When people call your business, what kind of people do they get to talk to? Do your prospects or customers talk to smart people, dumb people, helpful people, ignorant people, or charismatic people? If you give your customers a good phone experience, that can make quite an impression. Charismatic people might not come cheap, but neither is losing out on hundreds of great customers that you are losing by hiring losers to answer your phone.
Nobody has to know the truth about your company. Nobody has to know that you hire lousy people. If people call and get to talk to a different interesting person every time they call, they will have the impression that everybody that works for you is amazing. The truth might be that only four out of two hundred is amazing, but the customers won’t know that unless they visit your office. And even if people visit your office, have the charismatic people jump out at them and chat them up and offer them some coffee or chai.
It doesn’t matter what the ratio of great employees is to terrible ones. What matters is the perceived ratio. If every interaction I have with your staff is amazing, I will have an amazing impression. If most of your workers are amazing, but you only let me talk to the terrible ones, my impression will be terrible. You can manufacture an experience at your company, so design it the right way to make the right impression.