Customer service is an integral part of any successful business, helping to keep customers happy and providing a face for your brand. No matter what kind of industry a business operates in, having a highly trained and competent customer service team can make a big difference in sales and how a brand is perceived by its customers.
Companies with good customer service departments tend to have much better success than those that don’t because consumers are more likely to use a business they can trust. Providing friendly and helpful customer service builds trust with consumers, helps provide a human face to a brand, and makes consumers more likely to make repeat purchases.
Building brand loyalty and equity is a goal of most marketing campaigns, but this can be achieved simply by providing quality service and offering great customer support. Naturally, customer service representatives can make a big difference to the success of your company, and hiring the right talent is important.
Identifying quality talent in any position is critical for the success of your business, but considering the fact that customer service representatives are the first point of contact for many of your customers, you need to be sure of their quality. The hiring process is always difficult, as assessing talent can be a challenge. In this article, we’ll show how a customer service skills assessment can help.
Finding the Right Customer Service Candidates
Before you get into assessing your potential, you need to make sure you refine your search to discover the best possible employees. Many businesses go about the hiring process in the wrong way and as a result, end up with poor quality applications. If you want to find the best talent, you have to start at the beginning and make sure your company appeals to the type of candidate you need.
The first step is ensuring your job description contains the necessary information. You need to attract talent while also being realistic about the role and requirements. It’s important to give details about daily responsibilities as well as providing information about the company and perks of working there. A good job advert should answer the candidate’s question of “why should I apply to this role.”
Assessing Customer Service Candidates
Finding the right talent for your customer service team comes down to the selection process, assessing their qualities through CV screening, interviews, and pre-employment skills testing. Good customer service representatives need to display the following skills:
Making able to make sound decisions confidently and without hesitating is an important trait to have in any role, including customer service. Decisions should be based around the training they’ve received in the role, but it’s also important that candidates show good common sense for making the right decisions when faced with choices.
You can test for this skill by providing a short assessment during the selection process. For example, you could quiz the candidate on how they would respond to a customer who requests to extend their free trial of the service before committing to the purchase. In most cases, you want these questions to be fairly open-ended, with no right or wrong answer. The important aspect is that they’re able to make the decision relatively quickly and explain their reasons for doing so. Once hired, the candidate will receive training to let them know what to do in situations like this, so the actual decision doesn’t matter, only their reasoning.
All customer service agents need to have excellent communication skills. Most people think of communicating as simply about speaking, but it also covers listening, reading, and writing too. Customer service agents need to be able to read or listen to a customer’s issue or request and respond in a friendly and polite manner.
Because communication covers so many different areas and it’s an integral part of the job, it’s a good idea to test in a few different ways. You should be assessing the candidate’s speaking and listening skills during the interview, but it’s also a good idea to provide a reading and writing test. Ask them how they would respond to a customer leaving a bad review and how they might explain some key features of the product or service to the customer. You’ll want to look at how the candidate understands the customer’s issue and the language they use when responding to them.
Problem-solving is the ability to come up with solutions to issues. Good customer service agents are effective at understanding a problem and will always look to get to the cause in order to solve it. Many customer service requests involve troubleshooting and solving problems that the customer has, meaning representatives need to have a willingness to understand these issues.
When assessing the candidate for problem-solving skills, consider setting up an exercise with a customer saying they have an issue that needs solving. The candidate will then need to address the problem, first asking questions to understand it better. Once they’ve assessed the problem correctly, they can offer one of the potential solutions provided.
Comprehension involves cutting through the language used by the customer in order to fully understand their intentions. Sometimes, a customer might make an angry remark or describe an issue without being clear. It’s important for customer service agents to still be able to understand the customer’s problem and how to help.
A good exercise for testing comprehension is through asking the candidate to first study the products that your company offers before requesting that they respond to a few different customer questions about the products and what they offer.
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