Have employees that understand the customer.

The best customer service companies hire employees that understand their customers. And by understand the customer, I mean, the employees they hire are able to relate to the customers. Employees that are passionate about what the company does and whatever the customers do are extremely valuable.

For example, bookstores hiring people that are passionate about books. Music stores hiring people that are passionate about music. The Apple Store hires people that are passionate about Apple products. The result? Employees that are knowledgeable from day one and that love what they do (the Apple Store is not the best paying retail job out there, yet there are plenty of people who want to work there and get turned away). Companies that work with the customers over the Internet can do this, too. If you cater to web designers, try to find former web designers to work in your support department. If you cater to florists, have people that are familiar with flowers and how florists work in your customer service department.

The concept is extremely simple and logical when you think it through, but it’s still incredibly useful. Companies should ask their most passionate and dedicated customers if they want jobs. If they are in your store all the time and seem to be answering other people’s questions or if they are always posting on your forums with useful solutions, thank them first and if it’s appropriate, offer them a job.

The people that “get” your company and what you do are the people you should have working for you. If someone is willing to do some work for free and do a pretty good job, imagine how well they would do if you gave them formal training and formalized their commitment.

4 Responses to “Have employees that understand the customer.”

  1. Glenn said:

    Sep 04, 08 at 9:08 pm

    Very good post. Here’s my attempt to expand the discussion.
    http://tinyurl.com/5mfwkw

  2. Service Untitled said:

    Sep 04, 08 at 11:05 pm

    Thanks for the great post, Glenn!

  3. Maria Palma said:

    Sep 05, 08 at 4:37 pm

    As I told Glenn on his post, it’s about passion! When your employees are passionate about what they’re doing, they’re excited and willing to help the customer. They don’t look at it as “work”. And when your employees are passionate, your customers will come back – guaranteed!

  4. Service Untitled said:

    Sep 06, 08 at 12:13 pm

    Maria,

    Passion is definitely important and certainly make a difference. Without it, employees are a lot less likely to try their hardest.