Tag Archives: front line

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boss decides

The Boss Decides How Service Will Look and Feel

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Front-line employees are expected to follow the path created for them. The boss decides what that path will look like and how it should be followed. Does this system work?


Largely though, the path created has some flaws. There are unexpected obstacles and hurdles. The flow chart reaches decision loops and dead ends.

Systems and People

Consequences for a failed system are shown on the income statement, or dealt with by the front-line, or both.

A system working in the black doesn’t mean that the system is working, at least not as completely or effectively as it could.

What could go wrong? It’s designed by the boss.

Businesses are comprised of a system. They’re also comprised of people.

Are investments made in the people?

What is the hiring practice? Hire a friend of a friend? The bosses relative? Are these the best choices?

Are people in the system listening?

Does the system allow for empathy and compassion?

What is the culture? Are employees trained and invested in, or are they viewed as a tool to accomplish a task?

The Boss Decides

Most workplaces are held to a standard.

There is always a culture and likely sub-cultures. Those components are developed by the boss. The boss decides what the organization looks like.

Most employees only have a few choices.

They can role model exactly what the culture illustrates, in a failed system or failing culture they can attempt to role model something better, or they can leave.

When the employees care enough to try to make a difference will anyone listen?

The boss decides.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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Customer service impact

Customer Service Impact And Cultural Change

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Many organizations strive to make a bigger impact with sales and the customer experience by driving cultural change. Is your organization getting the most from its efforts? What are you doing to improve customer service impact?

In the conference room, boardroom, or a pop-up meeting near the water cooler organizational leaders often consider how they’ll create the next rush of revenue. Often the design is based on only a few. What if there was a different approach?

Based On The Few

Organizations put forward a lot of effort on the hiring process. Certainly, this is important and valuable. The lifetime value of the right kind of talent in your organization is hard to measure. Mostly because it is likely a much bigger number than you can quickly realize.

Inside there is often a push for attracting or advancing the right talent to the C Suite.

There is a focus on sales and marketing teams that are properly aligned. Perhaps there are bonuses or commissions in place to drive engagement. In operations, it is often about quality control and perfecting the build and delivery of products and services.

Much of this design is focused on the few. The few who are leading the teams, the few who may be the next picked for advancement, and those who fit the image of organizational success. This focus is important but the activity that this culture builds is based only on those few.

Front Line Reach

What if the approach was different, what if instead of focusing on the top twenty percent of the organization you focused on the growth and development of the other eighty percent? How would sales revenues, profit margins, and customer satisfaction improve?

Imagine instead of leaders connecting with leaders, the entire front line was more connected with customers?

Sure, the influence of leader-to-leader is important, but what if instead of focusing on the goals, revenue, and growth presented by the twenty percent, you made a difference with the eighty percent.

Imagine if the eighty percent improved their emotional intelligence, honed their customer service skills, and the value was placed on front line customer facing engagement? Would this change the numbers?

Customer Service Impact

Certainly, this is not pointing the finger at the eighty percent with a proclamation that they are the only ones who need change. It is a proclamation that the focus for customer service impact will be more powerful from the front line, not grooming the next manager.

When the focus is on the management team, fewer people are touched. If you’re going to make your organization great, leaders will matter, but it is the eighty percent who are closer to the front line who will show the customers what your organization is all about.

Running The Marathon

Consider this, thirty thousand people run in the Boston Marathon each year. Certainly the few at the front are honored and important. Their accomplishments are great. The report of their success will touch many lives.

If they were the only ones running in the event, it would not be nearly as impactful. It’s the reach of the other twenty nine thousand, nine hundred and ninety participants who will ultimately touch more people and more lives in a more personal way.

It’s not about the ten, it is about the thirty thousand.

You can have ten people doing great things, but measuring the true impact of thirty thousand. That is almost hard to imagine.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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