Dear Subscriber,

Consumer demand for high quality service has increased and will continue to do so.   Satisfying this demand depends on your front line workers. You have recognized that your front-line employees carry a large part of the responsibility of meeting this demand of representing YOUR COMPANY  to current and potential customers (internal and external) in a positive way.  They are in a critical position, being the first and often the only contact between your customers and YOUR COMPANY.  From the customer’s point of view, conversations with your front-line personnel often are the service.  In other words, the way they handle that first service transaction is the key to gain future business.

This position of importance puts your people under intensifying pressure to deliver the impossible:  Customers expect to be made happy no matter what.  Research has identified the Customer Service Representative or Technical Service Representative as one of the ten most stressful jobs in America, with job stress costing employers an estimated $300+ billion yearly in absenteeism, lowered productivity, rising health insurance costs and other medical expenses.  A recent NIOSH study reported that 50% of employees view job stress as a major problem in their lives–double from a decade ago.

Although 90% of corporate executives say that employees are the most important variable in their companies’ success, a Towers Perrin survey reported that in practice they rank people-related issues far below other business priorities.  Executives agreed improving employee performance would improve business results and 73% even said their most important investment was people.  However, people-related issues, such as training and compensation, consistently ranked at the bottom of the list.

Demands of consumers for high-quality service are greater than ever.  Businesses that ignore the new realities of customer satisfaction can jeopardize not only their future sales, but also their very survival.  Companies can boost profits by almost 100% by retaining just 5% more of their customers.

A profitable workforce requires well-trained, knowledgeable, conscientious, service-competent employees who enjoy their service responsibilities. Training is crucial.

That’s one of the reasons we have created T.H.E. (The Human Experience), our robust training, into self-directed format.  Check it out

Recent studies in service industries link increased training to decreased employee turnover.  For instance, Ryder Truck Rental discovered that among employees who participated in training programs, the turnover rate was 19%.  For employees who did not participate, the rate soared to  41%.

Guest Quarters Suite Hotels report their low turnover rate is one indication of employee satisfaction.  Additionally, but not surprising, there is a positive correlation between training, employee satisfaction and guest satisfaction.

Why is training so important?  Mainly because it has been disregarded for so long at every stage.  The qualities that you seek in your front-line personnel–enthusiasm, empathy, and tolerance for stress–are not on the curriculum in most schools.  There is no Listening 101 or Communication 202 on the roster.  Somehow in the hierarchical management style, front-line workers weren’t encouraged to think about customer’s or co-worker’s needs.  They just had to get the job done.

Go to to learn about our new self-directed training program.

Services are essentially intangible processes.  Customers are frequently searching for cues to help determine a company’s capabilities. Oftentimes the only cues available are from its front-line employees.

Your ability to provide human-to-human connections —  back and forth live communication — continues to be critically important. The fact is voice is the most natural and powerful human interface, real time or otherwise.  That isn’t going to change any time soon.

To the customer, people are inseparable from the services they provide.  It is no wonder, then, that companies with superior people management, invest heavily in training and retraining.

The latest statistics on why customers leave are:  45% because of poor service, 20% because of lack of attention.  This means that 65% of your customers leave because of something your front line is, or is not, doing.  Fifteen percent leave for a better product, 15% leave for a cheaper product and 5% other.   This reinforces the fact that 70% to 90% of what happens with customers is driven by human nature and has nothing to do with technology.

And training has paid off:  In companies such as 3M, Campbell Soup Company and Metropolitan International, skills training improved customer service by 30%.  “It’s not what you do that is distinguishable, but rather how you handle it that matters”.

american businesses spend about 1% of their payroll costs on training, but closer to 3% is needed in order to succeed in this millennium.

In today’s competitive marketplace, there is little difference between products and services.  What makes the difference–what distinguishes one company from another–is its relationship with the customer.

Now available is T.H.E. (The Human Experience) robust training in self-directed format.  For more information visit

Let  me know if you have any questions, or if I can be of further service.


Rosanne D’Ausilio, Ph.D.
President – Human Technologies Global Inc
3405 Morgan Drive – Carmel, NY 10512
845/228-6165 fax 928/223-6165 – tips newsletter – Book #7 – blog