AKRON (Aug. 25, 2014) — I was reading a post by another blogger earlier this morning about some of the most horrendous customer service — or in these cases disservice — stories she had ever heard. Some of them ranged from spitting in a customer's food, threats to a customer, social media pages created to mock customers and more. The blog got me thinking.
Social media is a powerful tool for getting word out there fast about a company that hasn't delivered or when a customer feels slighted. There are plenty of tips on the Internet for dealing with negative customer service reviews, or comments on social media. But there really isn't that much advice out there for getting in front of the issue and for making sure you're hiring the right personalities in the first place to work behind the counter and engage with customers all day.
We all know customer service is king. Going above and beyond should be the norm. It shouldn't just be what we do, it should be who we are. Correcting mistakes and being honest and up front should be implied. But not all employees have the same attitude or have been instilled with a belief that the customer is always right.
I put together a little checklist for what characteristics are most important to look for in an employee to help ensure your company never ends up on any Top 10 list of horrible customer service experiences.
1. Experience in an industry that has a “rush” time. This can help show the employee is good under pressure and multitask under pressure.
2. Has a sincere smile he or she actually uses during the interview. If the potential employee is stoic or has a CRB (crabby resting face), he or she may not be the face you want welcoming customers into your store.
3. The employee is patient and very slow to anger. Let's face it, customers come in all temperaments. Some customer come in screaming. So you want someone who knows not to take it personally and who won't rise to the occasion and start screaming back.
4. Knows how to diffuse a bomb when they see one. No I'm not suggesting you find someone from the SWAT team to add to your staff. But you'll want to hire someone who knows how to get to the solution quickly to help calm down employees and customers when things start to get heated or confrontational. If they can be proactive about an explosive situation, that will always help save time and effort later.
5. Shows excitement about working with others. If you can find someone eager to attend customer service training and who genuinely wants to improve the experience of customers, hire that person. That type personality is great for making sure people leave your business happy. But you may have to spend a bit more time with these personality types to help them not take an angry customer personally because they may see it as a personal failure.