Customer service is crucial. It has an impact on your bottom line and how the general public perceives your brand. Hiring a customer support representative used to be all about the budget. Because they were willing to work for less money, the best and brightest candidates were passed over in favour of those with less experience and ambition. To guarantee that your consumers have the best possible experience, it’s critical to deliver the best customer service possible and hence it is important to hire customer service representatives those are best suited for their jobs.
Customer service representatives are frequently the face of a company. Because they will be the people with whom your consumers will have the most contact, you must hire the best available personnel. Any hiring manager will tell you, however, that this is easier said than done.
This guide was created by RisePath to assist you in finding the best candidate for the job. How? By assisting you in determining what qualities make someone an excellent customer service representative, where to locate them, and how to hire them.
This step-by-step guide was intended to assist you in attracting and hiring the best customer service agent candidates to represent your company’s brand and keep your customers satisfied.
So let’s get started.
1. The ultimate customer service representative
Hiring a terrific applicant is similar to ocean fishing, but you’re after a specific fish. To cut down the pool of probable applicants, you’ll need to define some early parameters. Here are some things to keep an eye out for:
Even for an entry-level position, you’ll want to look for applicants that have the following customer service skills:
- The capacity to provide help over a variety of channels, including email, social media, phone, and chat.
- A thorough understanding of your industry.
- General familiarity with the technology you utilise.
A background in customer service, which can range from waiting tables to answering phones.
Look for someone who is a diligent worker, has a good sense of humour, is thoughtful, patient, and empathetic.
This is difficult to explain, but you want someone that blends in with your team or has a pleasant “personality.”
2. Writing a job requisition–do it correctly from the start
It can feel like a mammoth endeavour to sit down and prepare a job requisition. You’re attempting to assemble a fantastic team, and your team is your most valuable asset. It’s under a lot of stress to get it properly.
It does not, however, have to be so complicated. You can save time by not having to reinvent the wheel each time you need to post a job position. Examine prior job requisitions that you and the other hiring managers have written. Any information that is still relevant, especially if it functioned effectively in the past, can be reused. Even if you have to make a few changes, it is still less work than beginning over.
Getting other people engaged is a good idea, by the way. Anyone in a similar position or who will be working closely with that person will be able to contribute. Bring them together and form a list. On one side, write out the basic job qualifications, and on the other, write down any additional talents or traits you think are important.
Finally, consider where you want to post the request once all of the stakeholders have signed off on it. Keep in mind that your goal isn’t to attract a billion applicants. You want to hire the greatest people possible. Go beyond your website’s careers page. Do some research to locate the job posting sites and aggregators that the people you’re looking for are currently using.
3. Examining and grading a cover letter
Hiring managers are increasingly focusing their attention on resumes rather than cover letters. However, while resumes are essential, they don’t provide much background. A cover letter, when done correctly, can provide the contextual information that resumes sometimes lack.
Cover letters can provide insight into the information contained in a resume:
- What other specific accomplishments did the candidate have? Resumes frequently mention the candidate’s work experience, but what were any other specific successes? The cover letter could look at how the prospect interacts or works alone.
- The title of a job does not tell the complete story. Even if the title doesn’t indicate it, was the candidate a leader (of colleagues or projects)?
- What role does the candidate’s education play? A few sentences on something like this would go a lot further in a CV than a bullet note.
- A cover letter is, maybe most importantly, your initial introduction to this person and may provide insight into how they would behave themselves on behalf of your firm.
4. Create a résumé that stands out from the crowd.
What distinguishes a strong resume from one that falls flat? Take a look at the following list:
There should never be any typos or spelling errors on a CV. You don’t want to put your consumers’ trust and your brand’s reputation in the hands of someone who can’t be bothered to proofread their own résumé.
The resume should demonstrate an interest in and knowledge of your field. They don’t have to know how to code if you’re a tech company, but they should at the very least be fans of and users of the technology in your area.
Specific abilities are listed on a strong resume, either within a job description, in a separate list, or both. Writing, computer programme fluency, and even personality qualities are examples of skills. Again, the manner in which this information is delivered, as well as the content of the information, is critical.
Don’t just follow the regulations to the letter. Some argue that a CV with Education at the front, for example, isn’t as strong as a resume with Education mentioned last. Some argue that the contrary is true. It depends; a rigorous rule should not be applied to every aspect of a resume. Originality and creativity are important.
Experience, education, and even hobbies, if they are relevant, should all be included.
5. The phone screen
In a single 15-20 minute phone talk, it’s difficult to get to know someone. However, as the person in charge of hiring new support personnel in your firm, you’ll be doing this on a frequent basis. You’re expected to ask the correct questions, listen for the appropriate answers, and determine whether or not the candidate is a good fit for the role and your company in that single phone call. It’s a difficult task.
It’s preferable to have a terrific chat with a lot of energy and personality when screening a candidate over the phone. Look for a candidate who is educated about your company and enthusiastic about the job.
Despite its briefness, the phone screen can reveal a lot about a person’s perspective and cultural fit. It’s also worth moving on to the following level if they’ve created a good impression.
With that in mind, here are five characteristics to keep an eye out for on your next phone screen:
- A charismatic personality
- They have good social etiquette and understand when to speak and when to listen.
- Appropriate responses-Some queries necessitate extended responses, while others necessitate short ones. What matters is that the responses are adequate.
- They have a strong desire to help others.
6. Conducting an interview
Ask yourself, as you should throughout the interview process, if this person:
- Is peaceful and friendly
- Is excited to be there/for the job.
- Is able to stay on task and provide complete answers to your queries
- Is willing to provide detailed instances from real life
- Maintains eye contact, does not interrupt, shakes hands, and so forth.
You want to make a good impression in the interview and stand out as a representative of your firm, just like a candidate. Ask the proper questions to set your interview apart. Because interviews are brief, you should ask probing questions. The more you can learn, the better and more productive your time will be.
Make the candidate feel at ease. If you give them a little about yourself or offer some comments, the interview will feel more like a discussion rather than a one-sided assessment. They are more likely to share information if they are at ease. Even if the information isn’t verbal, it can still provide insight into their character.
Don’t limit yourself to hypothetical inquiries. Getting answers to questions about real-life circumstances will give you an idea of how the candidate handles situations in the real world. This will also push the candidate to respond in a creative, thinking manner, revealing how they think. Did they sign up for a free trial or engage with the company/product in any way? Doing so demonstrates initiative and genuine enthusiasm for the opportunity to work for your firm.
Finally, think about who in the firm will conduct the interviews. You should also have the candidate’s potential peers interview them in addition to numerous levels of management. This makes it more likely that they will be able to collaborate.
7. Put them to the test
You want to make sure that the candidate is a good cultural fit for your team and that they have the necessary skills and experience on their résumé, but most importantly, you want to make sure that they can execute the job.
Giving them an assignment, such as working on two tickets, is the ideal way to do this. Don’t give them fictitious tickets that solely exist for the purpose of the game. Provide them with two genuine tickets.
But don’t just hand them any tickets. Give them one ticket that provides positive feedback and one that provides mediocre or somewhat unfavourable feedback to your organisation. Remove the names, dates, and other identifying information, and have them react to the tickets. Give specific instructions and a deadline for completion. Then go over the tickets again, giving both positive and negative feedback.
The most essential component of this activity is the feedback you offer them. While you are looking at how they criticise the two tickets, the most important aspect of this exercise is the comments you provide them. Consider this: Are they open to receiving feedback? Did they make you feel at ease while you were providing it?
If they listened intently and you get the impression that they used your feedback to learn and grow as an advocate, you’re looking at a good candidate. This person is probably not a good fit if your feedback merely irritates and agitates them.
8. Making a decision
When it’s time to make a decision, you and the interview team should go through what you’ve learned thus far:
- Are they enthralled?
- Do they have a diverse range of hobbies and interests?
- Do they love assisting others?
- Is it true that they genuinely want to work for you?
- Will they jump on board right away?
- Are they culturally compatible? Will they get along with the rest of the team and you?
- Are you excited about the possibility of this person promoting the firm, its value, and mission to each and every customer they help?
The answer is “no” if you’ve answered all of these questions and aren’t 100% sure you want to hire this person. It may seem harsh, but if you’re even a little unsure, don’t hire someone.
Your support team is a living organism that will evolve, grow, and adapt to new situations. Hopefully, we’ve provided you with all you need to select the best individuals to form the greatest possible team, one that will uphold your company’s values and always put the client first.
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