If you are considering bringing on a new team member, vendor, or independent contractor who will interact with your customers, you need to look for some fundamental characteristics and skills. All too often, businesses look only at the technical acumen of a potential hire and pay no attention to whether or not that person has a customer service mindset.
This is a huge mistake.
As you prepare for an interview process, there are some questions you need to ask to figure out whether or not an interviewee really has a customer service mindset. After all, that person will not only be serving your external customers, often, they will be serving your internal customers and other team members as well.
How do you figure out whether or not someone has a customer service mindset in an interview? By including three to five behavioral based interview questions that really hone in on a person’s philosophy about serving others.
Here are a few questions to consider:“
- Tell me about a time when you interacted with another individual and the outcome of that interaction was so positive that the other individual couldn’t stop raving about it”
- “Tell me about a situation that did not turn out the way you planned and how you handled it.”
- “If you are the only person in the office, and a customer contacts you about something you are not completely familiar with, how would you handle that?”
These simple questions can help you understand how a potential team member will interact with others.
- Will they be kind?
- Will they be patient?
- Will they go above and beyond to serve another person?
Remember, most customers do not care who they are dealing with as long as they are getting what they want or need. At the end of the day, your customers and your team members just want someone to solve their problems.
When you’re dealing with others, you can generally tell when a person feels good about an interaction. A person’s tone of voice, expressions, and even posture will convey a friendly and upbeat disposition when you are doing well at helping someone.
Conversely it is also not usually difficult to tell when an interaction does not go well. A person will often sound agitated, involuntarily grimace, and cross arms in a closed-off posture.
Imagine if everyone on your team woke up with this mindset: “I want people to call me. I want to solve their problems because I love customer service and I love serving others!” These are the types of folks you want to find through the interview process.
Of course you need to look for people who have the skills to do the basics of a job, but they also need to have a passion for serving others.
Imagine a customer contacts your company. Will your team member have the customer service mindset to ask that customer, “What can I do next time to make this interaction an even better experience for you?” Or, “Is there anything I could have done to make this a better experience for you?”
Then, the team member simply needs to make a note of the response. And the note doesn’t have to be fancy or formal. It could be on a post-it note, a napkin, or a paper towel. It doesn’t matter! Just making a note of what could have been differently leads to process improvement!
By asking these types of questions, it helps uncover issues you may not even be aware of.
Remember, customer service begins with your mindset and the mindset of those with whom you choose to partner.