More Important: Hiring or Training?

The following is content taken from John’s newly released book The Customer Service Revolution: Overthrow Conventional Business, Inspire Employees, and Change the World (January 2015 Greenleaf Books) Which became an instant best seller on Amazon.

What is more important: Hiring or training? This topic is probably the oldest and biggest debate in Customer service. What is more important: How well you hire, or the training and culture you bring your new employees into? While both are very important, 75 percent is the Customer service training and service culture of your company. Do you really think that Disney has found and hired fifty thousand amazing service-minded people? There probably aren’t fifty thousand people walking the earth who were born to serve. Companies like Disney find good people and put them in such a strong service and training environment that doesn’t allow for or accept anything less than excellence. One of my favorite lines is, ‘that Walt Disney World organization doesn’t put their people in Disney, they put Disney in their people.’

Attitude wars – In a blog post titled “The Truth About the War for Talent,” author Seth Godin writes about how HR departments like to talk about engaging in a war for talent; however, it is really about finding good enough people at an acceptable rate of pay. What I like to call “reactively hiring anyone,” or “hiring anyone with a pulse.” Godin points out it shouldn’t be a search for talent-but rather a search for attitude:

There are a few jobs where straight up skills are all we ask for . . . What actually separates winners from losers isn’t talent, it’s attitude. And yes, we ought to be having a war for attitude . . . The best news is that attitude is a choice, and it’s available to all. You can probably win the war for attitude with the people you’ve already got.

The C in Customer – In the book At Your Service, author Frank Eliason discusses the importance of capitalizing the letter C in Customer. Eliason explains how every word you communicate is important. Words, and the way that they are presented, tend to play an important role in setting the tone. So he started to capitalize Customer to demonstrate their significance in the success of the organization.I love this concept. It shows fanatical attention being placed on the Customer. I agree and think any organization that wants to deliver world-class Customer service needs to have that kind of attention to detail. Anywhere in your terminology, manuals, websites, advertising, or on social media, you should capitalize the word “Customer.”

Dave’s Corner
the following is written by Dave Murray,
Senior Customer Experience Consultant 

The First 90 Days – One of the great things about my job is that fact that I get to work with so many great companies across multiple industries.  Part of our consulting methodology is to focus on the employee experience (Commandment II, World Class Internal Culture).  Turnover is always an issue, especially with clients of ours that have multiple retail locations, and are hiring a large number of front-line employees.  One thing I have found is that the first 90 days of an employees’ experience with any organization is absolutely crucial when it comes to turnover.  I hear over and over “if we can keep them 90 days, we will have them at least for one year”, or statistics like “40% of our turnover is within 30 days, and another 40% is within 90 days”.

The interesting thing is that this turnover is happening for different reasons within this time frame.  In some cases, we hear in exit interviews “my manager did not care about me”.  Sometimes we hear “my experience was noting like they said it would be in orientation”. The truth is, everything that takes place within the time frame is vital to lowering turnover.  Whether it is helping to ensure the manager/employee relationship is consistently strong, or not overselling the experience at the home office.  Mapping the employee experience is equally important (in my opinion, more important) as mapping our Customer’s experience.  Learn more here.

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About The Author

Dave Murray

Dave is the Senior Customer Experience Consultant for The DiJulius Group and has helped dozens of companies create incredible systems that allow them to consistently deliver superior customer service. Dave’s experience has varied from leading call centers and front-line team members, to working closely with key partners and stakeholders.

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