Customer Experience News & Trends

4 ways to find the best customer service employees

Hiring the right customer service pro might be a tougher job than finding the CEO. After all, front-line employees — not the top boss — are usually the face of the organization to customers. Here’s how to find the best.

“You can never expect to be able to deliver outstanding customer service or even adequate service if you don’t hire the right people in the first place,” says Peggy Morrow, a certified customer service speaker, consultant and trainer, and author of Customer Service: How to Do It Right!

Know what you want

To find ideal candidates, Morrow suggests you:

  • Look for friendly body language. When doing interviews, take notice of how much they smile naturally. It’s an indication of inner kindness. Also pay attention to how well they make eye contact and lean into the conversation. Even if the candidate will only be on phones or at a computer, this kind of genuine warmth comes across in those channels.
  • Watch the temperament. Describe your most typical, yet intense, customer situation, and ask how candidates would deal with it. Watch for defensive body language — like backing away — and language — perhaps suggesting they track down the person who caused the issue. The ideal candidates use equal parts curiosity and empathy to find out more and make customers feel better.
  • Get them to ask questions. When you open up the interview to, “Do you have any questions for me?” ideal candidates will have lots of questions. People who want the whole picture — of the job, company, policies, environment, visions, etc. — are likely natural at probing for more information. They will ask customers the questions that get to solutions quicker and keep them ahead of unspoken needs.
  • Check their attitude. Morrow says studies have found that pre-employment attitude is the No. 1 predictor of success in a job. You can find tests that measure disposition, flexibility, stress management and team involvement — all important measures of success in customer service.

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