Published on January 6th, 2023
More than 2.8 million people are employed as customer service agents in the US and the number is expected to grow by 5% by 2026, as reported by the US Bureau of Labor & Statistics.
While it sounds nice and appealing, in theory, the employee turnover rate for customer service agents is between 30-40%, the highest among any sector.
It then becomes a daunting task for the recruiters to hire employees who will not leave the organization with minor inconveniences but work towards strengthening your organization.
Here is a guide on how to assess and hire stellar customer service agents for your organization.
Customer service agents are employees who interact with customers on behalf of a company or organization. They provide information, assistance, and support to customers via phone, email, live chat, or in person.
Their main goal is to resolve customer issues and complaints and to ensure customer satisfaction. They may also assist customers with orders, returns, and exchanges, and answer questions about products or services.
In general, customer service agents are responsible for representing the company to customers and fostering positive relationships with them. They are often the first point of contact for customers, and their interactions can greatly impact a customer's perception of a company.
Customer service agents are the face and first point of contact for a company. Customers form their opinions based on the type of services they receive from customer care.
For example, if you ordered a certain product from Amazon and it is delivered in a damaged form, you are bound to turn to the customer service of the organization and if you get an agent who is soft and polite and listens to your problems, you will be a happy customer and recommend Amazon to your friends and family.
However, the tables would have turned if the agent was rude and did not listen to your query, you will probably never make a purchase from Amazon again and in turn, they will lose a valuable customer.
You must have a good idea by now about the importance of customer service agents. Here are a few pointers reiterating the same.
The specific duties of a customer service agent can vary depending on the industry and the company, but in general, their job entails:
More than technical skills, a good customer service agent should know how to win over customers, meaning they should have a tight hold of soft skills. Because honestly, a customer service agent has to deal with hundreds of customers who are either angry or irritated. No one calls happily to a customer care service to share positive feedback, it is always for complaints or queries.
While technical skills are also important, soft skills take a driver's seat in this job role and we have listed the top ones that you (as a recruiter) should look for in your candidate.
The single most important customer service skill is empathy.
Because it's essential for an employee to understand what happiness and success mean to your clients if you want them to help your business succeed.
And if you want an employee to help your customers out of a jam, it’s crucial for that employee to understand exactly how being in that jam is making the customer feel.
To do that, they must step into the customer’s shoes.
More than a virtue, patience is a must-have skill for customer agent services.
They have to deal with angry customers, customers who want extra attention, customers who are looking to solve a problem, and similar challenging situations.
The worst an employee can do is lose their cool in such a scenario and make the customer even angrier.
You as a business do not want such angry customers. Patience in the customer service agent to deal with the customer politely and calmly is a top skill you should look for.
It is often seen in customer service where the customers ask for impractical requests.
An agent should be alert enough and should have the presence of mind to decide what is correct in that situation and make a decision accordingly.
Because the customer is in a hurry always and will get furious if the agent takes a long time.
In addition to all these communication and interpersonal skills, technical skills are also an important aspect of customer service.
An ideal candidate should be adept with the technologies that are required for troubleshooting the customer’s queries and problems.
You can assess these skills using pre-employment assessments which takes us to the next section..
Use HireQuotient’s Customer Service Representative Test to gauge your candidate for the job role.
Our assessment is an AI-based pre-hire test for recruiters to assess an applicant's ability to understand customer complaints, and questions, and provide customers with solutions about products and services.
It also assesses a candidate's capability to be patient, empathetic, and passionately communicative toward customers.
Additionally, it also gives you an analysis of how all the candidates performed in the assessment to give you an overview and make your decision easier.
Interviewing the potential candidate is a key step in assessing the character and knowledge of the person. Ask these questions to gain an understanding of your applicant.
Have the customer service agent engage in role-playing exercises to simulate real-life customer interactions and evaluate their ability to handle various types of situations.
Build scenarios with different types of customers and make the candidate take the call and monitor how they are handling them and pacifying them.
In addition to your requirements and qualifications of the candidate, there are two other things that will make your JD stand out among the crowd.
Aptitude tests for customer service agents can give you insight into the areas such as communication, problem-solving, and interpersonal relations. These tests may also include multiple-choice questions, situational judgment exercises, and role-playing scenarios.
This will give you a sketch of the overall personality of the candidate and parse them out from total dud candidates.
Candidates are not going to buzz around your building just because you have an opening. You need to announce your opening through different channels and attract candidates to you. Here are a few tips for the same:
Hiring can be a difficult task, as it involves finding the right candidate who not only possesses the necessary skills and experience, but also aligns with the company's culture, values, and goals.
It requires a lot of effort and resources to attract, screen, and evaluate potential candidates, and there is always a risk that the chosen candidate may not be the best fit for the role or the company. It also requires attention to detail and good judgment, as well as the ability to assess candidates not only by their qualifications, but also by their soft skills, work ethic, and cultural fit.
Make use of pre-employment assessments to clear your judgment and hire not only the best person but also the right person.
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