You can have the most amazing product in the world, provide an incredibly valuable, useful, important service…but it can be tarnished in an instant by a single thing.
Conversely, a difficult situation or a disappointed customer can be remarkably helped – even completely turned around - by that very same thing.
What is this magical mystery element of which we speak?
The attitude and demeanor of your front-line employees.
Companies invest hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars each year in things like product training, marketing campaigns, and customer service training. But so much of the first impression or lingering taste that people have of your brand is in the hands of the people that they’ll interact with on a daily basis. The folks at the front counter, on the phones, manning your social media channels.
They’re the ones holding the reputation of your brand in the palm of their hands.
The smart @PeterMoorhouse perhaps said it best on Twitter during a discussion on the topic:
So here are the questions at hand:
How careful are we about who we put in those roles? Do we put enough emphasis on them? Do we treat these people and positions as though they’re pivotal to the brand perception we’re trying to build?
Traditionally, front-line jobs aren’t the ones that pay the most. They’re usually lower on the corporate ladder. They might not have visibility into important discussions about company vision, culture, or innovation.
Some of these roles might be downright thankless. Or, we might have absolutely the wrong people in those positions, and we’re not doing enough to evaluate that or correct problems or issues when they arise.
So what do you think? What are the ways that businesses can embrace this critical truth (or is it a truth)? What sorts of ideas, solutions, or innovations do YOU have in mind that can help us rethink the importance of the first touchpoints our customers have with our companies?
Rather than positing my own solutions, I want to hear from you.
How should we be thinking about the front-line roles that impact our brands?
Sound off. The comments are yours.