It is important to deliver good customer service. Would anyone disagree with that statement? In fact, it is probably emphasized within contact centers, retail stores and various office environments on a daily basis.
“Good customer service” can be defined in many different ways, but most people would probably say its common definition is having respect for the customer. This includes being courteous, helpful, interested and polite. It’s pretty easily defined because it is what we want when we are customers.
And what happens when we, as customers, don’t get the service we expect? Often, we quietly walk away and vow never to return.
What about customers we come in contact with on a daily basis that are not easily recognized as customers, such as potential employees within human resource interview situations? Because everyone is a potential customer, it’s important to put customer service skills to work during the interview process.
There is a goal in the hiring process: find the best person for the job. In pursuit of that goal there may be many people that just are not the right “fit” for the position. For these people, it is important to remember that they may not become an employee, yet they may still be a customer. How they are treated throughout the interview process, even if they are turned down – require the same customer service skills that we use with external customers.
Here are a few tips for scheduling interviews and following-up:
- Be sure candidates know how to get to your organization and give them any information they need for unique circumstances like parking, signing-in, etc.
- Give the candidate’s name to the receptionist so they know you are expecting them. Remember, there is never a second chance to make a good first impression. Imagine how good a candidate will feel if the receptionist says, “Good morning Mr. Baker. Welcome to ABC, Inc. Ms. Taylor is expecting you.”
- And finally, when it’s time to notify candidates who weren’t selected, take care to make a positive lasting impression. Call them by the end of the week or drop them a note if you said you would. Take their calls when they call for an update on the hiring decision and don’t put them off.
Whether hired or not, when they finally walk out the door armed with knowledge about your company, they can use it for good or evil. These folks are potential customers not just potential employees. And if we want the opportunity to have their business in the future, it’s important to treat them with respect from the very beginning. So practice good customer service skills in Human Resources: you may create some new loyal customers!
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