The Customer Is Always Right! Why Choosing Candidates with Good Customer Service Skills Is Key

Happy customers are the lifeblood of the hospitality industry. Satisfied guests return repeatedly and often send their friends. Customers who feel they are not treated well also share their experience, often including negative reviews on social media – which can have an even stronger impact on your business.

Hiring people who are customer-focused and have good customer service skills can ensure that you provide the level of service your customers expect, and increase your bottom line.

What traits or talents should you look for when hiring?

  • Friendly and outgoing. Choose candidates who can engage with your customers and make them feel welcome, ensuring a positive customer experience from the moment they walk in the door until they sign the check.
  • Natural problem solver. Things go wrong every day. Hire people who listen to unhappy customers and find a solution that takes the interests of the company and the customer into consideration. Good customer service means never being argumentative, dismissive or defensive.
  • Able to think on their feet. Sometimes issues arise that are not addressed in the handbook. While rule-followers are great, finding people who can come up with creative solutions to vexing situations can pay dividends in happy (returning) customers.

How can you identify customer service skills?

  • Behavioral interviewing. Focus your interview on situational questions. Try “Tell me about a time you had to handle and unhappy customer” or “How would you help a customer whose reservation had been lost?” Use specific questions that relate to real-life customer service issues that could arise on the job.
  • Check references. It’s surprising how frequently hiring managers fail to check references when it can be so critical. Call prior employers and find out how candidates handled customers on the job, and double check credentials and experience.
  • Observe interaction. When candidates come in for interviews, sit out of site for a few minutes to observe. How do they treat the person who greets them or any other people they must interact with? The way people act when they don’t know they are being observed speaks volumes.

Customer service – good or bad – can have a significant impact on your bottom line. Horizon Hospitality can help you find the people with those good customer service skills you need for your restaurant or hotel. Contact us today for access to candidates who meet your standards and those of your customers.


One thought on “The Customer Is Always Right! Why Choosing Candidates with Good Customer Service Skills Is Key

  1. These traits to look for when evaluating a potential job candidate’s customer service skills are spot-on, Scott!

    Another useful, time-saving tool that many hospitality management companies and hotels including the Marriott and Sheraton are using to easily evaluate a candidate’s potential for providing good customer service is the Cangrade personality assessment.

    This simple yet extremely accurate and scientifically valid 10-minute online test evaluates applicants across 40 different personality traits. Based on these results, hiring managers are instantly notified which applicants have the right personality traits, skills, and potential to be successful in the role.

    Here’s some more information about the Cangrade online personality assessment:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *