Hiring for Effective Customer Service in the Contact Center
Good customer service begins with the people providing it. For many businesses, this means the call center employees tasked with handling daily call volumes. But recruiting and retaining the best contact center professionals can be difficult, especially with so many businesses and government agencies competing for the best workers. There are several things hiring managers are doing today that can be put to use to improve service in your organization.
There are a wide variety of personality tests available today, many of which can be found online. One of the most popular tests is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, which is a great tool for determining whether someone has the basic personality traits necessary to interact effectively with customers all day. The ESFJ personality type is described as ideal for a customer service position, due to their sociable, understanding nature.
For best results, don’t ask potential employees to complete exhaustive, multi-page tests. Instead find an option that gets to the heart of the information you need without requiring a candidate to set aside hours to complete it.
Make sure that great personality can handle basic skills. There are simple assessments to check for typing skills and accuracy. Don’t forget phone skills. A role play or script read can help uncover potential problems. Finally, listening and questioning skills are important for the customer service employee. Between assessments, skillful interview and role play, you can find the right candidates.
Beyond Phone Skills
Airliner Jet Blue has been acknowledged as a brand that consistently wins at providing customer service using the tools available today. Like many customer-facing businesses, Jet Blue monitors for mentions of its name and responds on sites like Twitter. Businesses that fail to retain full awareness of their brand mentions online may find themselves in a situation where their reputations are damaged without them even realizing it.
But as brands struggle to get up to speed on providing customer service via phone, email, text, Twitter, and other resources, they may have a hard time finding the talent necessary to do all these things well. Outsourcing has become a popular channel for many businesses, who can get the work taken care of immediately by hiring experts and using shared resources to keep the cost down. Then if that channel becomes key to their business, they can decide to bring it in house.
Ongoing Coaching and Education
Even once you have put a call center in place, it is important you have a system set up to provide ongoing coaching and education to the professionals handling your calls. There are tools available that will let you monitor your contact center performance in order to determine the quality of service you’re currently providing.
If you create an environment that encourages learning and coaching, your customer service team will thrive. Whether you outsource services or have full-time on-site staff handing your call center operations, the right support system can dramatically improve your customer satisfaction levels.
GCS has developed a process that allows for the accurate screening and interviewing of thousands of agents in a short period of time. When we begin a new program we work with the client to determine the expected outcome and then define an agent profile that will work best to meet their requirements. We look internally and outside the company to identify the needed agents that will perform for the client.
If you are looking for a company to identify and nurture a workforce dedicated to your outcomes, give GCS a call. We provide outsourced contact centers, staffing services and consulting to make sure your needs are met through a quality workforce.
Seven things your organization should seek in a customer service applicant:
√ A history of providing customer service in a call center environment.
√ A personality type that is both outgoing and willing to help others.
√ Strong verbal communication skills.
√ Solid typing, accuracy and detail skills.
√ The ability to listen and express empathy.
√ The ability to provide customer service using a variety of methods, including email, phone, and social media.
√ A proactive, rather than reactive, approach to helping customers.
√ An openness to coaching and a willingness to continue to learn and grow in the position.
√ An understanding that performance will be regularly monitored and evaluated.
About Toni Currie
Toni is responsible for all the organizational development and human resources activities of GCS. A licensed Attorney, she brings more than 10 years of experience in human resources to the company.