I recently posed the following question to a group of business owners at the International Franchise Association convention: How do you ensure a great customer service experience for your customers? There were some commonalities among the answers. Even with the diverse collection of businesses — from quick-serve restaurants to online businesses — most of them agreed that good customer service starts with people. Everyone recognized that a good hiring strategy is the heart of good customer service.
I asked one business owner to describe his hiring strategy. He explained that even for entry-level positions, applicants are screened and must go through three rounds of interviews. He said he prides himself on finding a good personality to fit in with his culture. And that’s a good start.
Then I asked my next question: What do you do after they are hired? His response was what I expected to hear. He put the new hires through training. I asked him to elaborate on what they learned in the training sessions. All new employees must go through an orientation on his business’s technology, logistics and processes. He also assigns a mentor to help the new employee through the first week.
I asked the others at the meeting what was missing. Most believed that customer-service training was missing. The business owner’s response, however, was quick. He defended his omission of customer-service training because he chooses employees with the right personality for the job. “I make sure that I hire good people. I hope they know what to do,” he explained.