Performance Support Tools For Customer-facing Staff

Supporting Performance With Performance Support

Whether selling a car, stocking shelves in a supermarket or fixing a fridge, customer-facing staff across all sectors find themselves confronted with weird and wonderful questions. It’s the nature of customer-facing roles and it’s something that you can never fully prepare your staff for. It takes personable and patient staff to know how to assist customers and give great service.

Because of the very nature of their roles, sales-floor and customer-facing staff will find very little time to sit through much learning. This shouldn’t mean, however, that they’re forgotten about. As the people on ‘the front line’, they should have the most update, correct information to hand, because getting things wrong could, over time, begin to cost your company a significant sum of money.

Reasons why performance support is great for customer-facing staff

Job roles are constantly changing and posing new challenges for your employees. To help them perform better and overcome anything that could stand in their way, we put learning in place. The difficulty for customer-facing staff is the constant unknown, the customer itself. You simply can’t prepare for (or hide from) them or their questions, problems and queries.

By the time an assistant or mechanic has gone to check with a manual or manager, customers will be online and looking for the answer themselves. To cater for a diverse, mobile and customer-facing audience, you need something as nimble and fast-thinking as they are.

Performance support is the perfect candidate. It lends itself very well to mobile as it exists to provide short and sharp information at the point of need, with a customer. Performance support allows your staff, who can’t be expected to know everything that customers might ask, to problem solve and answer questions accordingly, while remaining with and in conversation with the customer. Performance support is great for customer-facing staff because:

  • It works very well with mobile delivery, which is great as staff are likely to be on the move, stood up or at least, not behind a desk.
  • It gets customers the information they wanted quickly - any level of FAQ’s or technical detail can be included to get the right answer to any question as quick as possible.
  • It can (and should) be built as an app or with an app-like experience to make it super easy for staff to get to know.
  • It acts as a lifeline of support for staff who are mobile or on their feet for the majority of their day.
  • You can reach a huge, BYOD audience with multi-device or even public app store delivery.
  • You can allow your staff to delve as deep as your customer needs with links to online support.

In short, performance support allows people to perform better and faster, making training more effective and in turn making them much more effective in the workplace, while reducing the amount of formal training time that they need.

Improving customer service

At it’s most basic, having a resource which points staff to useful information to answer the questions customers are asking is going to improve the service they receive. When customer service improves, it’s possible to generate more revenue through advising, up-selling and problem solving using the knowledge gleaned from performance support.

Bridging the gap between customer and experts

From dietary or farming specifics in supermarkets to the inner workings of your new car’s anti-lock braking system, there are some questions customers may have that sales staff need explain or show it to you. Performance support applications can feature videos and other helpful stuff to help you show off the aspects of a product or service that would be impossible in a showroom, store or maintenance workshop.

The bottom line is that if you build a great performance support tool to support workplace learning, it’s not just the knowledge of your staff which improves, you can begin to turn many of your retail/ service based employees into valuable selling and up-selling assets, whose knowledge and expertise is valued by customers.

There’s no reason why you can’t build performance support tools yourself - many HTML5 content authoring tools will output a great app-like experience (or even a native app if you should so need it) to multiple devices and operating systems, providing great foundations for you to develop your own performance support tools and applications. Learn more about gomo authoring tool at our next public webinar.