Hiring Tips for Customer Service Teams
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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
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
Let’s dive into six hiring tips for customer
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
What Makes Them
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
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
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
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
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
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.