Last week’s post about customer service reminded me about a very simple way in which we decide if a person applying for a Customer Service role should have a trial shift. We ask ourselves, Do they smile a lot? Not, do they answer the question, do you like people? with “Oh yes, I love people and love making them happy!” but rather, do they ACTUALLY smile a lot right in the interview.
CAN’T TEACH A NEW TRICK…
This may seem really fatuous and silly- like, really, there are more serious things to be done than smile…but we have found that you can teach all those serious things and you cannot teach a person to smile. Later after they have been there awhile and are never very friendly to customers, you can try to coach them and say stuff like, “Please have fun and relax and smile”…and the person will reply, “Oh for sure, no problem, I really like it here and I’m having a lot of fun”. But they still don’t loosen up and smile.
So I guess what I am saying is that if you want to have a customer service team that genuinely welcomes people into the store and makes them feel great, then you need to hire people who smile so naturally that it is just their go-to expression.
AND MAYBE NOT JUST FOR CUPCAKES
The interesting thing is that I have a friend who is in the serious business of wealth management where professionals absolutely must know about a whole lot of financial and technical stuff just to get by. And yet Joe’s philosophy even in that rarefied space is that if the world is divided into smilers and non smilers, he wants to hire people onto his high-powered team who smile. Maybe there is more to this smiling thing than we realize!