JANUARY 18, 2018
The Importance of the Front Line
By Hilary Collins, Specialist, Publications and Research, Financial Managers Society
call center staff to the teller line, your front-line staff is that essential
connection between customers and your organization – solving problems,
providing service and being the smiling face or warm voice with which people can
connect. Just how essential can be harder to quantify, but new
research from the Harvard Business Review provides some insights.
who interacted with an organization over social media were more likely to
recommend the organization and willing to pay more to stay with the
organization – even if the interaction was a complaint and even if the response
didn’t resolve their issue. However, responding to customers who had something
positive to say was even more effective in increasing their willingness to pay
any response raised customer loyalty, the speed of the response played a huge
part in most customers’ satisfaction. For example, when an airline responded to
a tweet within five minutes, the customer would pay almost $20 more to fly with
that airline in the future; and the drop-off after five minutes is steep – customers
who got a response within twenty minutes were only willing to pay $3 more to
fly with that airline. Here again, the response didn’t have to resolve the
customer’s issue for it to increase good will; it seems that simply being
acknowledged is the heart of the issue.
that sealed the deal was humanizing the interaction by having the customer
service representative sign his or her response with a name, or even just
initials. Customers had no response to unpersonalized tweets, but would pay $14
more to fly with an airline whose representative signed his or her name.
In the end,
it seems that as more and more customer service interactions move online, it
may be the little things that keep customers coming back.