5 Ways Frontline Employee Training Can Uplevel the Customer Experience

How you train frontline employees has a major impact on the overall customer experience—so it’s critical to get it right.

5 Ways Frontline Employee Training Can Uplevel the Customer Experience blog image

Upleveling the customer experience is your number one goal. There are tons of different ways to do this but the most important one to look at is your frontline worker learning and development. 

  • Are your frontline workers ready to deliver high levels of service?
  • Do they have the knowledge about your brand, culture, and products so they’re ready for anything?
  • Can they exemplify the brand experience in all customer interactions? 

Recent research has shown that companies that have engaged employees tend to have higher customer experience metrics. Harvard Business Review wanted to quantify this into real numbers and found that: “if an average store could move from the bottom quartile to the top quartile in each of the employee experience metrics we studied, they would increase their revenue by more than 50%, and profits by nearly as much.”

The big problem you’re facing is most frontline retail workers don’t feel that they get the proper training. As much as 27% of frontline workers say training isn’t effective because it is too boring and not engaging enough. And keeping your employees prepared at the pace of business is even more challenging: 41% of employees say they aren’t offered training to develop skills for the future. 

The good news is that it’s possible, and not as complicated as you think, to boost your frontline worker development. Here are five best practices for visionary companies that are relying on a digital learning platform to empower their employees to uplevel the customer experience:

Ramp up peak season employees efficiently

The holiday season is your prime time, and when it is most critical to delivering excellent customer service, maintaining well-organized shelves, and arranging displays correctly. 

For one mega-retailer, giving its seasonal employees access to documents and reference guides on mobile devices is how it’s done. Instead of running for help every time a question arises, seasonal frontline employees look up answers to questions on merchandise or policies in the flow of work.

Mobile learning keeps these frontline workers (and their managers) on the floor and enables them to provide proactive customer service. With access to up-to-date job aids, tasks (like arranging displays or organizing shelves) and face-to-face service are stellar every time—even without full training.

Engage and motivate Millennial workers

Millennials are one of the least engaged groups of workers, with only 29% reporting engagement at their jobs. As a group, this generation wants to make an impact, and they want to use technology to do their jobs better. The key to improving their performance is placing answers in the palms of their hands—exactly where they are accustomed to finding information.

One quick-service restaurant chain transformed all of the static information (previously found in paper binders and PDFs) into dynamic knowledge and training accessible on inexpensive tablets. As a result, onboarding no longer takes place in a back room at a desktop computer. Employees can view videos, how-to guides, and other interactive content on their phones or tablet whenever they want. At the same time, the company decreased frontline employee’s onboarding time by 66%, saving millions of dollars.

Deliver faster frontline employee onboarding

Getting new hires up to speed faster, and effectively is critical to boosting customer service levels. It’s tough to give new employees everything they need all at once, and they’re likely to forget it all, so enabling them to learn on the job is a good way to speed up the process. 

Another quick-service restaurant decided to implement a digital learning platform to ensure consistent brand training and to speed the onboarding process. New hires have access to all the tools, information, and knowledge they need to be successful in nearly half the time as traditional onboarding. The training team is also able to refine and improve onboarding processes as necessary, now that visibility is provided into what is working and what may need improvement. Onboarding is now a dynamic process for this restaurant that ensures happier employees and more consistent customer experiences.

Drive operational efficiency

Your frontline employee training should make workers feel important in their jobs and help them understand how they contribute to the bigger picture. When operational documents are kept in separate systems or static PDFs, employees can’t easily get the information they need, not to mention operational inefficiencies.

One high-end grocery chain recognized that its training content was spread across the company and only accessible on desktops when team members needed it when working with customers in stores. Now employees have access to up-to-date engaging, mission-critical, content that’s stored in one intuitive digital library whenever they need it, and the company’s training team relies on easy-to-use content authoring to deliver materials in the blink of an eye.

Empower employees to do their jobs better

Access to accurate, reliable information is how you empower frontline workers to do their jobs better. You can’t do that with outdated content, or content that takes too long to update and distribute. 

One retail giant set a goal of increasing the number of shoplifters caught annually by 300%. With a digital learning platform, the training team can update and distribute loss prevention training in real time so frontline employees always have the most accurate version of store policies and procedures. Live updates are automatically pushed to all employees, which means that new information on how to prevent loss can be shared without delay. And because all content is searchable, the right piece of information pops up instantly. 

Ramping up seasonal workers, more effectively engaging and onboarding Millennial workers, and driving operational efficiency—are key areas of frontline employee training you should be investing into uplevel your customer’s experience.