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Hiring Tips for Customer Service Teams

Presented By: Amanda Winstead

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Image Source: Pixabay 

According to a study done by HubSpot, “Of the consumers polled, 92% would stop purchasing from a company after 3 (or less) poor customer service experiences.” In other words, one bad customer service experience could turn a loyal or potential customer into a nonexistent one.

This makes the strength of your customer service team that much more integral. How well your team members work together and treat your customers could make or break the success of your business. So, hiring managers must look for special skills and qualities when bringing someone new onto their customer service teams. 

Whether you’ve had to face the unpleasantness of firing an employee, had someone quit, or are now in a position to expand your team, you don’t just want to fill your vacant customer service position with anyone.

Let’s dive into six hiring tips for customer service teams.

Find Someone Who Values Honest, Transparent, Communication

One of the first things you want to focus on when hiring for a customer service team is communication. Customer service requires excellent written and verbal communication skills to resolve each situation satisfactorily.

A candidate who values honest, transparent communication is the best way to go. Not only will they be able to communicate well with your customers, but they’ll also be able to communicate with their coworkers and managers effectively to keep working relationships healthy.

Next, look further into what makes a candidate unique.

What Makes Them Unique? 

When an employee feels comfortable enough to be themselves and is confident in their skill set, they’re more likely to do a better job for you.

So, during the recruiting process, especially during candidate interviews, look for unique qualities that would make them great to work with among the team and customers. You can gauge their unique social and communication skills by how they engage with you in the interview.

Also, pay attention to how they answer the “what makes you unique?” question in the interview. With this question, you can determine if the candidate understands the pain points you’re facing in your business and industry. And based on their answer, if their skillset and experience can help you adequately address those pain points and challenges.

In addition to what makes them unique, look for a candidate with a good mix of hard and soft skills.

Look for a Good Mix of Hard and Soft Skills

Any candidate you consider should have a good mix of hard and soft skills. For those that aren’t familiar, soft skills are the interpersonal qualities a person has that help them succeed in the workplace. Hard skills refer to the technical abilities, knowledge, and training a person has that helps them tackle job-specific responsibilities.    

Some excellent soft skills to have as a customer service associate are:  

  • Active listening
  • Empathy and understanding
  • Positive attitude
  • Creativity  

Some high-grade hard skills to have as a customer service associate are:  

  • Customer relationship management
  • Product expertise
  • Computer skills
  •  Customer service industry knowledge  

When hiring for your customer service team, you should also focus on candidates with a genuine passion for customer service.

Search for a Candidate Passionate About Customer Service  

When you’re on the hunt for a new member to add to your customer service team, you must search for people with a genuine interest in customer service. Unfortunately, more often than not, people find themselves working in customer service because they need a job, not because they love the work.

Instead of hiring someone because they’re available, look for candidates enthusiastic about providing an exceptional customer experience and possess a service-oriented heart.  It’s also a good idea to qualify candidates based on their experience with customer service. 

Aside from what you want to look for in candidates, here are a couple of additional tips you can use in the hiring process. 

Ensure You’re Ready to go the Extra Mile for Your Employees

A happy, productive customer service team is the result of excellent leadership. So, when you find your perfect candidate and they accept the position, you want to ensure you’re ready to go the extra mile to keep them with your company.

You can start by creating a healthy, positive company culture that takes care of and values its employees. For instance, customer service employees can become burnt out and exhausted because they often deal with unhappy customers.

You can help them navigate burnout and exhaustion by prioritizing their mental health. For example, encourage employees to take sick and vacation days. Put a room in the office strictly for meditation and mindfulness activities. You could even offer resources like free sessions with the company therapist.

Lastly, be sure to conduct a thorough background check on all your potential candidates.

Conduct a Thorough Background Check

A candidate could be perfect on paper, but that may be because they embellished their resume and added some extras to their cover letter. Whatever a candidate has said about themselves, verify it with a thorough background check.

Be sure to do a traditional background check that covers criminal history, education background, employment verification, and reference checks.

Also, take your background check to the next level by looking at candidates’ social media profiles, like LinkedIn.

It could be a good sign when a potential employee has a LinkedIn profile with a professional profile picture, an employer-focused summary, and they’re still connected to former employers and coworkers on the platform. However, it may be a red flag if an employee doesn’t have a profile picture, hasn’t engaged on the platform in years, and doesn’t take the time to fill out their profile.  


Hiring for your customer service team is easier said than done. However, implementing the above tips can make the hiring and recruiting process more pleasant for yourself and your potential employees.