The hardest question of a business is the hiring process and in this case hiring a competent customer service personnel.
If you’re a recruiter you already know how difficult it can be to wade through thousands of applications where you were only looking for one application.
So what exactly is the process or procedure used for hiring a reliable customer service representative?
In this article you as a customer service recruiter you are going to learn:
1. How to write proper customer service job roles appropriately.
2. How to be an employee when an employer
3. Offering attractive and competitive pay packages to employees
4. Effectively marketing your job opening
5. Finding the best candidate for the customer service job role
6. Qualities of a customer service representative you’ll be keeping a hard eye on
7. How to hire slowly yet firing fast without being sued
8. Customer Service representative Retention Strategies
How to write proper customer service job descriptions
When you scroll the papers of any daily newspaper, the most required job or most advertised is that of the customer service representative.
It’s a highly valuable skill to have and the most competent an employee can have.
I always say, better to have the best or invest the best money on a customer service rep.
Online jobs boards are also flung with a myriad of customer support roles including customer technical support specialist, customer intelligence support, customer technical support.
So how do you effectively write customer service job descriptions?
Tips for writing winning customer service representative appropriate for your business.
Identify your company’s voice.
A company’s voice can be its mission or vision or humorous or a fun environment to work at therefore the job descriptions won’t have a serious tone.
An example, ”To work for Gertie’S Creative World, you have to know a balance. A balance means to now when to have fun and when it’s business time.
Though you’ll be working in the poshest of environment it doesn’t mean you don’t smell good.
Carry a can-do attitude and your work is already valued”.
This is a serious yet humorous tone – a playful tone if you want.
Clarify the duties and responsibilities.
There’s nothing as stressing and exhausting as being excited for your first day at work only to find out you’ll be working in as many as five departments.
When I started working in the hospitality industry, I found myself as a dishwasher, cleaner and sometimes working in the back as a cook.
Other times as a cashier what I relished the most was talking to customers. Though I thrived in the field, the owner of the hotel chain didn’t like to promote me or thought I wasn’t worth it.
You don’t want your employees to feel unwanted in an environment where they thrive, where they show their competency and levels of high energy.
In fact, the trained receptionist praised me and always called me to answer her phone calls when dealing with a difficult customer.
Years later, I value giving my employees the exact work and paying them for their worth.
Don’t lie to employees by giving them roles which they’re not cut out for.
Place your advertisement truthfully in the dailies and on the internet.
What are the exact customer service skills you’re advertising for?
I know many employers recruiting for the position of customer service fight amongst themselves about the skills they are seeking on their customer support candidate.
Well, ask yourself a few questions:
DO we want our customer care service provider to know how to sell?
What kinds of combinations of skills are we looking for?
Sometimes when telling would-be employees combinations of hard and soft skill is highly favourable makes for an exaggeration on the cover letter.
Be as detailed and as specific as possible by explaining what it is you desire in them as a recruiting officer.
Do you love for them to have a soft skill like organisation?
What kind of organisation?
Do you want them to elaborate on what they organise and how?
Would you love them to have gone to school for customer service what kind of training?
I for one knows no amount of training in customer service can make one a people person.
No one wants to hear complaints or grumpy people all day.
Customer service is a bit complex that way.
Do you love for them to be critical thinkers?
Explaining how critical thinking helps in times of crisis in the business and when it’s required.
When you detail your skills and responsibilities, you narrow down the potential of millions of job seekers and get to a dedicated giver.
Customer service is the tip of giving and take like in a romantic relationship.
What are the expected customer service outcomes you desire?
This is especially important because you’re setting your terms for, ”hire slow and fire fast” without actually facing a lawsuit.
Will you work with a customer service rep for three months first before you fully hire them?
How much will you pay them? Full or ¾ salary?
Are you expecting them to have a sales experience for when you’re making cold calls to customers?
And do your customer service agents to have persuasion skills?
What is it you want to see improvement in your business and why are you hiring them?
How to be an employee when an employer.
Putting yourself in the shoes of your employer might seem like a daunting task but when you’re there you’ll educate what an employee loves.
And that’s how to connect plus hire a team of customer service rep that respects the customers.
Try these tips to be a successful employee when an employer
Why would I want to work for this company?
Who am I working with in this company?
What’s the voice of this company?
Are they a team or professionals who provide detailed informations about their positions that make me want to employ.
Has the employer written all the necessary details yet I still want to a part of the team?
Does this company have a good reputation as an employer on for example, Glassdoor?
Does this company value its employees by appreciating them with good pay, vacations or general appreciations as employees?
Does my employer accept constructive criticism?
Is the employer engaged in my well-being and those of my team that when we request for an item that will improve our service the management pays attention? Or will it be an acceptance but with a gimmick of deducting from our salary?
How does this company deal with maternity leaves, sick leaves or how does it take employees’ emergencies?
If you answer negatively or don’t know some answers to this question, well, how will your customer service team or specialist find your company a working lucrative environment?
You only feel the pinch of the shoes you have walked in, isn’t it?
Offering attractive and competitive pay packages to your customer service representative.
Imagine working for this company where you are compensated as measly as $25 per month yet the amount is actually deducted for insurance, health certificate so in the end you are left with $15 a month. How would you work in an environment full of worry, and no, I didn’t exaggerate because I know of a company that pays that poorly.
Where employees are always tired and disgruntled. Where employees run because they have seen the Sir coming.
Where employees steal food and cooking oil to sell to compensate for the slave pay.
One may wonder why some employees take such employment conditions.
Desperation and need for a job to keep one busy.
Fake promises of good pay when knowingly the business doesn’t bring in good money so cannot pay its employees.
How do you keep a customer service motivated?
Almost always it’s the pay.
If you grease your customer service support team with a lucrative pay, they’ll grace the presence of your customers by ensuring they get the most money from the business.
If and when you pay good money, employees won’t be tempted to steal to survive.
Remember employees know when the most money is coming into business you don’t want to skim over how to steal.
Desperation is a dangerous trait and you don’t want your employees to have.
Or do you want them to embarrass you because of tip money? Where they brawl in front of the customer?
How do you know how much to pay and why?
If you’re dealing with a call centre, of course, you want to have as many trained customer service agents as you possibly can afford to pay. A large organisation for example.
But if you’re small to medium size entreprise, you want to consider your budget and an attractive package.
I advise business owners to have as few customer support agents as possible who are thouroghly paid. And make sure to pay at least $500 for the most junior customer service support to $2500 for the senior most.
Start with one as you scale up.
Never employ customer representative who you cannot pay or pay below par.
How do you effectively market your customer service position?
Where do your employees hang out?
When you advertise a job opening on Brighter Mondays.co.ke, how do you know the opening will reach your would-be employees.
Nowadays the ”hanging out” social media spot is instagram, post your job openings there too.
Create a rapport with your instagram followers and slowly reveal to them the kind of opening you’re having.
Now create the duties, responsibilities, outcomes for the customer service rep you desire.
Reveal your company to would-be employees so they can be aquanted with the work space you have.
When you create anticipation aroudn your company, you get high quality c.vs rather than fluff you throw in the dustbin. And oyu may consider other great cvs for another one of your friend who’s hiring.
How do you find the best candidate for the customer service role/ job opening
If you want to get the best brains in the customer service field, those who are dedicated service providers, you have to look hard.
Social media offers a platform for job seekers and employees to position themselves as direct competition in their fields.
Use social media platform like LinkedIn or Twitter hashtags
Stalk your candidates and what they do online and the kind of content they share.
Or how they deal with others on their personal pages because you get a personal connection with a person on social media they don’t reveal on the cvs.
Ask other business owners how they found their customer support agent and if they have some cvs.
Powerful referrals from your networks ensures that you have some already vetted individuals and your chances of getting the best are increased.
Hiring a customer service support specialist is daunting because he/she is the face of your company.
Going through the process stressfree ensures that you give yourself time to find the best suited candidate.
Qualities of an excellent customer service representative to watch out for.
A customer service representative is supposed to be patient and kind with people.
Avoid checking the cv for generic terms like level of education.
Find the candidate who explains themselves properly and exactly why they love the role of customer service.
Nowadays, the level of education doesn’t matter.
Some candidates have very good levels of education in customer service but their work experience doesn’t show any work related to customer support.
Or candidates having all the great skills and none associated with loving or liking people or communicating with people from various backgrounds.
Working with people under tight scehdules, answering complaints, keeping up with customers via newsletter, looking for ways to appease customers to return isn’t a job for the faint hearted.
As all service jobs are, customer service is ONLY interesting when you love to listen to stories, have a claming presence.
Find an employee who is patient, listens actively and attentively.
A candidate who pays attention to details and doesn’t mix orders for example in dealing with food deliveries.
How to hire slowly yet fire very fast without being sued.
When preparing your business policy for your employees and how to hire and reasons for firing include a clause that speaks about the firing process.
Will you give chances to employeees before firing them?
How long is the probation month for new employees and what will you be looking for within those months?
Who will conduct employee follow-ups after the recruiting phase has ended?
Who will help hold the hands of the new customer service representative?
Will it be the Human Resource Manager? You, the manager?
Don’t just wake up and fire people it’s always the policy.
Remember those employee contracts, some of them have clauses which can get you sued for some decent amount on an incompetent employee. And I’m sure you don’t want that.
Set the expectations so that employeees have an idea of the consequences of their underperformance.
Or their use of abusive langauge towards a customer.
Have a policy where you don’t tolerate fighting, bullying or standing in for roles which someone wasn’t trained for.
Sneaky employees aren’t a good sign of a company.
Remember here, be the employeee before you’re the employer policy.
You may have a policy where you give second chances because we all do deserve second chances.
What and how do you handle a mediocre performing customer service representative but who’s dedicated?
What are the terms of a second chance?
Will you pay them in full?
How are you going to retain your customer service representatives?
If you want a customer service team that serves you well without the need of firing all the time, you need to form a connection with the team.
When you form a connection:
You customer serive team will be willing to communicate about customer feedback and customer support team feedback as well.
Start mentorship programmes withiin your business where you nurture the dedicated customer service representatives.
Your customer service team will be dedicated, motivated and engaged.
Allowing taking of courses to better the employees.
Keep training your customer support team.
Be personal with them wanting to know their true well-being.