When hiring customer service representatives, a business should be looking at hiring the best they can. If not, they will have a high turnover rate, as they are not getting the best fit for the company. Everyone knows if employees are not happy, they will leave. If you don’t find a good fit for customer service, the employee is not going to be happy. The customer service department is sometimes the first initial contact the customer has with the company. You want to make this first initial contact professional and helpful to the customer. By hiring the best customer service representatives, your business could be known for its quality of world-class customer service.
What Should Each Customer Service Representative Have To Qualify?
Oral Communication Skills
When interviewing your potential employee, you should listen to how the interviewee is speaking and how well they articulate what they are saying. Do you have a hard time understanding them? If so, the customer will, too. Are they giving you straight answers or are they talking in circles? This is very important as you want customers to be able to understand what the customer service representative is informing them.
Written Communication Skills
The ability to write in a clear and precise manner is very important in customer service. Your employee may have to take notes on the conversation being held or respond to letters from customers. Again, you want the customer to be able to understand exactly what is being stated to them. The customer service representative should be able to spell and write in legible handwriting, as well.
Solve Math Problems
The customer service representative should also be able to solve basic math problems. There may be issues where customers are getting a partial refund and if the employee can not solve percentage problems, it may cost the company large sums of money by giving the wrong amount to be refunded.
Solve Customer Conflicts In a Professional Manner
The customer service representative should understand how to treat customers in a professional manner. If the employee is showing any type of lack of respect, for example, interrupting you while you speak, they will do the same toward customers. They need to handle customer conflicts while upholding customer service policies.
Multi-Tasking and Time Management
The customer service representative should know be able to multi-task and manage their time well. Make sure when interviewing, you relay this and ask questions about previous positions held.
Responsible/Showing Up To Work On Time And Everyday
Customer service is an important aspect of the company and your calls should be handled in a timely and efficient manner. If your employees are calling out sick on a weekly basis, your customer’s time in queue will increase and you will be handling more irate customers. Stress this point to your interviewee and ask them about previous employment attendance records.
Once your interviews with potential employees are over, analyze how these first interviews went. The ones who spoke well, had good oral and written communication skills, and understood the importance of attendance call back for a second interview. In this second interview, you should have ready a basic math test for them to take, as well as a standardized hiring test. This will help you decide upon their level of understanding of what customer service entails.
When you analyze the first interviews and second interviews together, hire the employees that seem to have the best understanding of customer service. An employee that has a hard time sitting still will not make a good representative for customer service, as most of their time will be spent sitting at their desk.
How to Keep Your Customer Service Representatives
Now that you have hired the best possible representatives for your company, you want to keep them. How can you do this? By offering ongoing training and incentives. The following are some things you may want to consider for your customer service department.
Allow customer service representatives to take a few minutes of breathing time after a particularly difficult call. Every customer service department gets difficult customers and sometimes they can be stressful to the rep. If they need a few minutes, allow them the time.
Provide rewards for Great Customer Service. For example, perfect attendance awards for the month or even employee of the month. You could go as far as giving a free lunch reward to the person with the worst call of the week.
Give motivation for your customer service representatives to succeed. If your representative receives a letter from customer stating what excellent customer service they received from your employee, reward them with a bonus or even a paid day off. Your employees will strive for excellent customer service.
Provide on-going training for your customer service representatives. Every employee wants to succeed and if you provide them with the tools to do so, they will manage to succeed and then some. Hold more role-playing sessions, have regular staff meeting. The important thing is to keep your employees up to date on company policies and procedures. If you can do these things, your customer service department will be top-notch.