We must reprioritize emotional
acumen in hiring, training and
rewarding frontline employees—
stores, branches, call-centers, chat.
nizations—we know emotion really matters, so often we try to convey
messages to build a brand that makes an emotional connection. Second,
smaller community banks and credit unions are often more relationally
and emotionally attuned. According to research released in July, the trust
level of small community banks rose to 55 percent and credit unions to
63 percent compared to large banks, where it fell to 23 percent. We keep
telling ourselves: It is just business—but business is intensely personal.
The role of the frontline
For the next generation of workers and customers, products of an electronic age, this emotional deficit will likely only increase.
If we are to rebuild emotional connection, we must rethink the role
of our frontline.
First, we must define the role of frontline personnel as emotional
“first responders.” That means seeking to identify the emotional driver
in every customer interaction. Whether it is pain, fear, anger, feeling
invisible, boredom, urgency or some other emotion, in each interac-
tion the responder must mentally look for emotion that is driving the
interaction. Sometimes they will sense the emotion, sometimes they will
need to ask and sometimes there will be nothing identifiable there. The
goal is to incorporate an emotional component into whatever solution
(product, service, etc.) that is offered. It may be as simple as authenti-
cally acknowledging their concern or a hand-written follow-up note.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
ROBERT HALL’S latest book is “This Land of Strangers:
The Relationship Crisis that Imperils Home, Work,
Politics and Faith” (May 2012). Email: Robert@
RobertEHall.com. Website: www.RobertEHall.com.
The interactive branch.
Interactive digital content is not just for
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branches with a touch vertical engagement
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Visit gettingyourmessage.com to read the full story
about new ways to deploy digital merchandising in
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