Having the Right People to Deliver the Right Customer Service Culture

To build the right customer service culture, you must make sure you have the right person in place and that you have given him or her the tools to be successful.

My father always wanted me to work on “projects” around the house with him. At the age of eight, I generally was delegated to carrying the tools and fetching coffee. One Saturday morning, my father showed me a screw he wanted me to screw into a piece of wood. To an eight-year-old me, it looked like a long and arduous task. So instead, I took out the hammer and promptly proceeded to hammer that screw in the wood. My father noticed, with horror, my actions. He came running over to stop me and proceeded to educate me on the value of using the right tool for the right job. He shared with me that you may get the screw in the wood, but does it really accomplish the task? And what about the overall project? He patiently explained that I should always use the right tool for the right job.

The idea carries over to our business of customer service. How many times do we want to skip the process of hiring and training the right people and simply expect them to deliver the customer service an organization expects?

Hiring the Right Person

To have the right people deliver the right customer service culture takes a two-part, long-term vision. First, hiring the right person for the job is extremely important. Have you developed interview questions that will help you understand how the applicant views and reacts to customer service situations? These include well-developed customer service behavior questions such as, “Tell me about a time you had an angry customer who was upset with something that was out of your immediate control. How did you handle that customer and what was the result?” Asking behavioral questions will assist you in uncovering if the applicant has the spirit to deliver successful customer service that will meet the needs and desires of your customers.

Commitment to Training

The second part of the vision should be a commitment to training your associates to understand the customer service goals of your organization. Committing to training your new associate should take on three parts:

  • Train your associates on initial contact with your customer. Does the new associate know the steps that will form the right first impression that will allow your customer to connect to your business?
  • Train on problem-solving skills for new associates. Is your associate trained to solve the problems we know will come up during the course of doing business? Are they versed in the problem-solving techniques that not only offer a solution but offer the empathy a customer craves when something goes wrong?
  • Train on agreed empowerment levels based on the associate’s comfort level and knowledge. Does the associate know how to use the empowerment tools you provide to not just satisfy the guest but build customer loyalty? As a business owner, we all know it is not just about satisfying the customer, it is also about developing a customer who will talk about your business in a way that makes others excited about doing business with you.

To build the right customer service culture—one that has the customer advocating for your business—you must make sure you have the right person in place and that you have given him or her the tools to be successful. A great customer service culture takes time and tools to build. The right person for the job using the right tools can lead to customers advocating for your business.

Joe Lipham is a Training account manager at Signature Worldwide, a Dublin, OH-based company offering sales and customer service training, marketing, and mystery shopping services for a variety of service-based industries. For more information, call 800.398.0518 or visit www.signatureworldwide.com. You also can connect with Signature on Twitter @SignatureWorld and on Facebook.

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