There’s an immense difference between aspiring to deliver exceptional customer service and actually delivering winning customer service. The right team can make the biggest difference in exceptional service experiences.
Every time I review customer submitted feedback, I always look for key terms that establish patters for successful customer service interactions or potential negative trends in customers’ experience. One factor is almost always associated with customer reviews and feedback I see in the glowing reviews from customers and that is a personal connection with a service team member.
Deciding to deliver great customer service isn’t enough to make great service happen. Ultimately, regardless of the level of buy-in from organization leaders or managers, it’s the front line agents who will determine the impact in the customer service interaction.
Hiring the right service team members can often be a struggle for many organizations. Those who want to clearly define themselves by their commitment and the delivery of great service should consider the following keys to hiring exceptional customer service team members.
5 Steps To Hiring Exceptional Customer Service Agents
- Clearly define who you are (what type of people you want to serve your customers)
- Decide the right set of skills for your specific industry
- Craft the interview questions that will draw out people’s true nature
- Determine the type of communicator your customers need
- Choose the best agent based on fit, not necessarily best qualified
Yes, the tried and true soft skills are important: empathy, kindness, smiles, etc. are all still relevant. But conscientiousness, passion, and an ability to personally connect with people mean more.
All of the skills that your potential hire has may be for naught if they don’t have the right attitude and mindset. Your customer support employee should be service minded, and be willing to over-deliver and go the extra mile to ensure that each and every customer that they interact with leaves the interaction satisfied. Because of the fundamental difficulty of changing a person’s attitude and mindset, it’s important that your team comes into the job with the right attitude and mindset already ingrained in their personality.
Getting the right individuals on-board the team is more important than having an organization totally committed to customer service. No amount of mission statements or PR will make up for agents who truly understand customers and can deliver what customers expect from service calls.
Don’t get sucked into the tendency of looking for the most tenured customer service agent or the ones with the cleanest resume. Shake up your hiring process and start recruiting the right type of people who will be the service ambassadors that your organization needs in order to differentiate from the competition.