The Belding Group did some research back in the 2000’sto try and define the common characteristics of people who seemed to just naturally excel at customer service. The results, interestingly, came back in three broad categories. Basically, what we found was that high performing service providers
Three Traits of High Performing Customer Service People:
1. Are able to connect and build relationships quickly
2. Have a high degree of integrity; and
3. Are focused more on their customers’ needs than their own needs
To put this into the customer’s perspective, it seems that we will consider people as being strong at customer service if, a) We like them, b) We trust them, and c) They care about us. Makes sense, when you think about it.
And when you think even more about it, customer service performance really all boils down to one thing:
What does it take to build relationships? A willingness to focus on other people. As Dale Carnegie once said, “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
Why do people lie, or not live up to their word? Because they are don’t care about the consequences of their actions on other people. Why is it that some people seem completely unwilling to do more than the absolute bare minimum for customers? Because they are more focused on the effort involved than on the payoff to the customer.
Selflessness is a powerful, and somewhat rare character trait. Can you look for it while hiring?
Yes, but it’s tricky. Can you develop it through customer service training, coaching or mentoring? As it turns out, the answer is yes here as well – but it requires relentlessness, and a willingness on he part of the individual to change.