Customer service culture: Hire for the attitude and train the skill

Are you aware that customer focused culture begins with people who want to do the right thing.  From that point, we can layer on customer service training (and other types of training) that focuses on creating an amazing place to work.

So for you to accomplish this,

1. Hire for the culture.  It’s an old adage that says hire for the attitude and train the skill. This is a little different.  Even with the right attitude, will the new employee fit in to the culture you are trying to build or sustain?  Look beyond the attitude to the personality.  Make sure there is a cultural fit.

2. Train for the culture.  If the employee has the right attitude and personality that meshes with your culture, get him/her up to speed and entrenched in your culture as quickly as possible.  They must understand what the company stands for; its goals, mission and vision.

3. Everyone must be on the same page.  I call this alignment.  Understanding the company’s goals, mission and vision is one thing.  Employees must be able to articulate the essence of these statements.  I love the concept of the “mantra,” which is a sentence version of the goals, vision and mission that succinctly sums up what the company’s culture is about.

4. Allow people to experiment.  This is another way of saying people are empowered to try and do new things and is especially true in the world of customer service.  The outcome should be favorable for the customer, not hurt the company (financially, legally, etc.) and enhance the relationship with the customer.

5. Create a learning environment.  If you really let people experiment, and they are truly empowered, there will be much to learn from the successes and failures of your employees.  Celebrate it all.  Encourage people to learn from their successes and their failures.  Share these lessons with everyone.

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