Traits to Look for When Hiring a Customer Service Representative
By Carly Gail
Customer service representatives are the first point of contact for onboarding new customers. Excellent customer service will make your company stand out amongst competitors and increase customer retention and brand loyalty. The Global State of Customer Service Report found that 96% of customers felt that customer service drove their choice of brand loyalty. If you want to build your customer base and grow your business, it is important to invest upfront in great customer service.
While qualifications and experience are necessary factors when hiring, soft skills and personality traits aligned with the role are just as important. You want to choose hires who can connect with prospects while communicating and representing your company positively.
Key personality traits for customer service reps
Because of their constant interactions with customers, customer service reps must be comfortable communicating and working with different personalities. In this role, whether via email, telephone, or face-to-face interactions, a majority of the day is spent talking to others. Through assistance, advising, and troubleshooting, customer service reps ensure a smooth and positive experience with their company and product. High energy and a friendly attitude make for a standout candidate, whereas those who lack social skills and enthusiasm will probably not enjoy or thrive in this people-facing role.
In addition to strong people skills, reps also need to know about the products and services of their company; it is vital to find someone who is driven and excited about the brand. Often, they will be faced with challenges they must find quick solutions for, so a strong candidate must think on their feet. Because representatives are required to provide support and resolve issues for customers, it is crucial that this hire is a problem solver and can handle issues with patience, empathy, and care.
Asking the right questions
When planning for an interview, focus on asking questions that will highlight the candidates’ ability to deliver certain traits--rather than just using generic questions. Doing so will ensure that you find the person best suited for the role.
Here are examples of questions to ask:
What does good customer service mean to you?
Tell me about a time where you went above and beyond to make a customer happy.
Tell me about a time where you received excellent customer service. What made it stand out?
Give me an example of a time where you had to solve a problem in a new way.
Describe a time when you had to explain something fairly complex to someone patiently.
Quick tip: Want more examples of questions you can ask potential candidates? Create a job on Crystal to get personalized interview prep kits catered to each candidate.
Talk to other team members
Introducing new members to the team can be difficult, but one way to make sure all new hires fit in is to include others in the hiring process. When hiring a customer service representative, it’s important to invite other stakeholders in the position, mainly those who would work closely with the new hire, to share their thoughts and expectations for the role. Crystal’s Jobs tool allows you to create a Job and invite stakeholders to take a role expectations survey to share their criteria for a qualified candidate. You can then view the ideal personality for the position based on the traits mentioned in the job description and identified through a combination of stakeholders’ survey results.
Hire the best customer service representative for your team by using Crystal Jobs.