Front Office Definition
The front office of a firm is the most visible part that interacts with visitors or clients of the firm. The most popular examples of a front office are customer service departments and sales departments. The front office maintains direct contact with individuals dealing with the company.
Usually, the front office of a firm must comprise experts and individuals with in-depth knowledge about the firm, given that they attend to questions that a visitor might have and also offer advisory services to the firm’s clients. Just like the name implies, the front office team is located at the most visible (front) part of a company.
A Little More on what is the Front Office of a Firm
Typically, a company has three sections, the front office, middle office and the back office. While the front office interacts with visitors and customers of a firm, the back office works at the backend, handling the administrative functions of the company.
Front Office surfaced in the 20th century, it was commonly used in the context of law enforcement. Nowadays, front offices are used in different organizations and industries. This is the office saddled with the most responsibilities in a company. It determines whether a company will retain its clients or otherwise. Front office does the most focal activities of a company and is often time, the department that generates the most revenue for a company.
Here are some important points about the front office;
- The front office is the department of a company that interfaces with customers and visitors of the company.
- The front office is the most articulate and visible department of a company.
- It maintains direct contact with clients and has a significant impact on the amount of revenue a business generates.
- Customer service department and sales department are the most vibrant front offices.
- Usually, the front office of a firm works better with the assistance of the middle office and back office.
Front Office Employees
Employees that work at the front office are called front office staffers. These employees are the face of the company and they need to be good at presenting the company well. In a hotel, for instance, front office staffers help visitors get settled in and provide all the information about the hotel, they are called the receptionist. Friendliness is a quality that these employees must possess, they must also be articulate.
Different forms, organizations and industries have front office staffers, these employees are recruited based on specific qualities. Despite that front office staffers generate the most revenue for a company, they are often the lowest-paid employees.
Financial Services Middle and Back Office Employees
In a financial services business, the front, middle and back offices play crucial roles, and the role of one cannot be interchanged for the role of another. For instance, activities done by both the middle and back offices are to support the work of the front office team. In a financial services company, the middle office manages risks and profits of the company while the back office helps in administrative services, provides analysis and handles the IT of the company.
It is important to know that the front office cannot operate in a vacuum, without the activities of the middle and back offices, the front office cannot function adequately.