Roy's Blog

June 28, 2012

How to AMAZE your customers - hire “human being lovers”

Rule #1 of the four step practice to AMAZE customers is to hire people with the innate desire and ability to serve and please others.

Why is it that we run into service people who obviously hate their job and would rather be working with technology than real people?

Why is it that frontline positions are filled with people who have a lot of seniority in an organizations but basically don’t like working with other people?

Who don’t like humans?

Ever been in a restaurant and have been afraid that the server would either throw something at you or subject your underdone steak to the population residing on the floor of the kitchen?

First of all, there is no more important position in any organization that one that deals directly with the public.

These people should be called, as Tom Peters once called them, Supreme Commanders. They literally control all aspects of an organization that involves its brand: honesty, integrity, caring attitude, responsiveness and overall service quality.

In any call Center operations, reps handle thousands of “moments of truth” every single day! Do you think they could influence customer perception toward the Company and subsequent decisions to buy a product or service?. No question.

Second, why would the leadership of the organization put anyone into such an important job if they didn’t have the requisite skills and attitude to serve other people? Beats me but they do.
I believe this dysfunctional behavior is due to the fact that they look at these positions as entry level junior jobs rather than a career destination, responsible for influencing customer loyalty and long terms profitability.

There are 3 actions you can do to make sure you get people obsessed with serving people in frontline positions:

1. Ensure the recruitment guide asks the right questions to expose this virtue. I find that there are many of what I would call hygiene questions asked, but rarely do I find that the ‘love’ questions are absent to any sigfnificant degree.

2. Come right out and ask the candidate “Do you love people?” and then ask them to describe 3 situations that proved it. You can tell quickly if the person is suitable to turn loose on your most valuable assets (customers) or not.

3. Have a senior person (an executive leader is the best choice) in the organization to participate in the panel interview process.
This achieves three purposes:
- it shows people in the organization that hiring frontliners is a critically important matter
- the candidate understands how serious the organization is about getting “people lovers” in these positions
- it enhances the richness of the interview itself in terms of the questions senior people bring to the table.

Can you train people to like people?

My experience is a resounding NO! You either have a natural inclination to like humans or you don’t; no amount of training will change that.

Training might influence how you behave and as long as the customer interaction is scripted you might get away with it.
The reality is, however that customers can’t always be scripted and sooner or later the trained frontliner will have to rely on their innate abilities to handle the customer in an elegant and memorable way.

So where do you find them?

You should always have a frontline recruitment program underway to ensure that you are gathering the best peopple lovers you can to fuel the funnel created by employee turnover.

Tag ‘em early by going to schools at all levels and spotting the chosen ones.

Cheers,
Roy

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  • Posted 6.28.12 at 07:08 am by Roy Osing
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