Frontline associates striving to improve service operations, say they need more mental coaching, interaction possibilities and a culture of trust, respect and open-mindedness towards new ideas and resources.
These are the conclusions of a scientific survey, involving members of 146 frontline service teams. They were asked how they would like to improve frontline service operations and competitiveness of their employer.
Frontline service operations are relatively dynamic as they need to deal with various unpredictable customer-related activities. Unlike manufacturing companies, they not only spend a lot of time on achieving service efficiency, but also customer problem-solving and creative decision-making.
Six ways to improve frontline service operations
We identified the following six insights:
- Frontline staff needs the cultivation of positive attitudes among employees, as it motivates the teams to make continuous service improvements.
- Companies should guide team members in trusting and respecting each other, so that their working environment is psychologically more safe.
- Employees should be able to develop their competence in systematic and creative thinking, and a mindset that drives changes
- Companies need to give attention to the absorptive capacity of teams, for instance by encouraging service employees to interact with colleagues of other functions to acquire external information (for example related to customer needs, IT technology, integration opportunities).
- Managers may have to invest in resources that improve current services or lead to dramatic innovations.
- Managers need to cultivate a corporate culture that embraces and encourages the exploration of new ideas and resources.