Listened to a great IdeaCast by Harvard Business Review yesterday and wanted to give you the location and introduction here.
It is an interview with Frances Frei and Anne Morriss, authors of Uncommon Service: How to Win by Putting Customers at the Core of Your Business.
They researched and found that the people who most wanted great customer service to happen at companies were the ones who were causing the bad service. They found that was broadly true in company after company.
Thus, they write the book. They say that because they really wanted great customer service they started to write these very ideal or aspirational job descriptions that virtually no one could accomplish and certainly not when in a bad mood.
This matches what I have seen. No one sets out to have bad customer service but their system and methods insure it.
The authors recommend as I do that you simplify job requirements so that anyone could do it even on an off day. They recommend job descriptions that humans can live up to regularly. I so agree.
Only false people can appear to meet the ideal job description, and they will certainly hurt the customer by their falseness over time. The system and the job design are the cause of a lot of bad customer service.
And further, in China, you push too hard and all the resumes and are false and everyone learns how to interview. You need to hire teachable imperfect people. Those can be found and are good hires that really team with others. The perfect people only team to cover up their weakness.
Simplify and job design so humans can do the job and you will find success comes and especially in customer service.