Achieving unparalleled customer service begins with selecting the right group of people for executing the task. Choosing the right team can be a daunting task because of the varying advice out there on what skills to look for in a customer service representative. What exactly are the characteristics which a good customer service rep must have? When hiring, make sure to ask a maximum number of questions to evaluate them, put them through real life scenarios to assess if they have the following capabilities or not:
Willingness To Learn
You will be amazed to see how many people, despite having the ability, are not willing to learn. Willingness to learn is a must have characteristic for employees of all ranks. You are never too old to learn! You can measure this characteristic in a person by seeing if they are open to new ideas and if they have the motivation to adapt to changing situations.
Work Load Management
Customer service departments have calls and mails coming in 24/7. No matter what the size of the business, the workload on customer service representatives is generally very high. For providing exceptional quality of customer service, the ability to manage workload without getting stressed is essential in this business.
Problem Solving Skills
It is not uncommon for things to go beyond the script a couple of times a day. Often situations might occur where a customer service representative will have to employ their problem solving skills to propose the best possible solution to the customer. The ability to pacify a stressed customer and providing them with an instant solution or an acceptable alternative which resolves their problem is part of the everyday job. When hiring, put across an unusual customer service scenario to the candidate to understand if he/she has the ability to grasp the problem and present a satisfying solution.
The first step towards solving a problem is understanding the problem, which begins with listening attentively to what the customer has to say. Paying attention to subtle details is the key to finding a solution in the shortest timeframe. A customer service rep should also appear to be alert and eager in providing service.
For a customer service representative, the most vital tool for handling a confused or angry customer is patience. He needs to have a very calm, patient temperament in order to make it through the day dealing from one customer to another.
One of the skills that you need to evaluate is whether the person has the right kind of persuasion skills required for the job. Persuasion skills are required not only when selling a product but also when offering a solution to a problem or advice on any issue. But this has to be done in a subtle and polite manner without agitating the customer in any manner. If a customer service rep is devoid of persuasion skills, there is a high probability of a customer being unhappy with the quality of service provided and turning away to a competitor instead.
Even the most promising and bright individuals, if they do not have the ability to effectively communicate their message to the customer, they can never be successful in the customer service industry. Hiring the right person with the right language and communication skills is an essential ingredient to providing successful service. Watch out for how the candidate is communicating with you, the kind of words that he/she is using, body language, the tone of voice; is the voice shaky and nervous or clear and confident? All these little gestures will help you select the right person for the job.
Ability To Read Customers
A customer service representative needs to have a knack for reading customers, and changing his tone, voice, and style according to the situation. Once again, you can judge this by putting across a likely scenario where the mood and tone of the customer changes and evaluate your candidate accordingly. Look out for people skills!