Customer Service plays a significant part in the value chain of a customer. It refers to the interaction between the customer and the company at any time before, during, or after a purchase.

This interaction defines the make or break of a company’s success. Therefore, the quality of this interaction is expected to be top-notch and satisfying to the customers. A good customer satisfaction rate means greater customer retention, brand loyalty, and higher ROI.

To provide the best quality customer interaction, you need to hire the best men for the job.

In this article, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide on hiring for customer service.

 

Identify Ideal Customer Service Skills

The role of a customer service representative is to respond to customers’ calls, answer their queries, and resolve their issues. Such a responsive role demands certain responsible traits to produce good quality customer interactions consistently.

An ideal candidate for the customer service position should possess the following attributes.

  • Fundamental educational qualifications
  • Good Communication and Interpersonal Skills
  • Customer-centric approach
  • Positive attitude
  • Polite and patient
  • Active listener
  • Proactive problem-solver
  • Agreeableness
  • Stability
  • Team player

The ability to multi-task or experience in sales are added advantages to the company as you can place them on any interchangeable roles when the requirement arises.

 

Drafting An Effective Job Description

An effective and persuasive job description is essential to capture the rightly qualified candidates for the position.

The job title should be precisely clear and direct. It should essentially include a compelling summary of the role, a detailed list of responsibilities, the required qualifications, and the preferred skills.

You should include the necessary keywords such as,

  • Customer service representative
  • Customer support executive
  • Contact center representative, etc

so that your job posting will show up on the relevant search when candidates search for this role. Check out a sample customer service job brief here.

 

Posting the Job Advert

Posting your job advert in the right places gives you a high probability of finding the right talents.

Popular job posting sites like CareerBuilder, Indeed, Glassdoor, Monster, etc are the first and most time-tested options to go to. Yet, you will have to dedicate extra time to filtering and refining the tons of applications.

Post-Covid situations, the majority of companies have shifted to remote workspace culture. If your company also offers Remote Customer Service positions, then you should be posting your job advert on relevant work-from-home job portals that would get you just the right applications.

If you are a team of minuscule and can personally spare some dedicated time to hunt for the right professional personally, then we suggest foraging on LinkedIn. This way you can get an in-depth insight into the candidate’s profile and professional persona.

 

Screening the Applications

Once you have posted the job requirement on the portals, you will receive numerous applications from all the sources, within a few days. The next step is to examine thoroughly and screen the best applicants from the rest.

The screening process should be based on the minimum requirements and preferred skills as stated in the job posting. You can review their applications or resumes for previous experience in a similar role.

You can score the applicants using a defensible ranking system, like

– Does not meet the criteria

+ Meets Criteria

++   Exceeds Expectations

Telephonic interviews as part of the initial applicant screening process fares cost-effective as compared to the first round of interviews in person. You can quickly identify the candidate’s communication skills, listening skills, attitude, and professionalism over the call.

A typical telephonic interview lasts up to 20 or 30 minutes where you can ask a set of questions to further screen out the least eligible candidates. Examples of questions include the following:

  • Is the salary range for this position within your acceptable range?
  • Why are you searching for a new position?
  • What is your highest degree?
  • What do you see as your strongest skills, and what are your key challenges?

Social media can also be used as a pre-screening tool as almost every individual has an active profile. SHRM’s 2016 survey, Using Social Media for Talent Acquisition—Recruitment and Screening, found that 84 percent of organizations are using social media for screening applicants in the recruitment process.

 

Interview Process

A direct interview is the best opportunity for you to learn more about the chosen few candidates. Plan the questions carefully to test the required customer handling skills and abilities displayed by them to judge whether they are a good fit for your team.

 

Few sample questions,

  • How would you define good customer service?
  • What experiences and skills make you a suitable choice for this position?
  • Have you ever come across poor customer service rendered to you?
  • How would you handle an irate customer on call?
  • What qualities make you a team player?
  • What are your career goals set for the next 5-10 years?

Such scrutinizing interview sessions can prove effective in understanding what best can the candidate bring to your organization. Onboarding the appropriate candidate means ensuring the hit customer service success rate and increase in revenue.

 

Demo or Pre-employment Testing

Conducting a demo session or a test before the actual appointment gives you a clear candid picture of how the candidate performs in real time.

This will save you from any future regrets of the wrong choice, waste of management time and resources, team productivity, and employee morale.

Making them speak to a real customer in the demo process may cost you a valuable customer or a potential sale if the event turns unfortunate.

Instead, make use of the available automated tools that can test the candidates’ performance using simulation methods. It scores the candidates based on their responses and you can review them to monitor their performance.

 

Onboarding The New Employee

Thus you have selected the eligible candidates after the perusing interview process. Now you need to put the new employee into orientation and a brief training period compulsorily.

The orientation session will give your new employees a complete introduction to your company and its processes. Share with them the core culture of the company and the customer service goals to be achieved.

Introduce them to your products or services and the complete workflow. Train them using all the documented resources (call flow, recorded calls, metrics, customer surveys, etc.)

Embrace technology whenever possible as automated training tools like Helplama Helpdesk are available today that helps ease your whole new agent training process efficiently.

 

Making them familiarized with your company’s objective and the products or services knowledge will give your new customer service agents the confidence to perform well right from the start.

 

Finally

It is a must to take feedback from the newly boarded employees on their recruitment journey. It gives you ample insight into the gaps or pain points if any in the entire induction process.

We have come to the end of the step-by-step guide to hiring for customer service. By now, you would have gained enough insights to help you with the customer service hiring process.

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