How many times do you hear of a company firing a front line employee, either in sales or service because the front line employee was unable to appease a dissatisfied customer. As a general rule, most organizations do not have bad or evil employees, just broken processes. Of course, there is the possibility that the front line employee is inept and unable to perform their job, but most of the time, the front line employee is only human and reacting to a situation where he or she has no company policy to fall back on, inadequate training and an inadequate escalation process to follow. When frustrated by a difficult customer situation , employees, that are left to use their own judgement and without the right skills, may react in an inappropriate way that angers a customer.

But it isn’t necessarily the employee’s fault. As a business owner or manager in a large organization, look at the root cause of the customer’s concern. Then ask yourself if your training program, or reference documentation provided your front line employee with how to respond. Did the employee respond as your policy or reference material directed. If not, do you have a process for your front line employee to escalate to a manager or other specialist in the organization who can answer to the customer’s request or has the clout to approach more senior levels of management to determine the best resolution for a customer.

Look for broken processes and fix the process, training, documentation or escalation route rather than trying to replace an ill prepared employee with another one.

I welcome your comments


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Adele Berenstein

Adele Berenstein is an Experienced Customer Satisfaction Executive, recently retired from a Large Global IT Organization after a long productive management career including Sales, Marketing, Services, teaching and education center management and most recently, 19 years in customer satisfaction management. She turned around divisions with customer satisfaction problems, implemented measurable improvements and management systems, and implemented programs to prevent problems from ever affecting customers.

One Response to “Disgruntled customer: Don’t fire that front line employee !”

  1. How I Make $300 a Day Posting Links Online Says:

    Cool post, just subscribed.

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