How To Extract Customer Insights From Your Front-Line Agents?

Your frontline agents are a goldmine of valuable insight into your customer experience. So how do you design a feedback survey for them?

Strategies are only as good as boardroom discussions. The front-line agents, however, play a huge role in executing your CX strategy. So why not loop them into the planning stages too?

Frontline staff deal with your customers on a day-to-day basis and they can assess the customers’ emotions that an ideal CEM may at times not be able to. Customers often approach them directly with concerns and they are also able to identify patterns, such as noticing which products attract in-store attention but rarely result in a purchase, or if customers get confused by the marketing communications and so on.

So why is it important to collect feedback from your employees about customers if you’re already getting feedback directly from those same customers? It’s because your staff will tell you things that customers will not.

Your front-line agents have a level of product knowledge that far exceeds your typical customer, so they’ll be able to better assess the customer’s brand and product awareness from an informed standpoint. This can help you identify action items for your future promotional activities.

If you are bringing your frontline staff into your strategy, tell them about it! Most front-line agents appreciate having their employer value their knowledge and opinions, especially if they can see their feedback being put into action and making a difference. Rewarding contributors for sharing their knowledge will only increase the participation in these programmes.

Steps to create an employee feedback programme about customers:

Step1 – Reach out to your front-line force, either in person, through the hierarchy or through formal routes like email, and let them know you’re putting together a new customer experience program based on what they know, and that their knowledge of customer behaviour and interactions will help shape the future of the business. Highlight the rewards in bold!

Step2 – Outline the communication channels you’ll use to collect their feedback and the type of information you’re looking for. Whitelist the portals through which your front-line will provide feedback. Preferably, have it always-on like a QR code or an IVR placed across the stores.

Step 3 – Provide clear pointers on how frequently they will be asked for feedback or how often can they participate through the always-on channels and the level of details required, especially if providing feedback and reporting challenges isn’t a part of your frontline staff’s day-to-day role.

Step4 – Designing a feedback survey for frontline staff. The conversation should be visually pleasing and should be contextual to specific incidents. For example: If a high value good is sold, ask them for the customers’ apprehensions before they’ve made the purchase and how they could have handled it better.


Here are some sample questions that you can use while creating your questionnaire:

What is the most common feedback that your customers give you frequently?

This question will help you narrow down your top 3 action items to strengthen your customer experience. Maybe you’ll identify and fix a problem and dramatically improve your customers’ experience. Or maybe you’ll identify benefits that you can then promote and capitalise on.

If you could change one thing about our products and services, what would it be?

With this question, you’re looking for consistency across the feedback received. Most front-line agents will share universal best practices with you, but most of them will not be actionable. However, if multiple agents mention the same thing, such as “Reduce the wait time at billing counters” or “Have training sessions for every new product that is introduced in the outlet”, you know that you’re dealing with a pain-point here and that it affects many customers and front-line agents and requires immediate attention.

What would help you excel in your daily responsibilities?

This question enables your frontline agents to introspect and identify what resources would help them in better helping the customers. It may be a process or tool, or it may be relationship-driven, such as more hands-on management support or a quarterly training session.

What would make life easier for our customers?

This question gets right to the heart of what CX is all about – solving customer problems and delivering a better all-round experience. Whether it’s through customer service, product design, locations that deliver on customer needs and desires, digital integration or something else entirely.

Request feedback on your strategic decisions

Gathering feedback from frontline agents about how things are working at their locations can bring in their knowledge at the drafting stages of your strategy by sharing your plans with them. A simple upvote and downvote can help you get organizational buy-in for strategic implementations. This will help you can benefit from getting frontline staff on board at an early stage. They’ll have the opportunity to give you their steer on your approach, and they’ll also be more engaged with your strategy when it’s put into practice since they’ve played a part in developing it. It’s a relatively simple move, but one that can deliver a huge return on investment in terms of change management.

Would you need help in designing the perfect questionnaire? Get in touch with us and we’ll do the heavy lifting for you!