Hiring and Training for the Customer Experience

Increase your odds for success: Hire carefully and train consistently.

Being from Las Vegas, I have always told my managers that hiring the right people can, at best, be a crapshoot. There are systems in place; long, experience-driven questionnaires; background checks; and endless interviews. But at the end of the day, it’s still a crapshoot. Training, on the other hand, is like removing the 2 and the 5 from the dice, and can increase the odds of successful businesses by far.

How do you hire the right person for your business? There are procedures and best practices that can improve the Las Vegas odds in your favor. We all want our employees to treat our customers the way we want them to treat our customers.

In all cases of hiring, you need to ask yourself some basic fundamental questions:

  • Who is my customer?
  • How do I want my customer treated?
  • Who already on my team performs the way I want them to, what are the measurements of success they place on themselves?
  • What personality type of person works well with my customer?
  • Am I settling out of desperation to fill a position?
  • What training do I need to provide my employee to ensure he or she can execute how I want my customer treated?

For example, if I am a hotel, my customer is the traveler who wants to be greeted by a warm, friendly person, who is efficient and a problem solver. I want my employee to care about the customer. I am looking for a person who is at ease during the interview and can smile when he or she talks about customer service.

Body language tells you a lot during an interview. I tell my managers, “You have to discover what they are not telling you.” In all cases, the person sitting in front of you will put his or her best foot forward. Reading body language and the subjective communication is the biggest key to picking the right candidate.

Did you know that when you communicate, only 7 percent of what you say (your words) is relevant to what a person hears you saying? Some 55 percent is body language and 38 percent is tone of voice. This means the majority of our communication is NON-verbal.

When you ask potential hirees if they like working with people, do they immediately smile? Are they leaning into you or away from you? Do they make eye contact?

What’s Next?

Once you hire your perfect candidate, what do you do with him or her? You have spent a considerable of time and energy getting the perfect person to represent you. Once you have committed to an employee, you now need to train him or her to execute your expectations.

Statistics show that companies that focus on their employees’ development and training make more money. Is your training program consistent, does it represent your expectations? Investing in the training and development of your employees is an investment in your success.

An owner says to his manager, “What if we spend all this money training our employees and they leave us?” The manager answers, “Worse sir, what if we don’t train them—and they stay?”

Increase your odds for success: Hire carefully and train consistently.

Merry Gagg 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.