I have a shoe fetish! Yes I admit it. I love shoes. Recently I had the occasion to go shoe shopping which, by the way, is one of my favorite activities. As I browsed the shoe store, my eyes landed on a gorgeous pair of turquoise sling back shoes. My eyes glittered with excitement and my heart started racing – I just knew I had to have those shoes. I asked the sales associate for a size 8. I tried the shoes on and to my dismay they were a little tight and not comfortable enough to wear for any extended period of time. I asked the sales associate for other size options and unfortunately the shoes did not come in half sizes. The next size was a 9 which was too big.
I sat there and gave serious consideration to purchasing the size 8 shoe – even though I tried it on and it did not fit properly. I’ll purchase a shoe stretcher and stretch them I thought. They’d be a little tight but I’ll wear them for short periods of time instead of all day. As I started walking towards the cash counter with my not so perfect fitting shoes, my eyes fell on another pair of turquoise sling back shoes that looked so delicious! I asked the sales associate to check for my size and was ecstatic when she returned with a pair that fit so comfortably. As I tested the new pair of must have shoes, my feet felt like they were in a cocoon. The shoes provided that glamour girl look but were also comfortable and supportive. They fit perfectly!
As I reflected on my shoe purchasing experience, I realized that the shoe buying process can be compared to the process of hiring the right person for your customer service role. With a limited talent pool, it is challenging to find employees who possess all of the characteristics required for a service role. This sometimes means a longer period of time passes before the role is filled. This can be frustrating to employers and they often settle for employees who will get some parts of the job done but who do not perfectly fit the role.
Employees who effortlessly provide superior customer service are usually people with a natural inclination to serve others. They are usually individuals with strong people skills who know how to feel the heart of others. They have great relationship building skills and understand how to make others feel appreciated. They communicate well, listen and pay attention to others. They are inquisitive in nature and ask the right questions. They are intuitive. They motivate others and offer hope and inspiration in difficult circumstances. They don’t just focus on the problem, they find solutions and they adapt well to changing environments. They are like the second pair of shoes (the ones I purchased) in that they fit perfectly and they effortlessly make your organization look good.
Tip of the Week: Take the time to carefully evaluate candidates when filling customer service roles. Being a customer service professional is not a job for everyone. Choose employees who possess most if not all of the characteristic traits listed above. Trust me – your organization will be better off with the right skill set and the right talent filling your customer service roles.