The #1 thing that makes frontline managers hang their head

One minute your frontline team are working together in harmony, customers are happy, sales are up and complaints are low. Things are going well and you're able to do your work without having to worry about your frontline, until one day you notice some bad habits. 

Slightly longer lunch breaks, less tidy work areas, gossip between co-workers about other co-workers, customers rolling their eyes, increased complaints and employees sighing when asked to do things. You're sure that each bad habit is only minor and you can fix them all with a little pep talk. 

You give a little "speech" about the value of excellent customer service at the next meeting in the hope that everyone will drop these bad habits and return to the bright and shiny front line they once were. But it doesn't work.

At the next meeting you offer incentives for staff to improve their service. This works for some staff but not all and within a month, the team are despondent and you are left chewing the end of your pen wondering what happened to your once excellent frontline.

How did this happen under your watch?

Providing excellent customer service is often considered as......well......common sense. Be polite, be friendly and put the customer first - common sense right? Wrong.

Customer service excellence is NOT common sense. In fact, it is very rare and harder to create and maintain in a team; a team of humans, who each have their own idea of what excellent customer service is AND who need different things to maintain a daily focus on service excellence.

Asking, telling, suggesting or begging staff to provide excellent customer service is what happens when you have a goal of a fabulous frontline without a plan to make it happen. A goal without a plan is a dream - a wonderful dream but for it to come true, your staff and your customers need you to wake up.

The #1 skill set your staff need are called Soft Skills (people skills) and without consistent focus and support, they are the most difficult skill set for employees to master and maintain. Soft skills are what every frontline team in every industry need help with - especially if their Manager (you) want to stop chewing pens. (Seriously, it's unhealthy so best stop it.)

How long does it take and how much does it cost?

This depends on the customer service goals of the business and the existing level of soft skill knowledge and ability of your team. Not all individuals will require deep level soft skill training, but all frontline teams need consistent soft skill support.

To find out exactly what your team need, how long it will take and how much it will cost your first step is to book in for a  FREE Customer Service Analysis. 

You  already wear 2 big hats as manager and leader of your team. Trying to wear a 3rd hat of Soft Skills Trainer without having the skills or the time to do it correctly, will make your head heavy and no-one likes a manager with a heavy head - least of all the manager.

By Cate Schreck - Author of 'The A-Z of Service Excellence"