Easter week here in the UK, is a great time to relax, enjoy some time with your family. I took the week off as the weather has been gorgeous and decided to venture out and go visit some tourist attractions with the children.
And like many thousands of Brits, we were able to experience customer service 2010 style after an enforced winter hibernation. I must be the worse customer to have as I’m very critical of the care I receive being acutely aware of what is good and bad service. But then again you don’t need to be an expert to appreciate what is good or bad, you just need to be human.
I experienced a Tesco checkout girl helping us navigate their very complex self service system, a small family run holiday company representative on the phone, the pub landlord down by the River Severn, an ice cream salesman on Ogmore beach, a customer rep in the Countrywide Store in Gloucester and this morning a cashier at a building society in Tewkesbury.
Did they all give me good customer care? No, and the worrying thing is there is no pattern. The pub landlord was grumpy, the holiday company lady kept “tutting” and everything was too much bother, the ice cream salesman an absolute dream.
The connection between good customer care and bad service is simply the kind of person we encountered. Nice people give good customer service, rotten people don’t however much you train them. It’s not in their nature.
And that’s my point. To be good at giving customer care you just need to be a nice human being. Someone who can connect with other humans, understand them, their unique situation and needs. An innate ability to ooze empathy with others…a nice person will do all this effortlessly.
So if you have the huge responsibility to employ customer facing people, just look out for nice people. If you struggle to recognise nice people, get one of your nicest people in your team to talk with each potential recruit for 5 minutes. Believe me, they’ll pick up if they’re nice or not.
You can then train them in all the things needed to do the job and they will give you and your organisation extraordinary customer care for the rest of their time with you, simply because it’s built in them to do so. It’s the way they’re made.
After all this visiting, driving around with the family and playing I’m exhausted. Roll on next week and back to work.