Delivering an exceptional customer experience is the goal and challenge of most organizations and customer service is a critical factor in delivering the best CX. Customers everywhere say how important positive human interaction is to their experience – and they say it across every industry. Yet for all the voices companies seek out to help them improve CX, it’s surprising how many ignore front line customer service people in CX design and optimization. Customer service is one of the most important groups to include in the conversation – people who have valuable insight.

The insight customer service people provide

Your front-line customer service team has first-hand experience with customers. They see your customers, talk with them and serve them every day; they know what customers say, think, do, ask, want, as well as what makes them happy, sad, angry, and frustrated. Your customer service people have experience on how to serve and satisfy customers – they know what works and what doesn’t, and they have a wealth of experience to draw from for creating your customer experience. These front-line customer service people are also a critical source for early and regular reads on the health of the company – including company reputation and product quality.

Which customer service people to talk to

When deciding which customer service people to talk to, start with your own customer service people. It’s easy to identify them, your internal managers know them, and these are the people who consistently get 5-star ratings. Not only do your best customer service people know the customer and are on the front line of delivering positive customer experiences, but they can also help accelerate your CX program and implementation. But don’t hesitate to go outside of your company to other industries for deeper insight. There are great customer service people everywhere, from airlines to fast food and retail counters to call centers.

There is a wealth of knowledge to tap into

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, one in 10 in the U.S. work in a customer service position. There are 4.5 million retail salespeople, 3.3 million cashiers, 2.2 million call center employees, and 2.4 million waiters and waitresses. These are the people who deal directly with your customers and are ultimately responsible for marrying company policy to customer need. Wouldn’t it be nice if you knew what they knew about what your customers want, need, and ask for? Customer service employees are a gold mine of information.

These front-line workers – the people in customer service, at the returns counter, on the phones, and their supervisors – who see and try to make your customers happy every day know a lot about your customers. They understand what works and how things could work better. You will be surprised and delighted by what you learn about your customer service people and implementing your customer experience.