Recruit staff who understand the customer is always right

first_img Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. Customer experience is the next competitive battleground and to besuccessful employers need to hire staff who embrace company valuesNo personnel department would ever hire a new recruit without having adefined job specification for a role. Without it, the wrong person for the jobwould be chosen, and as a consequence, training budgets would be wasted andchurn rates rise. Yet when organisations fail to define the customer experience they aretrying to deliver – and emotions they wish to evoke in customers – the wrongtype of person will almost certainly be hired. Our research, conducted in association with the Marketing Forum, shows that71 per cent of business leaders see customer experience as the next competitivebattleground to be fought in a commercial marketplace – yet few are doinganything about it. Seven out of 10 customers say that emotions count for more than half oftheir customer experience. But most companies have not even thought through theemotions they are trying to evoke and will, therefore, struggle to recruitpeople who are able to evoke the positive emotions the company has identified. The most emotionally-advanced organisation in the world is Disney. Havingidentified that the emotion it needs to evoke in customers is happiness –whether they are visiting a theme park in sunny Florida or a windy shoppingcentre in the UK – the staff it recruits reflect the company’s cheery outlookon life. Companies such as Disney have realised that price and quality are no longeradequate differentiators – but their people are. Getting the recruitment process right and aligned to the customer experiencethey wish to deliver will reduce the huge problem of emotional labour – whichcreates problems of churn and stress at work. Getting the process right and using a model based on emotional intelligenceis essential. How can even the kindest employer expect staff to thrive bypretending to be something they are not for eight hours a day? First Direct is another example of a company pursuing the right lines –abolishing scripts and measures, and letting staff be themselves at their callcentres has seen the organisation improve productivity. However, if bosses don’t have definitions in place of the customerexperience they are trying to deliver, staff at the grassroots of a companyhaven’t got a hope of delivering consistency when they come into contact withcustomers. Our research shows that more than half of the customer service trainingoffered by standard UK businesses today is based on damage limitation andplacating difficult customers, while a mere 38 per cent of employees receivetraining on stimulating positive emotions in their customers. Without this, aculture of ‘us and them’ can be created within minutes. TV advertising is driving mistrust and disappointment in 82 per cent ofcustomers, despite £4.2bn being spent on it each year. Research shows that theexperience shown on TV does not match up to the reality. Surely some of this money should be channelled into effective training toreduce that gap in expectation and create positive interaction between anorganisation’s frontline ambassadors and the customer. Spending cash onbriefing all employees on the experience the company wishes to project wouldrepresent better value for money. If you believe that customer experience is the next competitivebattleground, then you have to align the employee experience to the customerexperience. This is not about instigating ‘Big Brother’ tactics to ensure all employeesare towing the line – it is about developing people who will deliver a clearlydefined customer experience that will gain market share for their company inthe future. By Colin Shaw, founder of consultancy Beyond Philosophy Previous Article Next Article Recruit staff who understand the customer is always rightOn 26 Nov 2002 in Personnel Todaylast_img