Customer service for front-liners | Inquirer Business

Customer service for front-liners

/ 02:04 AM March 24, 2023

To be a front-liner is analogous to being the “front page” of the newspaper or the “cover page” of any magazine. To the customer, the front-liner encourages or discourages said customer from getting inside any store, shop or branch of any business. Hence, if such front-liners do not find the customer as central in day-to-day functions, then the business could decline.


We all know that the customer is the essence of any business. Some years ago, every business pursued the goal of satisfying customers. Companies believed that if the customer is satisfied with their service, then they are reciprocated with customer loyalty. Eventually, some companies thought of going beyond satisfying their customers. They went on to pursue an objective of exceeding expectations and delighting their customers. More recently, other companies raised the bar even higher by reaching out to customers individually and seeking to amaze them with their personalized, customized service. These are all commendable objectives, but where do we start the process of educating our front-liners?

We asked Dennis Areño, our resource person on customer experience and leadership, for some key insights on what makes front-liners effective customer service ambassadors.


Knowing different customers takes time

As we know from sales manuals, salespersons need to do their own research in order to discover what the customer needs and if their product or service would be able to meet those needs. The front-liner’s job, however, is both simple and complicated. It’s simple because the customer is right before you—no further research is needed; just ask the customer. However, every individual is unique and we all have different personalities and preferences. The diversity of people and their needs may cause some difficulty for the front-liner. It may take some time and practice in knowing different types of customers and their requirements before one can be effective and anticipatory.

Making them feel comfortable

Customer-centric front-liners need to align themselves with the customer so that they can make the customer feel understood, important and comfortable. The operative word here is “feel.” No amount of influence will make a difference on the customer unless they actually experience that they were understood, given importance and provided exactly what they needed.

Reacting quickly, with care and tact

Another significant point in amazing the customer is that the front-liners must react quickly to the customers’ needs, but with care and tact. Proper communication is absolutely necessary. Because of this, some “hard sell” words or phrases should be avoided, while relevant, appropriate information should always be used.

Managing complaints

The front-liners must also anticipate and manage customer complaints. Differences in cultural and educational background sometimes lead to varying assumptions by customers. Some assume common knowledge, when it isn’t really the case. Techniques of deescalation and empathetic language are needed skills in these situations.

The front-liners’ ultimate objective is to satisfy and amaze the customer. While the objective may be a tall order for some, if the front-liners succeed in achieving it, the business can be assured of customer loyalty. The front-liners should know that the customer has the right to expect nothing less than professionalism and effectiveness in every encounter.

Areño will facilitate a virtual workshop titled “Excellent Customer Service: Professionalism and Effectiveness as a Customer-centric Front-liner” on May 11-12. The eight-hour hands-on virtual workshop will help business front-liners better understand who their customers are and how to engage in a professional manner. For more information, you may write to, or send an SMS to these numbers 0919-3428667 and 0998-9641731.

For your other online learning needs, Inquirer Academy could assist you in designing and facilitating a virtual workshop, a webinar, or a self-paced online course for your organization.

The author is executive director of the Inquirer Academy.

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