Your company’s customer service team has the power to make or break you. In fact, according to Gartner for Marketers, the importance of customer service is about to surpass the value of your brand or product. It’s kind of a big deal, and in this day and age, quality customer support requires so much more than friendly reps and a few telephones. Customers want (and expect) to be able to reach a company through a variety of outlets, some of which include text messaging, social media, and live chat.
The bottom line is that the role of a customer service team has changed substantially from the steady and uneventful one-man job at the front desk to a powerful force that requires a group of individuals who are fully loaded with the proper mindset and skills necessary to resolve matters without dissolving your reputation.
Due to the evolution of customer service, the responsibilities of the department can be quite heavy, and not everyone is cut out for the job. Unfortunately, many employees realize they’re not right for the position only after you’ve gone through the money and trouble to weave them into your business.
Customer Service Turnover Rates
As you already know, a high turnover rate is terrible for your business. Not only can it taint your reputation, but it is also very costly. The act of hiring, training, losing, and replacing an employee can drain your business bank account of thousands of dollars, the exact amount depending on the level of the position.
According to a study by the Center for American Progress, replacing a low-paying position with an annual salary of $30,000 or less can cost you 16% of said salary. That comes out to more than $3k for an employee receiving an average of $10 an hour! Not to mention all of the additional time and money you’ll spend advertising for, interviewing, and training a replacement.
Unsurprisingly, turnover rates in customer service positions are quite high and a big part of that problem stems from hiring the wrong people for the job.
How can you find the right employees for your customer service dream team? With these tips!
1. Spread the Word
This one should be obvious, but for those of you who are a little behind on the times, you’ll need to step up your want-ad game if you want to find great talent. Post your job listing to multiple sites and job boards for a useful amount of applications. It doesn’t hurt to put out a “now hiring” ad on social media either! If you can afford a radio advertisement, find your target audience and write up a script! The more places you can advertise your job openings, the more applications you’ll receive.
2. Refine Your Ad
The benefit to posting your job listing to multiple channels is that you can start receiving applications within minutes. The downside is that if you’re not careful, you could receive dozens of time-wasting submissions from unqualified applicants. Refine your ad with the tips below to attract only the best!
- Provide all the information you can. The more specific you make your ad, the better.
- Include a list of required qualifications.
- Be very clear about your expectations. You are not looking for a new customer service rep; you are searching for a long-term employee who can stay calm under pressure, adapt to new programs and policies, and thrive in a high-paced work environment.
- Give very specific instructions to weed out the aloof and disinterested individuals who are just submitting their resume to every job they can find. Instruct applicants to submit their application through the job board and then send a follow-up email with a very specific subject line like “CSRep Ad – [last name]”. By providing specific instructions, you’ll save loads of time shuffling through heaps of applications to find qualified individuals.
- Be honest! Not everyone is cut out to be a customer service rep; in fact, the position requires a very specific personality type.
3. Call Your Candidates
If you expect your customer service reps to perform well over the phone, call them for a trial run. It’s not necessary to conduct a complete phone interview, but you should ask them a few questions. This gives you the opportunity to do a little pre-screening and weed out a few more applicants before starting the interview process.
4. Focus on Personality
Skills and abilities can be taught, but you can’t train your employees to develop a new personality. And when it comes to customer service, personality is far more important than the general set of office skills, like how many words they can type per minute. Focus your interview questions on personality and behavior instead of knowledge and capabilities. For example, “when were you faced with confrontation in the workplace and how did you handle it?”
By asking candidates how they reacted to real-world scenarios, you can determine a few things to help you make the right decision:
- How quickly the interviewee can recall information and how well they can articulate it.
- If their problem-solving abilities are up to par.
- How confident they are in the delivery of their answers.
- And so much more.
Most importantly, you can determine how creative they are, which goes a very long way in the customer service industry.
5. Initiate a Test Run
The last step to securing the right minds for your customer service team is to let your chosen applicants witness a day in the life of their new possible position. Allow would-be reps to shadow the customer service department for a day, or one employee for a few hours. Explain to your candidate that you’re looking for long-term employees and the job shadowing is for them to determine whether or not they think they have what it takes.
The End of the Funnel
By the time you reach the end of this hiring funnel, you will have found great customer service employees who will provide your customers with a pleasing and memorable experience. Once you have your dream team, it’s up to you to keep them with a desirable and rewarding work environment. Remember, the longer you can retain your customer service representative, the better your team will become.
Does It Sound like Too Much Work?
Skip it! Providing phenomenal customer service for businesses like yours is what we do best. Contact ROI Solutions today for a free consultation!