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6 Crucial Behaviors For Customer Facing Employees V2

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  • 1. Expert Insights Six Crucial Behaviors for Customer-Facing Employees www.profilesinternational.com ©2009 Profiles International, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 2. Six Crucial Behaviors for Customer-Facing Employees. Copyright 2009 by Profiles International. Printed and bound in the United States of America. All rights reserved. No part of the report may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems without written permission from the publisher. Publisher Profiles Research Institute Dario Priolo, Managing Director 5205 Lake Shore Drive Waco, Texas 76710-1732 Profiles International (800) 960-9612 www profilesinternational com Acknowledgements CEO, Co-founder, Profiles International: Jim Sirbasku President, Co-founder, Profiles International: Bud Haney Editor-in-Chief: Dario Priolo Managing Editor: Carrie D. Martinez Assistant Editor: Natalie Hefner Creative Director: Kelley Taylor Graphics Assistant: Ruben Vera www.profilesinternational.com Six Crucial Behaviors for Customer-Facing Employees | 2 ©2009 Profiles International, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 3. You can’t afford not to build customer loyalty. In both good times and bad the lifetime value of a customer can be exponentially greater than the value of a series of single transactions from one-time customers. In this era of social networking, it only takes one Tweet or Facebook status update to seriously damage a company’s reputation. One bad customer experience can cost you that customer for life. Hospitality, travel, retail, healthcare, and financial services are especially prone to losing customers who have a negative experience. Think about these situations from the perspective of a customer. It doesn’t take much for a customer to decide that you and your company aren’t worth his time, effort, or money. Profiles International found that assessing core personality traits combined with a standardized set of skill measures provides clear indicators of probable success in a customer-facing role. In 1987 Profiles developed the Customer Service Knowledge Scale “ for the largest cable television provider in the US to successfully identify ideal job candidates for call centers, customer service departments, help-desks and technical representatives. This research has been continually refined over the past 22 years, with thousands of clients and across hundreds if industries. This report identifies and explains the core behaviors of your customer-facing employees that make the biggest difference Two-thirds of business from for your business. They are: existing accounts and one-third 1. Trust from new accounts is the 2. Tact common balance. 3. Empathy ” 4. Conformity 5. Focus 6. Flexibility www.profilesinternational.com Six Crucial Behaviors for Customer-Facing Employees | 3 ©2009 Profiles International, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 4. Six Crucial Behaviors for Customer-Facing Employees 1. Trust Trusting individuals tend to believe that the motives of others are honorable. It’s easy for your people to become defensive when they’re presented with problems, especially when it seems that the person presenting the problem has a hidden agenda. For example, a hotel employee might be cynical about a guest who calls to complain about his room and demands an upgrade to an executive suite. Is this a real problem? Is this a high- maintenance guest who feels entitled to only the best? Or is this person a freeloader? This cynicism is a normal reaction, but a particularly untrusting employee will focus on the validity of the problem rather than a solution that is amenable to all parties involved. • People with low levels of trust are often described as wary, vigilant, or skeptical. • Those with high levels of trust are often described as unquestioning, uncritical, or optimistic. The optimal degree of trustworthiness depends on your business, but naiveté is never optimal. For example, an IRS agent will probably be less trusting than the front desk clerk of a Ritz-Carlton hotel. But you jeopardize your chance to build long-term, loyal customers if you assume from the outset that their motives are not honorable. Did you know? Profiles International’s Customer Service Profile assessment provides insight into six behavioral characteristics including trust to predict successful job fit. The CSP is available in a general assessment as well as 4 different industry styles - hospitality, health care, financial services and retail. www.profilesinternational.com Six Crucial Behaviors for Customer-Facing Employees | 4 ©2009 Profiles International, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 5. Six Crucial Behaviors for Customer-Facing Employees 2. Tact How you say something to a customer can be just as important as what you say Your customers don’t know what they don’t know, and they may make incorrect assumptions about what they need or how something works. They also don’t want to feel stupid and will likely be offended if your customer-facing people make a big deal about their incorrect assumptions. This is common in technology and healthcare fields that may require specialized technical knowledge. • Tactful people tend to state their positions without offending others and are often described as discreet, diplomatic or restrained. • Less tactful people are often described as direct, obvious or forthright. The bottom line is that how you say something to a customer can be just as important as what you say, especially in an emotionally charged situation. Did you know? The best way to know about your customer experience is to ask them. Profiles International helps organizations measure customer loyalty as determined through the voice of the customer. Loyalty is a leading indicator that predicts the “staying power” of an account. LoyaltyPro offers you a tool to gather ongoing, critical account intelligence allowing you to continually improve customer relationships and build a network of loyal customers. www.profilesinternational.com Six Crucial Behaviors for Customer-Facing Employees | 5 ©2009 Profiles International, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 6. Six Crucial Behaviors for Customer-Facing Employees 3. Empathy Customers need to feel that someone cares about their experience Customers like to feel loved, and they get turned off very quickly when they sense that you don’t care about the pain they’re feeling. Even if you can’t help them because the situation is beyond your control, acknowledge that you understand both the situation and their frustration. • People with high levels of empathy tend to understand others’ feelings and are often described as understanding, compassionate or sensitive. • People with low levels of empathy are often described as detached, indifferent or distant. A good example is a delayed flight caused by inclement weather. Even though the airline is not technically at fault, travelers appreciate it when the airline employees demonstrate that they care and take reasonable measures to offer guidance or rebook the flight. On the other hand, if travelers feel that no one from the airline cares about the predicament, they will be even more upset and the bad memories will linger even longer. Did you know? While empathy can be learned, some people have greater natural empathy tendencies than others. The Customer Service Profile gives you clear objective data showing a person’s empathy levels along with other core behaviors essential to your customer service success. www.profilesinternational.com Six Crucial Behaviors for Customer-Facing Employees | 6 ©2009 Profiles International, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 7. Six Crucial Behaviors for Customer-Facing Employees 4. Conformity The optimal degree of conformity for your customer-facing people really depends on your business. The optimal degree of conformity for your customer-facing people really depends on your business. The key is understanding your customers’ objectives and expectations, and then aligning your people with your customers. The Ritz-Carlton is famous for empowering its frontline people to make good decisions that allow them to deliver exceptional experiences for customers. This is probably a good thing given their ultra-luxury market segment. • People with high levels of conformity have a strong tendency to comply with the rules and with those in authority. They are often described as traditional, compliant or conventional. • People with low levels of conformity are often described as inventive, free-spirited or independent. Some positions also require high conformity due to legal, regulatory and safety requirements. In this case, it is best to balance the need to conform with high empathy and tact since it is unlikely that the service provider will be able to bend the rules. Your customer-facing people should be aware of the stress this places on the customer, and they should let the customer know that they feel his or her pain. www.profilesinternational.com Six Crucial Behaviors for Customer-Facing Employees | 7 ©2009 Profiles International, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 8. Six Crucial Behaviors for Customer-Facing Employees 5. Focus Customer service is about relentless focus Obviously, no customer wants the person serving her to be distracted or preoccupied. Ever go to the local mall and try to get help from a teenager focused more on texting her friends than helping you find what you’re looking for? On the other hand, being too focused can be a bad thing. Have you ever asked an innocent question out of curiosity and then found yourself stuck for an eternity while a customer support person hunts endlessly for an answer? This person is likely so focused on getting the answer that he doesn’t realize that you really don’t care that much about it and would rather not wait for an answer to an inessential question. Be sure your people understand the degree of focus required for the job. • Highly focused people tend to stay on task regardless of distractions, and they are often described as attentive, purposeful or efficient. • People with little ability to focus are often described as distractible, preoccupied or inefficient. They may have a hard time working in an environment with many distractions such as a bullpen-type call center. “ “ Because a world-class customer-service experience is the foundation of any successful operation, relentless focus on customer service predetermines the ultimate success of any operation. If the focus on customer service is lost, then employees begin to believe that the organization isn’t really committed to its customer-service goals or any of its other programs, initiatives, or strategies. –Business Week.com, January 2009 www.profilesinternational.com Six Crucial Behaviors for Customer-Facing Employees | 8 ©2009 Profiles International, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 9. Six Crucial Behaviors for Customer-Facing Employees 6. Flexibility Companies that provide the best service think in terms of the customer, and this requires employee willingness and flexibility. Highly flexible people can be creative problem solvers, but they risk becoming bored if the problems they are trying to solve are routine or repetitious. They may also try to overcomplicate simple issues just so they can add variety to their assignments. On the other hand, It’s easy to assume that your customer-facing employees should be flexible in order to accommodate customer needs, but this isn’t always the case. Less flexible people often prefer routine or repetitious tasks that change little over time. New methods or routines can overwhelm them. They are often better suited for customer interactions that involve routine tasks with clearly defined rules and procedures. • Less flexible people are often described as uncompromising, rigid or cautious. • Highly flexible people tend to explore new approaches to doing things, and they are often described as adaptable, accepting and open-minded. The key here is to match the core behaviors of the individual to the actual job that he will be performing. Using the Customer Service Profile to determine which behaviors and strengths are most in line with your organizations customer service initiatives increases the likelihood of success for your customer service employees and your organization. www.profilesinternational.com Six Crucial Behaviors for Customer-Facing Employees | 9 ©2009 Profiles International, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 10. The customer’s experience influences customer’s loyalty Skills can be learned by employees willing to put forth the effort, but our personalities and core behaviors are difficult to change. That’s why we encourage our clients to carefully consider how well an employee’s core behaviors fit with the actual job he or she will be performing. 1. Understand your people and replicate your top performers. • Identify those who excel in their role and then use assessments to find out what makes them tick • Create a model against which you can match potential employees interested in the same job • Gain insight as to where employees may be at risk • Offer specific coaching tips and development suggestions It is also important to survey your customers to learn first-hand how committed they are and how you can build customer loyalty. Having insight into your customer’s perception of your relationship allows you to steer strategic business efforts and initiatives of the account team. 2. Understand your customers and their level of commitment by using LoyaltyPro to: • Capture the Voice of the Customer • Provide a holistic view of the account by measuring all management levels and across all functions “ • Provide reporting and analysis capability that enables you to view, sort and Start with good people who are right “ analyze account data and trends for the job; train and motivate them; • Influence strategic account plans enabling you to proactively manage gaps in give them opportunity for advancement; client’s expectations and your organization will succeed. • Identify revenue opportunities and grow accounts –J.W. Marriott • Provide an insight into competitive position www.profilesinternational.com Six Crucial Behaviors for Customer-Facing Employees | 10 ©2009 Profiles International, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 11. Summary: Six Crucial Behaviors for Customer-Facing Employees Even if the employee has the right skill set and experience, his odds of being successful and remaining on the job are low if his core behaviors and tendencies do not line up with those needed for success in that particular role. This is especially true for customer-facing roles in which your frontline employees act as extensions of your brand and heavily influence the customer experience. These are the core behaviors of your customer-facing employees people that make the biggest difference for your business. Need to improve your customer loyalty? Profiles International has 1. Trust – trusting individuals tend to believe that the motives of others are honorable. helped thousands of organizations 2. Tact – tactful people tend to state their positions without offending others and are often retain customers, build extreme seen as discreet and diplomatic. Loyalty and generate more predictable 3. Empathy – people with high levels of empathy tend to understand the feelings of others revenue streams. and convey understanding and compassion. 4. Conformity – people will high levels of conformity have a strong tendency to comply with Contact us at 1.800.960.9612 to the rules and those in authority. speak with an assessment expert who 5. Focus – highly focused people tend to stay on task regardless of distractions and are often will show you how put these powerful attentive and purposeful with customers. tools to work in your organization. 6. Flexibility – people who are highly flexible tend to explore new approaches to doing things and are seen as adaptable, accepting and open-minded. www.profilesinternational.com Six Crucial Behaviors for Customer-Facing Employees | 11 ©2009 Profiles International, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 12. Profiles International – Who We Are Profiles International helps organizations worldwide create high-performing workforces. Through our comprehensive employment assessments and innovative talent management solutions, our clients gain a competitive advantage by selecting the right people and managing them to their full potential. Where We Are Profiles serves 122 countries around the globe and has material in 32 languages. Contact Us Profiles International www.profilesinternational.com (800) 960-9612 ©2009 Profiles International, Inc. All rights reserved. Six Crucial Behaviors for Customer-Facing Employees | 12
  • 13. Six Crucial Behaviors for Customer-Facing Employees Products of Interest Customer Service Profile™ (CSP) The Customer Service Profile (CSP) measures how well a person fits specific customer service jobs in your organization. It is used primarily for selecting, on-boarding, and managing customer service employees. The CSP also looks at what your current and future employees believe is a high-level of customer service, while at the same time showing where they align (or not) with the company’s perspective. We have a general industry version of this assessment as well as vertical specialties in hospitality, health care, financial services, and retail. Profiles Performance Indicator™ (PPI) The Profiles Performance Indicator (PPI) is a DISC-type assessment that reveals aspects of an individual's personality that could impact his fit with his manager, coworkers and team, and his job performance. It is used primarily for motivating and coaching employees, and resolving conflict and performance issues post hire. The PPI specifically measures an individual's motivational intensity and behaviors related to productivity, quality orientation, initiative, teamwork, and problem solving, as well as responses to conflict, stress and change. The output from this assessment serves as an "operator's manual" for an employee, and helps managers better motivate, coach, and communicate with the employee. It also helps to predict and minimize conflict among co-workers, and provides crucial information to improve team selection and performance. www.profilesinternational.com Six Crucial Behaviors for Customer-Facing Employees | 13 ©2009 Profiles International, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 14. Six Crucial Behaviors for Customer-Facing Employees Products of Interest Profiles Loyalty Pro™ (PLP) Profiles LoyaltyPro™ is a web-based customer loyalty surveying tool. Loyalty, as determined through the “voice of the customer”, is a leading indicator that predicts the “staying power” of an account. Profiles LoyaltyPro™ offers companies a tool to gather ongoing, critical account intelligence that helps to assess the relationship between the buyer and the supplier, ultimately driving the action plan to improve customer service. Having insight into your customer’s perception of your relationship allows you to steer the strategic business efforts and initiatives of the account management teams to continually improve customer relationships and build a network of loyal customers. Profiles Sales Assessment™ (PSA) The Profiles Sales Assessment (PSA) measures how well a person fits specific sales jobs in your organization. It is used primarily for selecting, on-boarding and managing sales people and account managers. The “job matching” feature of the PSA is unique, and can be customized by company, sales position, department, manager, geography, or any combination of these factors. This enables you to evaluate an individual relative to the qualities required to perform successfully in a specific sales job in your organization. The PSA also indentifies people who have the five qualities that make salespeople successful: Competitiveness, Self-reliance, Persistence, Energy, and Sales Drive. It also predicts on-the-job performance in seven critical sales behaviors: Prospecting, Closing Sales, Call Reluctance, Self- starting, Teamwork, Building and Maintaining Relationships, and Compensation Preference. www.profilesinternational.com Six Crucial Behaviors for Customer-Facing Employees | 14 ©2009 Profiles International, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 15. Profiles International – Who We Are Profiles International helps organizations worldwide create high-performing workforces. Through our comprehensive employment assessments and innovative talent management solutions, our clients gain a competitive advantage by selecting the right people and managing them to their full potential. Where We Are Profiles serves 122 countries around the globe and has material in 32 languages. Contact Us Profiles International www.profilesinternational.com (800) 960-9612 www.profilesinternational.com ©2009 Profiles International, Inc. All rights reserved. Six Crucial Behaviors for Customer-Facing Employees | 15 ©2009 Profiles International, Inc. All rights reserved.

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