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What to Look for When Hiring Staff
When you need to add to your team, it can be a challenge.
Small Business owners (like me), are forever time poor and stopping what we do to find and onboard employees, can be enough to throw us into chaos. To combat this lack of time (and possibly expertise), we can outsource the pain and let a recruitment service help. But it’s our business so we will want to meet and interview candidates to hopefully make the right decision.
Recruiting, particularly for a role that requires ‘stranger skills’, can be a hopeful process.
‘Stranger skills’ are what everyone who interacts with your customers need. New customers are essentially strangers, and research tells us we have as little as three seconds to make a stranger feel welcome, valued and respected. If the first three seconds is missed, all is not lost, but staff will have to work harder to convert the stranger into a customer for life, or at the very least, for now.
Outside of work, we tend to give strangers a wide birth until we know if they are friend or foe, but in business, a stranger is an opportunity not to be missed.
This is not to say that existing customers don’t require the same level of three-second respect, but potential customers have an unknown set of expectations, and it takes super skilled staff to meet, greet, uncover and exceed those expectations.
When it comes time to add to your team, here’s what you need to be looking for, the top 10 attributes of a Customer Service Professional:
1. They have a genuine desire to provide excellent service.
2. They have the skills to adapt their communication style to suit every customer
3. They willingly help other staff provide excellent service.
4. Their customers regularly compliment them on their service.
5. They handle customer complaints with ease.
6. They can be relied upon to represent a business professionally.
7. They are top sellers – they know that excellent service is the key to sales.
8. They proactively maintain their product and service knowledge.
9. Their customers refer business to them.
10. Their employers want to keep them and keep them happy.
What are the chances of you landing a Customer Service Professional every-time you need to add to your team?
Pretty good actually. The top 10 attributes are related to Emotional Intelligence (EQ), and job seekers and businesses know that this is the area that spending time and money on reaps valuable rewards.
But, if you don’t have Customer Service Professionals lining up to join your team, at the very least seek to add staff who have the #1 attribute.
People with a genuine desire to provide excellent service are like diamonds, but they will need your help to shine. Make sure you have a structured service excellence professional development plan ready for them on day one.
The more evidence you can gather regarding candidates’ customer service skills and attitudes, the less you need to rely on hope, and the more your customers, your existing team and your bank account will thank you.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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