Below are two questions I’ve received recently as a customer service consultant and customer experience turnaround expert. Let me know yours.
Q: I’m having trouble even finding people to work here who don’t have tattoos or piercings or both. Not to mention applicants with have hair colors not found in nature, or what very creative stylings of the facial hair nature has given them. . Our standards manual has always prohibited these. Is it time to update our approach? –Questioning in Quebec
A: Absolutely, it’s time. For two reasons. First, when you’re prospecting and recruiting for new employees, you want to attract the largest possible pool possible so you can end up with a solid group of finalists who actually have the traits needed to serve customers successfully. When you limit that pool based on arbitrary piercing/tats/hair/beard restrictions, you’re likely going to end up hiring anyone who breathes, rather than the customer service superstars you really want in your organization.
(You don’t have to take my word for it. Many formerly restrictive companies have come around on this in the past few years. Most visibly, perhaps, because of their ubiquity, this is the case with Starbucks, which now allows visible piercings and tattoos (with some restrictions on placement), and hair colors that, as you put it, will never be found in nature.
The second reason is that your customers now express their personalities through how they color their hair and the artwork they put on their skin and the piercings with which they adorn themselves. So these customers are also going to be comfortable with and supportive of the employees