Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Would You Hire Your Customers?

Recruiting Message from Pier 1
Continuing down the path I've been on lately about employees and their importance to the customer experience and to the success of the business, today's post is about hiring the right people. I'm talking about hiring specific people... your customers!

The golden rule for every business man is this: Put yourself in your customer’s place. – Orison Swett Marden

Well, how about if we put your customer in your place? How about hiring your customers? How about hiring someone who knows what it's like to be a customer of yours - to help your customers?

This might seem like a no-brainer, maybe not. But I like this concept. I think there has to be a clear approach to recruiting and hiring customers, though. If your goal is to hire the right people, then it's not about hiring any customer, just because they want/need a job. It's about hiring your best customers. I'll explain why in a moment.

The image above is an email I received from Pier 1. I don't know if they are methodical about their approach, i.e, if I was selected as a recipient because I met some shopping frequency or spending threshold, or if they just sent that email to all of their customers (likely, cardholders). It would be important to put some parameters around this strategy. Your best customers might be based on those thresholds or you might consider some other, more-personal, more-local parameters. You'll need to define who you consider to be your best customers and why.

Why is recruiting and hiring your best customers a great idea? Consider this. Your best customers...
  • Know your products.
  • Like your products.
  • Can sell the products because they can tell a personal story about them.
  • Can connect with customers because they are customers.
  • Know your business.
  • Love - are passionate about - your brand.
  • Share values, already feel part of your "something bigger."
  • Know the staff and probably already have a rapport with them.
  • Can refer you to other like-minded people.
What's your approach to recruiting and hiring the right people? Have you hired (your best) customers? (I have.)

”Do not hire a man (or woman) who does your work for money, but him (or her) who does it for the love of it.” - Henry David Thoreau

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