According to Salesforce, "Customer service is the support you offer your customers—both before and after they buy and use your products or services—that helps them have an easy and enjoyable experience with you."
There are many ways to improve customer service, but one thing is for sure: it begins with hiring.
Following are four hiring tips to keep in mind if you want to have effective team members who provide exceptional customer service to your guests.
Filling your open staff spots is great, but filling them with individuals who could potentially harm the reputation of your business with their less than stellar attitude and poor performance? Not so great.
That's why it's up to you, as the owner or manager of your facility, to take the interview process seriously when hiring. Ask your candidates questions that get to the heart of who they are, what kind of work ethic they have, and how much they value customer experience.
The best way to get the answers you're looking for is to ask open-ended questions—questions that aren't simply answered with 'yes' or 'no'—, such as:
The answers you receive from these kinds of questions will help you determine who's a good fit for your team.
You may have heard the phrase, "Get the right people on the bus." Jim Collins shares more about this in his book, Good to Great. He emphasizes that it is crucial to continuously ask "First Who, Then What?" Meaning, start with hiring the right people, then get them in the right seat.
When you think about the staff you hired, think about who first. Do you have the right people? Do they fit with your vision? Are they positive, service-first folks?
Tonya Barnett, a Customer Success Manager here at Party Center Software, notes that demeanor, body language, and behavior makes all the difference when it comes to servicing customers.
"Attitude is everything! If an employee comes in joyful and ready to serve, it means a lot to a family. How a customer is treated from the moment they walk through the door really adds to a birthday party or an experience. If a staff member has a bad attitude or they're not friendly, it's just going to irritate a mom who is already stressed out. The attitude of a single staff member can really make or break a party or an entire experience."
If you currently have people on your team who aren't giving the best example of customer service or who aren't fitting with your vision, it's time to take stock.
Assess who doesn't fit and what characteristics they possess that's causing them not to fit. Are they coach-able? If not, it might be time to open the bus door and let them off.
Remember: every person that works in your facility is a reflection of your facility. If a customer has a poor experience with one employee, it causes them to form a negative opinion about your business as a whole.
The best way to get all staff members on the same page when
on-boarding new staff is to hold mandatory training.
Whether you host a training internally through the leadership
of senior staff members or invest in outside employee training,
it's important to communicate to your team what your
Plus, these training sessions don't have to just be for new employees. Seasoned staff members can always benefit from refresher courses, and it's an opportunity for everyone to meet and get to know each other a little.
Allow your staff to have a voice by letting them provide feedback and questions. However, be sure to communicate what your non-negotiable standards are, especially when it comes to operational tasks and customer service.
This way, everyone can move forward with a clear directive.
Even if you've followed the previous three hiring tips outlined
above perfectly, you'll soon realize (if you haven't already)...
no one is perfect.
If you happen to see an employee—especially newly-hired ones—who could use guidance in a particular area, it's important to let them know so they have the opportunity to improve.
It's equally as important to be mindful of your delivery of that information. Be sure to take them aside—don't make a bad example out of them in front of other staff members. Coaching in this manner shows your employees you respect them and care about their professional growth, making them much more motivated to stick around and continually become better.Additionally, make it a point to recognize those you see displaying exemplary behavior, such as going out of their way to provide a guest outstanding customer service. However in this situation, you CAN do it in front of the staff—in fact, it's encouraged.
Create some kind of achievement award, such as "Employee of the Month," to show the team you notice their hard work and appreciate them for it. A little praise goes a long way.
By following the four hiring tips outlined in this article, you'll be well on your way to having a stellar group of employees who are committed to providing the best customer service to each and every guest.
If you enjoyed this article, you'll be happy to know that parts of it have been taken from our complimentary resource,The PCS Guide to Serving Customers: Why It Matters & How a Service-First Approach Will Keep Customers Coming Back.
Download your copy now to continue learning more about how you can provide the best customer service to your guests!