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Customer Service

5 Qualities To Look For When Hiring A Customer Service Representative

November 7, 2022

When you’re a business owner, it’s difficult to not see your business as your baby. After you’ve spent years creating and building a brand from the ground up, you’re so proud of the progress it has made, and you want to ensure that the growth persists over time. Therefore, it can feel like a huge weight on your shoulders when it comes to finding the right customer service representatives to represent your brand, support your business’ long-term goals, and help create a positive customer experience for your consumers.

If you didn’t already, you should know that 89% of consumers are more likely to make another purchase after a positive customer service experience, and 58% of American consumers will switch companies because of poor customer service. These crucial figures show the undeniable truth that customer service is truly the backbone of your business and can mean the difference between gaining and losing a customer for life. But, how do you find the right team members to help support your brand and your mission? It’s alllll in the interviewing, friend.

Let’s take a closer look at the must-have qualities you should be looking for when hiring new customer service reps.

1. Quick-Thinking Abilities

Though creating standard operating procedures for your customer service team is a goal of every business owner (or should be, at least – cue eyebrow raise), there will be occasions when a customer inquiry comes through your team that falls outside the scope of your SOPs. These situations are exactly why your customer service reps must have problem-solving skills and the ability to think on their feet. When the chips are down, your team must be able to quickly work to find a solution for the customer no matter what. Try using the following questions in your next interview to determine whether the candidate is up for the challenge:

  • “Have you ever encountered a situation with a customer where their issue didn’t have a clear path to a solution? What judgment calls did you have to make to resolve their ticket and what was the result?”
  • “Can you tell me about a time when you had to work with a customer who had a problem with their product and you didn’t have all the answers for how to properly respond? What was that like, and what was your approach to handling the situation?”

2. Patience, Empathy, and Honesty

Imagine a time you dealt with a brand’s customer service representative who didn’t take the time to listen to you, offer a clear resolution, or perhaps was generally unpleasant during the interaction. Maybe you walked away with that one bad experience and let it go – or maybe it soured your interest in the brand entirely. Unfortunately, only one in five consumers will forgive a company for a poor customer service experience, and more than 65% of customers will change to a different brand entirely because of a poor experience with a customer service rep.

With those stakes, your customer service reps must be able to empathize with your customers and patiently help them through their issues. Not only will a positive experience result in higher customer satisfaction and increased sales, but it will also continue to establish your brand’s reputation. Try using one of the following questions to gauge your next candidate’s customer service skills:

  • “Tell me about a time when you had to help an upset customer – how did you handle the situation?”
  • “What is your proudest experience of working with a customer to resolve an issue?”

3. Time Management

During your busy seasons, it’s likely that your customer service representatives will be handling multiple tickets at once. To ensure that each customer gets the attention they deserve, your team must have strong time management skills so they can juggle their varying tasks. Consider asking one of the following questions:

  • “Have there been times when you had to deal with higher-than-normal call volumes? How did you stay on top of each ticket?”
  • “How do you stay motivated throughout the day during busy seasons?”

On the side of the business owner, be mindful of the number of reps you’ll need to keep up with the demand – when the busy season hits, having a sufficient number of customer service reps to assist customers allows each individual to feel supported and avoid burnout from being spread too thin.

4. Interest or Passion For Product

If your business sells a highly-technical product, you’ll want your customer service team to have at least some specialized knowledge or experience that allows them to better serve consumers, especially because 63% of consumers expect businesses to know their unique needs and expectations.

Think of it this way – if you called a customer service line for help with your product, you’d likely become frustrated if the rep you were working with had limited knowledge of the issue you needed to resolve. Additionally, if your customer service rep knows your product well, they’ll have the ability to successfully upsell and cross-sell based on the needs of your customers to increase the lifetime value of each buyer. Win-win, eh? Here are a couple of questions you can ask in your next interview:

  • “What types of E-Commerce brands have you worked with in the past?”
  • “Tell me about a time when you successfully upsold a customer.”

5. Software Knowledge

In the E-Commerce world, the sheer variety of software ranging from CRMs and ticketing systems to live chat programs can be overwhelming. If your customer service reps haven’t worked with these programs or in the E-Commerce space before, they can be up against a sizable learning curve if brought onto the team. Sure, that’s what training is for – and exactly why here at TalentPop, we assist in the training process before our agents start working with your brand (shameless plug, we know) – but, it never hurts to hire reps who already have a basic understanding or background knowledge of Shopify, live chatbots, and other software that your brand uses. Try one of these questions to check your candidates’ software knowledge:

  • “Which communication method do you prefer to use to communicate with customers?”
  • “Tell me a bit about your background and experience working with E-Commerce software.”

Use TalentPop To Find The Right Customer Service Representatives For Your Brand

Here at TalentPop, we have firsthand experience with owning and operating E-Commerce businesses. Our founders were once E-Commerce business owners themselves, and they built TalentPop because they personally struggled with finding the right customer service representatives to serve their customers.

Through our proven process that consists of extensive training, weekly check-ins, and ongoing support, we help E-Commerce business owners just like you assemble a top-notch customer service team who can take customer satisfaction off your plate so you can focus on growing your business. Ready to invest in your brand’s customer service team? Book a call with our team today and let’s talk about how we can help you find the right customer service reps for your brand.

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