Stellar performers start in the interview

When I encounter excellent employees I wonder if they were that way when hired or if the company trained them to be that way. I’ve decided that it is a lot of the former, with refinements coming through the latter.

These last few weeks I’ve encountered excellent employees where I didn’t expect them. I’ll admit my bias — when I visited four rockeries to choose stone for my new patio, I didn’t expect to be treated to excellent service. My project is small compared to the many big projects the rockery employees deal with every day. Yet to a person, from the counter help to the yard men, each person was friendly, attentive, helpful, and treated my basic questions with respect.

Do rockeries have some outstanding employee recognition program? Superb management? Stellar customer service training programs? I seriously doubt they have any of the above. However, they are certainly doing something right, at least from this customer’s perspective.

I’d guess it has something to do with management hiring people who will fit and weeding out those who don’t. Also, since the inside staff work closely together, if someone is rude or out of line, I’d guess peers and management would say something quickly.

Could they be even better with a little help? Of course, we can all improve. But if you haven’t hired people with a helpful, team- and customer-oriented attitude, no amount of training in the world will make them better because they aren’t open to change.

If you’d like to read more on creating a positive environment for customer excellence, read the excerpt from Calming Upset CustomersManagers’ Guidelines for Creating Customer Satisfaction.”

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