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How to Hire a Great Customer Service Rep

Having a robust customer service policy in place is fantastic, but you can only make it work if you have employees who genuinely care about providing a great service in the first place. As much as training is a wonderful way to embed skills and remind people of the most important aspects of a customer experience, truly great reps are a breed of their own. If you want to provide the best service, you need to hire the best people for the job.

To increase your chances of finding the best fit, you’ll firstly need to invite as many people as you possibly can to the application process. If your applicant pool isn’t big enough you’re far less likely to find the right person than if you widen your reach. It’s a bit like looking for a new romantic partner- you’ve a far better chance of finding that special person exploring the world than by staying in one place your whole life.

Businesses that rely on great service are always scouting for great reps. This 24/7 approach to recruitment is easy if you have an online screening tool where applicants have to answer a series of questions. Based on the outcome of this automatic screening, they’ll then either be disregarded or invited to a telephone interview.  At this stage, you or someone in your team will be able to get a real feel for the person before deciding whether to invite them to a face to face interview or group session.

Group sessions and team building exercises are a really good way to watch how applicants interact with others and identify those with the friendliest and most helpful personalities.

It’s a good idea to make customer service recruitment an intrinsic part of your organisational culture, so that good staff can also bring their friends on board. Offering perks and rewards is another great way to keep your team motivated to stay on the lookout for new talent.

Once you’ve whittled it down to a few good applicants, it will be time for the one on one interview.  Scenario questions are a great way to identify how people would respond in certain situations, although if you’ve used a good online screening tool this will have probably already been established.  Since customer service relies mainly on people skills, here are a few of the main qualities to look out for:

  • Warmth and kindness- all the customer service training in the world won’t make a cold fish someone people feel comfortable around
  • Empathy- likewise, it’s important to recruit people who really care about others and are able to put themselves in their shoes
  • Team Work- watch out for applicants who are all “me, me, me”- great customer service is a team effort
  • Attention to detail- conscientious, attentive people who notice the little things are almost always more likely to deliver a better service
  • Optimism and positivity- working with customers isn’t always easy, so look for people who see the best in every situation and don’t let bad days drag them down

Hiring the best of the best will help you get your business noticed and gain recognition as a company that genuinely cares about its customers. For more information about customer service recruitment and training, contact us today.

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