Every company I have ever worked for in the past has told me I have a trait that is unteachable. I had the ability to provide customer service and to deal with all different kinds of people. They would rather hire someone with no experience in the industry but is a people person than hire someone that has a passion for the industry but didn’t necessarily have great skills when it came to people.
I believe you can teach anyone how to provide a positive customer service experience. As long as they have a passion for the industry, you can teach them the ins and outs of the industry and how you would like your clients or customers to be treated. You can’t teach passion.
When I worked as a front desk manager at a hotel we were understaffed and it was time to hire 2 more people to join the front desk team. I hired a woman who didn’t have much customer service experience but always wanted to work in the hospitality industry. She went to school for hospitality management and I sensed her passion and enthusiasm right away and hired her. I had to spend a lot of time working with her as different situations came up and it did take time but since she loved the chaos of working in a hotel she was willing to learn and took criticism well. To this day she still works at the hotel and has even gotten promoted to front desk supervisor.
For my second hire, against my better judgment, I decided to hire a friend of a employee that worked at the hotel. She just graduated high school and all of her past jobs were in customer service. I thought this will be an easy training process because I just have to teach her the hotel lingo and standards. The hotel industry isn’t for everyone and she wound up hating the chaos and sometimes stressful situations that come with the industry. She didn’t have the passion and because of that it reflected how her customer service was. She was rude to customers, and would always look miserable standing at the front desk. It wasn’t working out and she decided to quit to find a job she was interested in.
Some of my past jobs were in industries that I didn’t have a passion for and after a while I would become bored and would eventually move on.
If you’re a business owner and are looking to hire new people, I would look for the passion in them vs. if they have customer service skills. If you can find someone that has both traits hire them right away because you hit the jackpot.
Is customer service a trait you can teach? Would you rather hire someone with passion or great customer service skills?