Having the right people to manage your customer service tasks is the first step towards delivering the outstanding service to your clients and customers. In order to recruit the best specialists who match all your requirements (have the right qualifications, experience, skill sets and attitude or mindset), you need to define what makes a person great at each of the roles you're hiring for.
So what makes a great hire in customer service sector?
In order to answer that question, let’s begin by separating customer service agents from managers as each of these groups would have slightly different traits.
Based on my experience and the experience of our clients, great customer service managers are usually:
- great team leaders - they know how to motivate others, provide guidance and support in difficult situations both with customers and other members of staff and keep the morale up;
- effective communicators - whether they communicate over the phone, face-to-face or communicated via email or letter;
- good listeners - by listening well and being able to hear and understand every aspects and side of a situation, a manager is able to gather all information necessary to make an effective and timely decision;
- masters of prioritisation - they know how to guide their team's focus and energy and how to balance the time spent delivering customer experiences with the time spent reacting to customer service issues;
- have a customer-centric attitude - a manager who puts your customers at the center will lead their team to have the same attitude;
In case of customer service agents, their success will often depends on factors such as:
- patience - they have the capacity to accept and tolerate particularly confused, angry, or perseverant customers,
- resilience - they have the ability to recover quickly from difficulties, especially when the tough situations happen repetitively, in a similar manner and on a daily basis,
- the ability to stay positive - staying positive during a trying situation has a lot to do with personality, so it's an important trait to identify in a potential employee before making the final decision to hire,
- natural problem-solving attitude - they enjoy the process of finding solutions to difficult or complex issues,
- clear communication skills - communicating effectively requires both understanding what the caller is trying to express and responding in a way that makes sense to the caller.
The infographic below summarizes this information by showing "the anatomy of a great customer service manager and customer service agent":
Having these profiles defined will help to ensure that the candidates you hire have the best chances of succeeding in their roles.
However, there are situations when the pace and volume of hiring suddenly spikes and it’s challenging to keep up the hiring levels without compromising on the quality of hires. To learn more about how to manage the hiring peaks and maintain the high quality of hire, check out our blog post on Driving quality of hire in customer service sector during hiring spikes or get in touch to speak to one of our agents.