How to persuade frontline staff to love their customers –

A German paper published in the Journal of Service Research in 2012 noted that empathetic staff were better at adjusting their style to individual customers.

Better-treated customers were also more likely to forgive mistakes. They would be quicker to understand the strain staff were working under and more likely to attribute service lapses to institutional stresses — rather than to the workers’ malevolence.

The German researchers suggested employers looked for empathetic recruits and deepened that quality through training on the benefits of “walking in the shoes of the customer”.

Michael Skapinker