21 Amazing Habits to Foster in Your Frontline Agents

Person laughing and feeling happy while working at a call centre
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“People do not decide their futures, they decide their habits and their habits decide their futures.” – F.M. Alexander.

What does this mean in the contact centre? Quite simply, incorporating positive habits into your frontline teams’ day-to-day routines can have a profound impact on everything from customer satisfaction and employee wellbeing to operational efficiency and beyond.

So, what makes the biggest difference? We asked our consultants panel for their top habits to nurture in frontline teams to set the stage for long-term CX success.

1. To Always Have the Confidence to Speak Up!

Michael Clark, Co-Founder and Principal Consultant of CXTT Consulting
Michael
Clark

You need to encourage and provide opportunities and recognition for your people to speak up and share ideas, insights and improvements that deliver efficiency, effectiveness, and value-making improvements.

They should advocate on behalf of customers!

Contributed by: Michael Clark, Co-Founder and Principal Consultant of CXTT Consulting

2. To Routinely Share Customer Insights With Other Departments

Bill Price, President of Driva Solutions
Bill
Price

Your frontline teams need the ability to listen and forward what they hear to responsible parties in the company.

They need to be empathetic, knowledgeable, and good listeners, but the “positive habit” is sharing with product management, development, logistics, or the other departments that can benefit from that direct voice of the customer and the suggestions that might be attached to it.

There are many ways to automate this, but engaging the frontline is a great practice. Years ago, I used to ask agents in weekly meetings with their supervisors, “What are our customers saying?” This stimulated many changes and improvements, and the agents felt more empowered.

Contributed by: Bill Price, President of Driva Solutions

3. To Regularly Get Out of Their Comfort Zone

Everyone needs to invest in their own personal growth and get comfortable being uncomfortable in order to grow!

Encourage agents to seek out learning opportunities, whether it’s through formal training or learning from feedback and experiences.

Personal growth helps people feel valued and capable of handling new challenges, allowing them to see the opportunities more openly and stretch themselves to achieve them.

Contributed by: Garry Gormley, Founder, CEO – FAB Outsourced Solutions

4. To Have a Curious Mindset

Kim Ellis
Kim
Ellis

Cultivating a culture of curiosity is key, for you and for your agents.

Creating this culture is about more than just being available; it’s about actively inviting your team to be inquisitive, to question the status quo, and to seek deeper understanding.

So, how can you foster this environment of curiosity, especially if you’re not physically present all the time? The approach varies depending on your goals.

If you’re eager to spark a dialogue on improvements within the contact centre, consider setting up a system for anonymous feedback.

This could be your way of signalling to your team that their questions and suggestions are valuable – and that you’re keen to hear them, no strings attached.

Encouraging a culture of inquiry doesn’t stop with feedback mechanisms. Why not introduce an ‘Ask Me Anything’ week? This could be a golden opportunity for other leaders to join in and champion a culture of curiosity.

By actively encouraging your agents to ask questions – no matter how big or small – you’re not just opening your door; you’re inviting your team into a space where their curiosity is the driving force behind innovation and growth.

It’s a powerful approach to ensuring your agents feel valued, heard, and motivated to contribute to the company’s success.

Contributed by: Kim Ellis, Chief Learning Architect at Go Ginger Learning Solutions

5. To Avoid Jargon as Much as Possible

Katie Mares, a brand experience expert, TED talk speaker, and Author of CustomHER Experience
Katie
Mares

Ensure your team communicates clearly and effectively, avoiding jargon that can confuse customers. Clear communication also involves setting proper expectations from the outset.

Also encourage team members to listen actively to customers, showing genuine interest and understanding, and train your team to put themselves in the customer’s shoes. An empathetic approach can defuse tense situations and lead to more meaningful interactions.

Contributed by: Katie Mares, a brand experience expert, TED talk speaker, and author of CustomHER Experience

6. To Find Joy in Creating “Moments That Matter” for Customers

Sangeeta Bhatnagar, Founder of SB Global
Sangeeta
Bhatnagar

When you make others happy, you feel good. Encourage your frontline agents to find joy in creating “moments that matter” for the customer.

Ask them to share their internal reflection of their feelings when they treat customers kindly, with respect.

Not only this, but also change the dialogue from “I have to do this” to “I get to do this”. Understanding that working in frontline is such an important role. The frontline agents are the heartbeat of the organization, the most important ambassadors.

Contributed by: Sangeeta Bhatnagar, Founder of SB Global

7. To Ask “What If?” Instead of “What Happened?”

Bill Quiseng, Chief Experience Officer at billquiseng
Bill
Quiseng

Future-proof the customer experience.

In addition to asking “What happened?” to your agents who responded to customer complaints, get them into the habit of answering “What if?”

Exceeding the expectations of current customer needs and innovating future potential customer wants will maximize the ROI of CX.

Contributed by: Bill Quiseng, Chief Experience Officer at billquiseng.com

8. To Invest Time in Sharing Pain and Positives

As a leader, are you encouraging daily preparation in your people? Are you encouraging them to think through problems, plan what to say, and consider operations to serve the customer more efficiently?

One of the best habits that can be learned in frontline teams is NOT to silo pain and positives. Let’s share if something is causing pain and see if the pain can be alleviated.

If something is successful, let’s share that as well. Tying into reflective listening and daily preparation means encouraging your team members to share their pain and positives.

Contributed by: Dr M. Dave Salisbury, COO at D&C Consulting LLC

9. To Question “How Does This Help You Move Towards Your Goal?”

Nerys Corfield, Director at Injection Consulting Limited
Nerys
Corfield

When I am auditing or judging contact centres, I am in the fortunate position of looking in at what advisors and managers do habitually and question “how does this help you move towards your goal?” (For example, having a daily huddle to discuss ‘tickets processed’, or treating 1-2-1s as a tick-box exercise.)

And there is the rub! Without clarity of vision, it’s hard to be sure if daily habits are or aren’t the underpinnings for positive movement towards clear customer and advisor experience ambitions.

At a broad level, the best teams are those who understand their ambitions and communicate purposefully. They humanize the customers and validate the value the advisors are contributing to a business and its overall ambitions.

The best daily habit is for advisors to answer the question “what ways can we better serve our customers?” and “what could we do to make your life easier?”

This habit will lead to a treasure trove of insight and, if regularly considered and, where appropriate, actioned, creates a team investment into continually improving.

Contributed by: Nerys Corfield, Injection Consulting

10. To Practise a Consistently Positive Attitude – Even in Challenging Situations

Dan Pratt, Founder & Director DAP Consultancy
Dan
Pratt

Empower your frontline teams to make decisions and solve problems independently whenever possible. This not only boosts their confidence but also leads to quicker resolution times and increased customer satisfaction.

Also encourage a positive attitude among your frontline agents, even in challenging situations. A positive mindset not only enhances employee wellbeing but also has a ripple effect on customer interactions, leading to more positive outcomes.

Contributed by: Dan Pratt, Founder & Director DAP Consultancy

11. To Make Time for Wellbeing Check-Ins and Healthy Behaviours

Gemma Carter-Morris
Gemma
Carter-Morris

Establish a routine where you are regularly checking in with all members of your team. This shows you care about them, their work, and their wellbeing.

Start all 1-2-1 or team meetings with some check-in questions such as “How would you rate your overall wellbeing today on a scale of 1 to 10?”, “What one thing has positively impacted your wellbeing recently?” or “Are there any challenges or things that are causing your stress currently?”

And don’t forget to lead by example! Prioritizing your own wellbeing and modelling healthy behaviours and habits can also inspire your team members to also prioritize their own wellbeing.

Think about ensuring that you take regular breaks throughout the day, leave on time, take your annual leave, limit contact outside of working hours and take part in workplace wellbeing initiatives – this gives permission for your team members to do the same.

Contributed by: Gemma Carter-Morris, Director of Wellbeing and Client Relationships at Next Steps Consulting

12. To Regularly Review How They Are Using Core Tools and Applications

Efficient screen utilization helps enhance productivity and improve customer service.
During side-by-side sit-ins with agents, I have seen them struggle with too many applications open at once or placing them in the wrong position onscreen.

So, coach agents on the applications that should always be open and the best spot on the screen (or dual screens) to place them for maximum productivity.

Contributed by: Mike Aoki, President, Reflective Keynotes Inc.

13. To See Their Impact on the Customer Experience

Neil Linford-Relph, Founder of the design business.
Neil
Linford-Relph

Your frontline team needs personal ownership of your business purpose. Purpose delivers positive actions that produce tangible results.

Purpose gets us out of bed in the morning and brings value to our days. Your business purpose should form the foundation of all employee and customer experiences.

Knowing their everyday actions has measurable and meaningful impacts on delivering customer value too. Your frontline agents should feel empowered and connected with the value your business brings to your customers’ lives.

Creating working practices where your agents can build understanding and empathy with your customers’ needs and ambitions will improve customer and employee satisfaction.

Contributed by: Neil Linford-Relph, Founder of the design business.

14. To Be Resilient and Confident in the Face of Change

Jason Roberts, Founder Appropriate Consulting
Jason
Roberts

It is imperative that you create an open environment to challenge the propositions, processes, or people who are creating challenges for customers and create a framework of feedback that engages the whole organization to understand the issues, work on creating the solutions, whilst always ensuring you are measuring the additional commercial and customer value of solving them.

We need to educate our teams in both understanding requirements and developing solutions to drive improvements, as who better to support the customer’s voice than the team who speak with them every day?

As wider AI deployments deal with first contact basics, we will be left with a far higher percentage of contacts that are high in emotion or time-based or involve financial pressure for both brand and customer. We therefore need to ensure our teams are equipped and supported with skills in identifying vulnerability and increased emotional intelligence, and that we include a higher level of focus on resilience within training, whilst also providing the skills to help our frontline teams become competent as drivers of change.

Contributed by: Jason Roberts, Founder Appropriate Consulting

15. To Take Ownership

Afshan Kinder, ICMI Thought Leader and co-author of 3 books – including ‘Call Center for Dummies’
Afshan
Kinder

The skill of ownership is often confused with the skill of sharing next steps with customers. “Let me look into your account” indicates next steps to a customer. It doesn’t convey a readiness and willingness to help. Ownership is definitive and bold.

Encourage your agents to own it by saying something like, “I can absolutely help you with this” or “I understand and I’m here to help” for an immediate lift to your customer satisfaction.

Contributed by: Afshan Kinder, ICMI Thought Leader and co-author of 3 books – including ‘Call Center for Dummies’

16. To Understand the “Why” – Not Just the “What”

Pierre Bauzee, a certified Customer Service Trainer and Consultant, and the Founder of Beyond Satisfaction.
Pierre
Bauzee

If you want your team to apply the “what”, it is key for them to understand the “why” behind it. It is, for instance, very important to make them understand what they represent in the eyes of their customers.

An employee may actually be the main point of contact for some clients and therefore fully represent the business in their eyes.

So if I want my employees to deliver an amazing experience, I need to make sure that I highlight how important they are in this role and, therefore, to the company.

Contributed by: Pierre Bauzee, a certified Customer Service Trainer and Consultant, and the founder of Beyond Satisfaction.

17. To Hone Their Time Management and Prioritization Abilities

Teach your frontline agents effective time management techniques to prioritize tasks and handle multiple inquiries efficiently. This habit helps improve productivity and reduces stress levels among team members.

Contributed by: Dan Pratt, Founder & Director DAP Consultancy

18. To Use Positive Language and Practise Patience

Patience is key in customer service. Staff should be encouraged to remain calm and patient, even when dealing with difficult customers.

Using positive language can change the customer’s perspective. Train your team to frame their responses positively, focusing on what they can do rather than what they cannot.

Beyond this, you should also encourage your team to personalize interactions as much as possible, addressing customers by name and tailoring solutions to their specific needs.

Contributed by: Katie Mares, a brand experience expert, TED talk speaker, and author of CustomHER Experience

19. To Embrace Personal Smiling

Dave Salisbury
Dave
Salisbury

Smiling and organization are mental health tools. Let’s encourage the good habits of organized workspaces and personal smiling.

Leaders, do you spring a new joke each day on your people as appropriate? Dad jokes, one-liners, easy humour, those mental banana peels that can be sprung on your people to help release tension.

An organized workspace does not automatically mean neat and tidy. It means personalized and knowing where your tools are for speedy access. Encourage humour and organization.

Contributed by: Dr M. Dave Salisbury, COO at D&C Consulting LLC

20. To Always Ask “Am I Working Smart Enough?”

Garry Gormley, Founder, CEO - FAB Outsourced Solutions
Garry
Gormley

Approach your area of the contact centre with a mindset of “If this were my business, would I do anything differently?”

This encourages continuous improvement and innovation, and helps people to self-critique, asking: am I working smart enough?

This attitude helps create a culture of excellence where everyone feels accountable for the success of the business and the part they play.

Contributed by: Garry Gormley, Founder, CEO – FAB Outsourced Solutions

21. To Be On Time for Each Shift

Mike Aoki, President of Reflective Keynotes Inc
Mike
Aoki

Emphasize the importance of punctuality in the contact centre. Explain WHY even being a few minutes late can impact the queue and customer’s perception of service.

That helps increase their knowledge of how the contact centre works and the positive impact they can make with their behaviours.

Contributed by: Mike Aoki, President, Reflective Keynotes Inc.

If you are looking for more great articles on habits to develop in your team, or what you should be on the lookout for, read these next:

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