The 5 Must-Have Traits of Great Frontline Employees
What you need to know when hiring frontline employees.
An organization’s customer-facing team plays the most critical role in driving the organization’s success. For hiring managers, you know that maintaining low turnover in these key roles is vital to sustaining employee morale and continuing to keep revenue driving in the right direction. To keep good frontline employees, you’ll need to hire candidates who have key characteristics that create a motivated and sustainable environment. Hiring managers should put a greater importance on seeking out these characteristics when deciding which new candidates to hire.
Happy customers are a result of employees who are empathetic to each customer’s unique situation and are able to put themselves in the customer’s shoes. To be effective in resolving a customer’s needs, your frontline employees should be able to listen sincerely and understand what is most important to the customer in order to solve the problem and meet (and hopefully exceed) their expectations.
People like to do business with people they like. People like to do more business with people they like and trust. Frontline employees can only develop that sense of trust with their customers if they’re giving them the most authentic version of themselves. Today’s customers seek a customer service style that feels unscripted, with open lines of communication. One that is personal, customized, and mirrors a “peer to peer” experience. Virgin Group founder Richard Branson attributes the success of his Virgin Hotels brand to avoiding “Stepford customer service” – a phony, scripted experience that turns off today’s customers. Rather than treating customers like a number, Branson strives to turn them into “lifelong friends.” And that friendship stems from giving customers insight into who your frontline employees really are.
Employees who enjoy what they do and begin each workday with the motivation and optimism to accomplish their goals can be exuded and felt by both colleagues and customers. This aurora of wanting to proactively make things happen makes a difference in the experience they give their customers, and has a powerful impact on their peers and the organization as a whole.
In order to effectively handle complaints, customer-facing employees must have patience. They’ll have to be prepared to share information over and over again with the same level of confidence and sincerity each time. The daily task of dealing with people means taking the good with the bad and maintaining a sustainable level of patience with every type of customer. This skill is somewhat hard to determine through the interview process, but can be a defining factor in one’s success.
In tandem with patience comes flexibility. Flexible frontline employees can adapt quickly to changes in the workplace and shifts in customer’s tone. When an employee is dealing with a unique situation outside of the normal day to day, the ability to be flexible allows the customer to ultimately receive a better experience. It’s the difference maker in a frontline employee that will go the extra mile to come to a resolution to a problem they have not had to face before. And if they can’t figure it out, it’s the ability to change course and ensure that they’ll find someone who can.
At AHA! Impressions, we understand that finding the right frontline employees can be a hard and strenuous task. That’s why we offer turnkey recruitment services and tools that will take the headaches out of the hiring process. Schedule a free consultation today to discover how we can make finding the right employees for your organization easier and more effective.
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