3 Ways to Emotionally Engage the Frontline

Posted by Sam Roberts

June 3, 2016

3-ways-to-engage-the-frontline.jpgAsk any customer experience professional what is at the top of their list of challenges and it’ll likely be emotionally engaging with frontline staff.

Many businesses depend heavily on the frontline, and with contact centre staff turnover notoriously high, building engagement amongst the ranks is absolutely vital.

Disengaged staff will procrastinate, become deeply unproductive and, worse of all, allow their lack of emotional involvement with the company to proliferate through the business. This inevitably results in a poor customer experience and, ultimately, lost customers.

But how do you emotionally engage the frontline? Often, they’ll be under-skilled, and on a relatively low salary and have a monotonous workload. It’s therefore easy to see why team members find it hard to invest any kind of emotional energy into their job.

If this is a challenge you’re currently facing, we’ve got 3 brilliant techniques you can use to emotionally engage your frontline staff. The best news? There’s not a single bonus structure or suggestion of micro-management.

1. Gamify their experience

Work should never be a chore, no matter how monotonous or seemingly boring the task at hand. It is perhaps no wonder that a challenge and reward structure inspired by video games has started to make its way into the workplace.

The idea of employees ‘levelling up’ as they complete tasks may sound bizarre, but it has been proven to help raise emotional engagement. What’s more, gamifying the employee experience instils healthy competition within departments as team members battle against each other to better their scores.

2. Share praise to emotionally engage the frontline

Although most of us are too humble to admit it, we all like an occasional pat on the back. We all feed off the immediate emotional lift generated by praise and in business, if such praise comes from the customers we serve, it has special significance.

Frontline staff work hard at repetitive tasks and it can feel relentless if they don’t receive a ‘thank you’ for their graft. As a senior employee, you may be the first person to receive praise from customers and, if you do, it is essential that you share such feedback with them.

Don’t hesitate either - share all incoming praise from customers with frontline staff as quickly as possible; they’ll feel valued and realise that their influence extends far beyond the four walls of the office.

3. Listen to their feedback

Do you listen to your frontline staff? As important as feedback from customers is, the same goes for your team. What are they thinking? What are their frustrations, desires and needs?

Speak to the team regularly and ensure there is an open, confidential channel for feedback. If your frontline staff feel unable to speak up or tell you where they think the business could improve, they’ll never engage emotionally.

Listening to the voice of the customer is essential, but so too is hearing what your staff have to say. It may not always make easy listening, but there are few fairer or more effective ways to gain emotional investment from them.

Frontline staff are often the first point of contact for both existing and potential customers and must maintain a friendly, approachable public persona even with the most difficult customers.

It is a tough, and relentless job, but can and should be rewarding, something which as an employer you can help enable.

If you want some of the best tips and tricks on how to gamify the employee experience then check out our eBook! You'll find insights from leading CX experts giving you practical guidance on how you can build a great customer experience and get your customers raving about you!

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Topics: Customer Emotion, Agent Engagement

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