Great Customer Service Staff: Recruit These 15 Natural Traits
For years I have been able to spot job applicants who are naturally great at customer service. They excel at it. They have an ease, commitment, and skill that makes them great. They have a natural calling to serve others and they answer that call very well.
Recruit Naturally Great Customer Service Staff
As more and more managers asked me how I picked naturally great customer service staff, I created this list of traits and behaviors. It was an interesting exercise to turn my people skills intuition into concrete traits you can unearth in interviews.
Here’s what the naturally great customer service staff do:
- Accept the absurdity of life without using sarcasm toward the customer.
- They easily adapt; their need for control is low.
- They listen with empathy.
- They brilliantly balance objectivity and caring.
- They initiate both caring and action. This is essential for dealing with upset customers.
- They know that they can’t change others — only their own perspectives and reactions. More importantly, they don’t want to change others.
- They love diversity. They are inspired and excited by it. They are non-judgmental.
- They exhibit a high sense of ownership and teamwork.
- They understand the big picture and show attention to detail; they follow-through.
- They see and hear far more than what the customer is saying and use it well.
- They continuously learn from interactions and quickly reapply this insight.
- They are self-confident not arrogant. They are comfortable with customers questioning their authority and influence appropriately.
- They have a thick skin and a warm heart. This makes them resilient and prevents them from burning out.
- They believe service and servitude are completely different. The first you choose; the second you don’t. They are proud to serve.
- They love to serve because of the giving — not to be liked or loved in return.
One caution: Be wary of job applicants who say they like customer service work because they like being appreciated. When the difficult customers are and the thank yous aren’t, these employees become frustrated and may do poorly. Customer service is about caring for others not about the customers caring for them.
Recruit and retain naturally great customer service staff by:
- Understanding and believing that these people actually exist. Look in diverse pools of talent.
- Using above list to hire friendly. Then train technically.
- Giving them leeway in interacting with customers. Rigid scripts work against their natural talents.
- Treating them with respect and trust. It sustains their natural talent.
You can easily trust and empower them to wow the customers. Since they are highly responsible and talented, the customer experiences the ultimate in care and action — in the moment, every time.
The consistently high quality service these great customer service staff deliver is your winning business advantage!
From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™
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Customer Service People Skills: 10 Non-Defensive Responses
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Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.
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