Attitude or Knowledge?
What type of employee should you be looking for? One with a great attitude or one with loads of skills based knowledge.
Your brochures, web sites, and advertising may get you a customer the first time, but it is your people assets that will bring that customer back.
Here is your dilemma, since you run a customer-service based business, what can you do to improve your customer retention?
Hire for attitude. Train for knowledge.
You can teach the knowledge of how to perform your services, how to do a job. You cannot teach attitude. In the end, your marketing efforts may bring the customer in, but it is the attitude of your employees that will, or will not, keep them coming back.
So how do you make sure you hire the right employees to keep your customers emphatically satisfied with your services? Do it by developing and using a customer service screening test during the interview process and consider only those employees that pass.
1. Develop Your Outline
Outline the key elements of your own sales and customer experience. What should happen from the time the customer first contacts you until the time they pay for your services? Where does the employee fit into the flow?
2. Identify areas where negative attitudes have caused you serious issues in the past.
Identify potential customer service issues or errors that have actually occurred in the past and that could and probably easily re-occur under similar circumstances.
3. Set Up Your Own Pre-screening Program
Use screening questions for applicants based upon your identified issues with suggested proper responses based upon how you want your business to handle them.
Quiz potential applicants to see how they would handle these situations. This can either be done orally during the interview process or with an actual written test, as applicable to your business.
Use the results of the quiz to screen out any applicants who do not meet the standards of customer service you expect in the day-to-day operation of your business.
You can always train for skills knowledge on specific duties and systems. But attitude is different. In my experience you cannot change a person's inherent nature. You can modify it, but why not start with the best attitude you can?
So when looking for your next employee or employees use the suggestions above to make sure their view of how to treat a customer is aligned with that of your business.
Hire For Attitude. Train For Knowledge.