In my 22 years in the training and speaking business, I’ve presented A LOT of customer service and customer communication programs. In these programs, I teach many different skills that enhance the customer experience and make the customer service provider’s job easier and less stressful. However, before I take a customer service “gig” I always ask about service attitude- because no matter how many communication skills I can share with the participants, that is the one thing that can’t be taught.
Attitude is not behavior, it’s the THINKING that creates behavior. Oftentimes, the thinking is deep rooted and it’s not likely to change easily. A customer service program can’t fix an employee who thinks that customers are getting in the way of his work, instead of thinking that the customer is the REASON he has a job in the first place. Nothing I share with such an employee will actually be implemented because his attitude will get in the way.
This week, take a look at your hiring processes, especially the questions you ask in your interviews. Are you asking questions that assess whether your prospects have an attitude of service, or are you just asking about their skills and experience? If the latter, it’s time to change up your interviewing process and questions. Remember- skills can be taught, attitude cannot.