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Sam Stern at Forrester ResearchEmployee Hiring has some great ideas about hiring customer-centric employees.

We know how important it is to get the right people on board, and keeping them passionate about creating amazing experiences for the customer is so critical.

Engaged employees create engaged customers.

Here are a couple of Sam’s ideas.

  • Get Customer-Centric Applicants Into The Hiring Funnel. A customer-centric hiring process starts by attracting the right kind of applicants and filtering out the wrong kind. The careers section of a website provides an opportunity for companies to tell applicants what they value in employees. For example, The Container Store’s website describes the company’s commitment to putting employees first and draws a clear distinction from other companies that focus on shareholders first. Contrast that first impression with the careers landing page on Bed Bath & Beyond’s site, where the opening sentence talks about stock performance and its expansion.
  •  Focus The Interview Process On Candidate Storytelling. When candidates reach the interview process, it’s time to vet their customer centricity by getting them to tell stories: Have them describe specific examples from past jobs where they exemplified a particular trait or competency. Companies should infuse their interview guides with questions that provide insights about core customer experience competencies. Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) focused on three core competencies of its eight-competency model — customer-driven focus, accountability, and teamwork and collaboration — that it believed were the most important markers for its interviews.
  • Reinforce Key Behaviors With Customer-Centric Onboarding. It’s not enough to hire people with the right mindset. Companies also need an onboarding process that creates clear linkages between individuals and their role in delivering the right experience. Enter learning maps: visual representations of existing or desired states that facilitate training and coaching sessions. They can provide a framework for customer experience training and empower employees with enough understanding of the experience to make their own decisions and adjustments. Barclays Africa worked with consulting firm Trainiac to create large-scale visualizations that are part of the onboarding process.

Source: How To Hire And Onboard Customer-Centric Employees | Forrester Research