that frontline employees have with customers every day comprise a huge number of first impressions potentially left to chance. Companies generally hire for hard skills or past experience. Instead, they should hire based on soft skills, the pleasant personality traits and attitudes that can’t be taught. Those with good soft skills are naturally social and enjoy interacting with others. They display energy and enthusiasm, and their default facial expression is a smile.


Each of us has had a service experience in which an employee was unable to solve our problem because she wasn’t empowered to do so. And yet, these are the best opportunities to win a customer’s loyalty.

Empowering your staff not only benefits the customer but also the employee. No one relishes being on the receiving end of a customer’s tongue lashing, and it’s only natural that an employee’s attitude and job satisfaction would be negatively impacted when subjected to complaints that are out of their control. Minimizing these occurrences limits carry-over effects to the next customer interaction. In addition, giving a frontline employee the ability to solve problems puts him in the position of hero, a role that boosts self-esteem and the feeling of being valued.


Managers keep operations running smoothly. But their most important role should be ensuring that employees feel respected and valued by setting the tone for customer service and reinforcing good behavior.

In conjunction with professional trainers, efficiency experts, and the like…”You can worry about the reach and frequency of your ad dollars, but they will never rival your tens of thousands of employees as the most pervasive and valuable asset for your brand. Or the single greatest liability.”

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