Staffing for Growth: Focus on Human Resources
Faith views the catalog as the company’s main advertising tool. From a consumer perspective, he believes people prefer to leaf through a catalog rather than browse online. From a business standpoint, he views the print catalog as “push marketing.” Says Faith: “You can promote the solutions you have to people who might not be thinking that they need them.”
And the employee who originally suggested a catalog launch? He now serves as customer service manager.
Select the Players
During the company’s first few years, Faith remained focused on refining and improving the business. After comparing it to others in the industry, he saw that his competition wasn’t meeting one key demand: exceptional customer service. “By our shame, it wasn’t being met by us, either,” he admits. “Once I began to understand the market, I became absolutely passionate about building [our customer service model] to something other companies would envy.”
Faith carries out this mission through a comprehensive hiring process for customer service representatives (CSRs). “Customer service is just as important a position [as a manager], and that’s what many people fail to realize,” he says. “We have a long process to find the right person — someone who is emotionally equipped to deal with different calls every five minutes, who can use tools such as empathy and sympathy, who can maintain positive customer relationships under various circumstances. ... It’s quite a lot to expect.”
How does Faith go about finding the right person for the job? “You can’t always check a resume or references, but what you can do is keep testing and prodding someone’s personality,” he explains.
To start, candidates must complete an application that requires more information than a normal resume. If a candidate shows potential, the customer service manager invites him or her to the office for a 45-minute site tour and interview.