We are back again to share insights from IT on how we help deliver a great customer experience. In February, we discussed the notion of “Flexibility.” Today we’re going to dig into our “Customer-Focused Hiring Approach.”
It may sound counter-intuitive but customer service is the most important element in our IT hiring process. In coworking, the team needs strong, technical people on the back end that can provision networks and work on detailed infrastructure problems. Thus we had to recalibrate how we evaluate potential candidates. While the best person might be great in an in-house environment, they might not be great ‘out of the cave’ dealing with customers.
You can train the knowledge component if people have the intellectual capacity. In a coworking setting, the technical team will spend a majority of time teaching people how to help themselves. That is a relational skill.
When hiring, we look for customer service skills. Can the applicant apply a Nordstrom-level of service consistently? A clear signal for this skill is responsiveness. The prospective employee’s responsiveness in the hiring process provides a clear indicator to his or her responsive ability to client problems.
When a client has an issue, the IT team should be able to answer it at that moment. If the team can’t find the answer, it should be immediately putting a timeline together for providing a satisfactory response. The IT team can avoid dissatisfaction simply by responding quickly, honestly, and earnestly, trying to do your very best to solve the problem, even if that means saying “I don’t know” (then quickly discovering a solution for the client).
We also look for the skill of empathy. Most often, the problems to which IT responds will be easy fixes. An applicant’s ability to get in the shoes of the client, to understand the particular levels of stress involved with a client’s daily work might make even simple IT problems burdening. If the prospective employee has a high degree of emotional intelligence, he or she will be able to respond and navigate problems in a way that brings encouragement and energy to the client, rather than frustration.