They decide if your product is worth buying. They pay your bills. They bring a sense of community to your organisation. Your relationship with your customer is the most important relationship a business can have. As an employer, it’s vital to secure staff who know how to connect with customers. But how do you spot that certain something – the good customer service spark – in a potential new employee?
Write it down
Prepare to find your customer service superstar by understanding what good customer service means to your organisation. It could mean someone who makes conversation with your patrons while they operate the coffee machine. Perhaps it means someone who understands what to do when an order has been shipped incorrectly. Consider aspects such as: approachability, problem solving, listening skills, helpful attitude, body language and enthusiasm. Write down your top three most desirable attributes and keep it top of mind when interviewing candidates.
Keep it simple and ask
When you are interviewing your candidate, ask them directly: “What does good customer service mean to you?” There are many elements a job seeker could touch on. Awareness of the product or service they are working with is key, as are good problem solving skills and clear and polite communication. You could ask for a specific example of good customer service they have provided.
Watch your job seeker throughout your interview and take in their body language. Did they greet you warmly? Perhaps they offered to shake your hand or gave you a genuine smile. Eye contact is key to building relationships. It is only natural for a job seeker to feel nervous during a job interview, but keep an eye out for indicators they will treat your customers with warmth and respect.
The flip side of the coin
We’ve all experienced poor customer service. It tarnishes what we think of a brand and leaves us with a bitter taste in our mouth. Try getting up front with your candidate by asking, “Tell me about a time you received bad customer service.” Listen to their story, the problem that was encountered and how it was left unresolved. Watch their body language and language as they speak – you are looking for someone who is staying cool and gathered as they discuss the problem. Once you’ve heard their grievance, find out how they would have solved the issue. This provides an opportunity for them to show off their problem solving skills.