Personality makes much more of an impact on customer satisfaction than most people realize. While we all are focused on the best way to welcome customers into our businesses, the tones that we set, we often fail to capitalize on the main strength of the people we hire – their unique personalities.
Yesterday I was making a payment on some physical therapy I had to help me get through my last 1/2 marathon. While I’m not in favor of human cloning, the woman who helped me yesterday would be the ideal customer relations representative that all companies wish they could clone.
Right off the bat, she greeted me in a very friendly, yet professional manner. While we were discussing the medical insurance glitch that prompted my original phone call, she started asking questions about the progress of my therapy and training. She asked how long I had been running, how I liked it, and told me how envious she was because of her knee issues that prevented her from running.
She then answered my questions about the bill, assured me that she would personally contact the insurance carrier and provide them with the necessary information.
But here is the piece that really grabbed me. Here are her exact words that she used to close the call…
“Well, it looks like we have everything taken care of now. Please let me know when you get your statement from the insurance carrier. If there are any discrepancies, I’d like to follow up on it myself. Besides, I really enjoyed helping you today. This was not just a billing conversation, but felt more like a chit chat with a friend. Please ask for me next time you need any help.”
I’ve never had a billing clerk treat me so kindly. I then let her know that I’m a consultant for customer service and satisfaction and that I was truly impressed with the way she handled my call. She thanked me and let me know that I just made her day with the compliment. Her last call was with a disgruntled patient who treated her very poorly and took all of his frustrations out on her. She said while that is expected sometimes and part of her job, it get taxing over time and is hard to shake off for the next unsuspecting caller.
I was amazed that she had experienced such a poor call just previous to me calling her. I never would have suspected that. Her personality was the defining factor there. It was in her nature to help and in her nature to connect with the people she was helping every day.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to pay attention to the personalities of the people you hire into your business. You must hire the smile, then train the skill. The “Nice” factor isn’t something that you can, or should, train for. Hire the people who are helpers by nature. They’ll engage with your customers far more successfully than those that may be more skilled or educated.
I’d love to know what personality traits you’ve found your successful or most engaging team members to have and how your customers have benefited because of them.