The Secrets of Hiring Top Customer Service Personnel
Last month alone, webrecruit received nearly 3000 applications for just 60 customer service vacancies, demonstrating the demand from both employers and candidates alike. Yet, ensuring you hire the best customer service representatives can be tricky. After all, customer service is critical to retaining your client base and not everyone is suited to dealing with complaints.
If you’re looking to employ great customer service personnel, here are some tips to assist you:
Attitude Vs Aptitude: Technical tasks can be learned, but trying to change an attitude is difficult. When hiring, look for traits such as commitment to service, good decision making skills, the ability to remain calm under pressure and a friendly manner. Choose people who aren’t afraid to talk to strangers and will get the job done (even when it isn’t fun).
Ask your Employees to Help: Your top performers who already do the job might know someone who will do an equally good job. Enquire internally with those who know what is expected of the position and offer a small bonus or reward should they identify a potential new hire and it works out well.
Off the Cuff Interviews: To screen out the non-starters to those who will step up to the mark – even when it’s uncomfortable – schedule the interviews at 6am. Alternatively, hold the interviews over lunch and observe how the candidate interacts with the waiter / waitress. Are they as outgoing to them as they are to you? In addition to this, use skills testing to assess candidates’ suitability and aptitude.
Ask ‘How are you?’ As one of the most commonly asked questions, the response to ‘how are you?’ will tell you a lot about how the candidate will interact with your customers. Do they tell you long stories about themselves? Complain about being tired? Maybe they say something positive and in turn, ask how you are?
Use Sample Scenarios: During the interview process, role-play typical and problematic situations that could arise in your company to help you gauge how the candidate will respond to your customers.
Reference Check: Last but not least, be sure to conduct thorough reference checks. You don’t want to employ someone who was terminated from a job for unfairly treatment to a customer, for example.
At the end of the day, talented customer service professionals aren’t necessarily the people with all the answers and the list of customer service jobs on their CV. Rather, they’re the people with the positive attitude, the inquisitive nature, and confidence to ask questions that will exceed your customers’ expectations. Bearing this in mind, your hunt for good customer service professionals may have just got a little easier.
Are you looking to employ a customer service professional? What skills and qualities do you look out for and how would you assess their ability for the job? Share your thoughts with us below.