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Don't Hire A Grump To Deliver Great Customer Service

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How often have you had to endure the ordeal of being served by a grump? It's the wrong person in the wrong job. It makes one wonder how that person got hired for that job, who trained them, and whether the company really cares about having happy customers. We've all heard people exclaim clichés about "exceeding customer expectations" and being "customer-centric" but in reality, those statements are often just disappointing window dressing for "business as usual," especially when they employ a grump to be of service to their customers.

In order for a company to deliver on these promises in its customer service programs, it has to invest in the systemization of the delivery of its products and services, establish policies that reflect the ethos of serving the customer, properly train the people who work with the customers, and maintain the culture of being customer-centric for the long term. Exemplary customer service is not just the "project of the month." It is a long term commitment and it starts having policies and culture in place that reflect the mantra of delivering outstanding customer service and by not hiring grumps to work with customers.

Please realize that I am not discriminating against grumps. There are many places where grumps are very valued employees, they are usually great at quality control and highly technical positions, just not in positions where they have to deal with demanding customers.

While there are sophisticated assessment tools that can be used in the hiring process, the person(s) who interview prospective candidates should also be using some common sense when assessing the qualities of the person interviewing for the job. I call it a "grump elimination test."

Is the candidate positive or negative about their life, their previous work experience, and their education? Does the candidate smile easily or is it a fake attempt to appear friendly and helpful?

Is this a person you would like to help your customers? If they don't pass the "grump elimination test" don't hire them for sales or customer service positions as the consequences are that you will take happy customers and turn them into grumpy customers, finally into ex-customers... and that will certainly make a grump out of you.

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