Customer service itself is hard enough, providing it over the phone exclusively is even more challenging. Especially when you’re aiming for outstanding, personalized customer service that goes the extra mile, you must hire the right people.
Unfortunately, not everyone is cut out for the job. Even some of the hardest-working, most diligent people can’t handle the pressure and aren’t good at talking to customers. Use the following tips to make the hiring process easier and to more efficiently find the right people.
Create a Profile
You must go into the hiring process knowing exactly what to look for. Of course, you want someone reliable, hard-working, and punctual. These are basic attributes for any employee, but working in a call centre requires some additional, more specific skills and traits:
- A thick skin
All of these are essential in a top-performing customer service agent. Use these as your base for creating a comprehensive agent profile. This profile should also take into consideration the behaviours and qualities of your existing top agents and your company’s core values.
Pass the profile on to anyone conducting interviews and hiring new people and insist that all candidates meet the requirements.
Ask the Right Questions
While it’s necessary to determine who fits the profile and who doesn’t, determining some of these traits are difficult at first glance. Carefully consider their answers to questions like these:
- What makes a call centre successful? This tells you what they know about the call centre industry and how it works. It also tells you what ideas and values they’ll bring to the company.
- Describe a time you had to handle an angry customer. It’s only a matter of time before they encounter an angry customer, and you must be confident they’ll remain calm, polite, respectful, and not take it personally.
- How do you handle high-pressure and high-stress situations? Call centres are often fast-paced, stressful, and emotionally tolling. You need to know candidates can handle this. You want them to answer this confidently and with effective methods.
- What made you want to apply for this job? This question is a test of both attention to detail and their level of investment. You’ll know they read the job description thoroughly if they cite parts of it. This also tells you they’re invested in your company and not just applying for the sake of it. Longevity matters, especially when you invest in thorough training.
- What is great customer service? This gives you a base understanding of what customer service means to them and how they intend to carry it out. Ideally, they should be focused on the customer and talk about being efficient and personal.
Of course, you can develop questions more specific to your company and industry. But, these questions should reveal whether or not the candidate is indeed cut out for call centre customer service.
Be Prepared and Specific
Hiring for a call centre isn’t easy and if you’re not careful, you’ll see high turnover rates and unsatisfied customers. On average, call centres have a turnover rate of about 30-45%. Not only is this annoying, but it’s costly.
Educate yourself on what an ideal call centre candidate looks like, and be specific when creating your company’s hiring profile.
Your call centre agents are the face of your company to those with an issue and you can’t afford to put mediocre and inadequate people on the phone.