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What to Look for When Hiring a Customer Service Representative

The backbone of every company is a team of workers who help carry out the mission on a daily basis. An important part of that mission is providing customer service. Since it is such an important role, it is critical that a company get it right when they hire their customer service representatives. The last thing you want your business to do is spend money acquiring new customers only to have your customer service representatives pushing them right back out the door.

Quality Traits

There is more to good customer service than just looking the part and smiling. Customer service representatives need to know how to react when things don’t go as planned, particularly in the area of customer complaint handing. When it comes to hiring the key people who will be representing your business, your customer service team, it is important to get the right people in the position.

Here are a few character traits that are essential for those working as customer service representatives:

  • Attitude. This is more important than experience. People with the right attitude may have no prior customer service experience, yet they have a disposition that will be par for the job. Look past experience and look for the personality that fits the bill. People can be trained on customer service skills. It’s much more difficult to try and change attitudes.
  • Communication skills. Good customer service, as well as customer complaint handling, is based upon effective communication. Your candidates should be able to speak well, articulate their ideas, and be an effective listener, so they can make an effort to understand the needs of the customer.
  • The two P’s. This stands for patience and politeness. Customer service, especially when handling customer complaints, takes patience. And politeness is essential, or you will risk losing the customer regardless of the outcome of any complaint.
  • Problem solving skills. All customer service takes the ability to problem solve. You don’t want your customer service representatives to run to you, or management, every time they have an issue. They need to be able to think about logical solutions to minor problems.

Finding the Right People

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Knowing what skills your customer service representatives should have is not enough. The next challenge you will face is in finding the right people. Cast a wide net in order to find plenty of candidates. Get referrals from current customer service representatives that are doing a good job. Also, you may want to consider working with a recruiter that specializes in customer service positions. Be open to receiving candidate information from a variety of sources.

Keeping customers happy, customer complaint handling, and addressing customer needs, is important to every business. In order for this to happen on a regular basis your team needs to be staffed with people who are suited for the position. Some people have personalities that make a better fit for the customer service field. Your job is to sleuth them out, reel them in, and then keep them happy. Meanwhile, they will be keeping your customers happy!

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