Customers no longer just want a great product and good service – they want a great customer experience. But the challenge is not only how to provide that in a sustainable way, but how to hire those who will be able to provide it.
One company, the Privilege Underwriters Reciprocal Exchange (PURE), believes it has found the key to hiring employees with the emotional intelligence to drive long-term customer experience satisfaction.
Colin Haupt, PURE’s vice president of human resources, says the company’s focus on emotional intelligence when making hires helps develop employees who become “promoters” of the company – and the proof can be found in the bottom line. Specifically, the company is reporting its eighth straight year of at least 40% annual growth, he says.
“Everyone has some degree of emotional intelligence. For several roles – notably those that interact regularly with our membership – we seek out candidates that possess exceptional levels of it,” he says.
The company, with about 300 employees, looks at four personal characteristics of job candidates: self-management, self-awareness, empathy and the ability to build successful relationships. To find out whether applicants have such qualities, Haupt says some questions asked during an interview can include:
- Give me an example of a time when you had to use creativity or imagination to come up with a solution to a customer’s issue. (empathy, urgency, creativity)
- Tell me about a time where you had a disagreement with a co-worker on an issue. How did you approach that issue to pursue consensus and maintain a positive relationship with the employee? (relationship management)
- What frustrates you and how do you deal with your frustrations (read more here)
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