Customer service, the faces behind the business. When hiring customer service representatives, it is important to look for people that will represent your company well. They are one of a few direct contacts that your customers will get. Because of this, it is extremely important to leave a good impression. Having friendly and helpful service agents at the front line is important to the longevity of any business.
Tabatha Naylor writes, “Customers don’t buy from businesses they don’t trust, end of story. Luckily, building trust in a customer/business relationship doesn’t have to be difficult. While it does take effort, the steps to get there are easy if you are willing to be open, honest, and efficient when communicating with customers.” Finding people to hire for your customer service team is extremely important and these are some of the traits you should be looking for:
The Art Behind Hiring The Best Customer Service Representatives
You are sure to come across customers who will be difficult to deal with. For this reason, you must have self control. You must be able to handle both the easy and hard times that comes with serving the public.
If you aren’t a good communicator, then customer service may not be the field for you. Customer service jobs require that you deal heavily with the public. Do you know how to handle the many problems that come with customers? Communication skills are essential to get a good customer service job.
Communicating to tough customers can be hard, but they don’t have to be! Here’s 5 email templates to get you out of a sticky situation with an angry customer.
Author Alexander Kjerulf says, “Happy employees make the customers happy”. It might sound rather straightforward, but happiness and satisfaction within a company will inevitably lead to loyalty.
When interviewing a candidate, pay attention to what they say about the previous companies they’ve worked for. There might be some underlying unhappiness, but a potential employee that speaks highly of their previous company despite having left is one that is both respectful and loyal. A loyal customer care representative will put the company’s interest first when dealing with difficult customers. They are likely try their best to protect the company’s image even in the presence of the most difficult customers.
Companies that excel at customer service don’t wait for a problem to arise before addressing it. One of the great customer service skills is the ability to take a preemptive approach in managing possible risks and being prepared when a problem does arise.
Similarly, customer service employees must be able to provide a solution even before the customer poses the question (within reason, of course). In combination with a problem-solving nature, the candidate should also be a great listener in order to gather “clues” and read between the lines during communication.
In customer service, nothing is perfect and things will go wrong. This is not a failure. The best businesses show how they fix their mistakes.
The customer always comes first and is ALWAYS right. You must be willing to go the extra mile to please each and every customer. Sometime, this can be at the expense of your pride. You must be willing to swallow your pride and move on.
Look for candidates who are highly conscientious. The candidate that arrives late for the interview, looking completely flustered and confused is probably not the ideal choice.
Conscientious individuals are reliable, disciplined, methodical, organized, and goal driven. The Journal of Applied Social Psychology noted that individuals who are identified through tests as highly conscientious are more likely to be aware of how good interpersonal interactions positively affect customer service and are more likely to behave this way.
To a degree, conscientious individuals are pleasers in the sense that they are aware of what works for certain people and what doesn’t. They have a strong intuition about what is morally right and wrong as well as how to treat others.
When customers call a company they’re actively seeking help in resolving a problem. A conscientious customer service agent will be better equipped to pick up the clues interlaced in the customer’s words, which will allow them to resolve pain points.
A good job in customer service will require that you have a general appreciation to customers. After all, they are the ones who will be providing you with a job. Without them, your job would not be necessary.
A great customer service employee will also have some amazing marketing and sales skills. It’s not always about being a manipulator, but being able to steer the customer into a direction that is beneficial for both the company and the client.
If you want to know if your candidates have this trait, ask a simple question in the interview such as, “Why should we hire you?.” This way they have to sell themselves in a persuasive manner while listing qualities, traits and reasons–a perfect, practical test of their customer service skills.
Get Out and Hire!
When interviewing candidates to become your next customer service hero, look for for these qualities, traits and skills. Look for someone who is communicative, persuasive, is polite, patient, conscientious, and loyal. Remember these are the people who will be serving your customers directly and you want a positive impact so your customers return again and again!