Are you drowning in customer support requests? Are you in need of extra help in handling customer queries?
Well, optimizing customer support processes will definitely make your agents more efficient
but when the growth of your business brings in a flood of customer queries, even the best tricks may not cut it. And there’s only so much your team can handle?
So what should you do? Hire!
Hiring customer support agents who are the problem-solvers of today and have the caliber to become future leaders.
But, how do you go about hiring customer support agents that can help you scale your customer support department?
From defining the necessary skills and qualifications to testing problem-solving abilities, our 6-step framework is sure to steer you toward hiring customer support agents’ dream team. The framework includes several key steps, which we will outline below.
01. Know who you’re looking for
First things first, you need to determine what type of agent you’re looking for. Are you in need of someone who can handle tough customer complaints with a smile? Or do you need someone who can navigate the ins and outs of your customer service platform like a pro?
When it comes to hiring customer support agents, you can’t mess around. You need to build an A-team of support agents. The superheroes of customer service.
But, hiring these superheroes is like searching for a needle in a haystack.
To find the perfect fit, you need to set some early parameters to narrow down the pool of potential candidates. Here’s what to look for:
- Skills – The first thing to look for is their skills. The agents will be representing your brand and providing assistance to your customers, so it’s important for them to be well-versed in the tools and technologies used in your customer service operations. Additionally, they should possess effective communication skills like good email etiquette and the ability to handle pressure.
- Experience – Look for candidates who have a customer service background, as they will likely have experience dealing with unexpected issues and coming up with creative solutions. Having experience in a customer-facing role means they will have developed problem-solving skills and the ability to think on their feet, which are crucial for success in a customer support role.
- Personality – Personality is another key factor to consider in hiring customer support agents. Traits such as a positive attitude, interpersonal skills, patience, empathy, and adaptability are important for success in this role. Candidates who have a sense of ownership and responsibility will be able to handle difficult situations with tact and diplomacy becoming an asset to the team.
- X-factor – Lastly, the X-factor, can be considered as the unique combination of skills, personality, and experience that makes a candidate stand out when hiring customer support agents. The x factor can also include the ability to think outside the box and come up with creative solutions to unexpected issues improving the customer’s experience.
02. Craft an irresistible job posting
Here’s the deal, when it comes to customer service, it’s all about making sure your team is made up of the right people. That’s why it’s important to include information about the responsibilities and qualifications required for the agents in the job description. But don’t stop there, you should also focus on highlighting what makes your company stand out from other employers.
Describing the culture of your organization and how it values customer service excellence can be a huge selling point. It’s important to show potential candidates that you’re not just any ordinary company, but one that truly values and prioritizes customer service.
And let’s not forget the perks! Make sure to include any special incentives or perks that come with working in this role, such as flexible hours or competitive pay. This way, you’ll end up hiring customer support agents who will help take your company to the next level.
03. Find the right resumes
It can be overwhelming to filter through all the resumes that come in but don’t worry, we’ve got you.
First things first, it’s important to filter out resumes that don’t meet the qualifications required for the role when hiring customer support agents. One way to do this is to set up specific criteria to filter resumes including things like specific skills, work experience, or education level.
Another tip is to keep an eye out for certain keywords related to customer service like “customer satisfaction,” “problem-solving,” “communication,” and “teamwork.” These keywords will help you identify resumes of candidates who have the right skills and experience for the role.
A great way to find qualified candidates is to post the job on reputable job boards such as LinkedIn and CareerBuilder. This approach will help filter out unqualified resumes and increase the chances of finding a qualified candidate.
04. Carry out interviews
Trust us, you don’t want to miss out on a great candidate because you didn’t ask the right questions in the interview.
Making sure you ask all the right questions during an interview is as important as having the right map when going on a journey. Asking the right questions during an interview guides you in finding the best candidate for the role.
Generic questions like “Why do you want to work here?” don’t reveal much about a candidate’s skills and experience. Instead, ask specific questions that aligns with their skills and gives you a clear picture of their approach of supporting customers. We will help you with a bunch of questions you can ask to asses specific skills.
- Can you tell me about a time when you had to deal with a particularly difficult customer? How did you handle the situation and what was the outcome?
- Can you describe your approach to handling customer complaints?
- Can you describe a time when you had to learn about a new product or service quickly in order to assist a customer?
Time management and prioritization skills
- How do you prioritize your tasks when dealing with multiple customer requests simultaneously? Can you walk me through your process?
- Can you explain your approach to staying organized and keeping track of customer interactions?
- Can you describe your experience with [specific type of software or tool relevant to the role, such as a CRM system or helpdesk software]?
- Have you ever had to escalate a customer issue to a manager or higher-up? How did you determine when it was necessary to escalate, and how did you handle the communication with the customer?
- Can you give an example of a time when you had to go above and beyond to provide excellent customer service? What did you do, and how did it impact the customer’s experience
Teamwork and collaboration
- Can you provide an example of a time when you had to work collaboratively with a colleague or team to resolve a customer issue?
- How do you measure success in your role as a customer support agent? What metrics do you track, and how do you use them to improve your performance?
P.S. Don’t forget to prepare follow-up questions after going through their resumes.
05. Put the top candidates on a test
Want to have a clearer picture?
Put ’em to the test! Use a combination of the below options to get a good look at the candidate’s abilities and suitability for the role. After all, you don’t want to be stuck with a customer service benchwarmer. Go for the all-star!
- Role-playing exercises: This type of exercise simulates real-life scenarios that a support agent may encounter on the job. For example, role-playing a call with a frustrated customer to assess how the candidate handles difficult situations.
- Skills tests: These are used to evaluate the candidate’s technical ability and knowledge in areas such as product knowledge, problem-solving, and communication. For example, give the candidate a scenario where they must troubleshoot a technical issue and assess their solution.
- Personality assessments: Personality assessments are designed to measure an individual’s personality traits and how they may impact their job performance. For example, using a standardized personality test such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator to assess the candidate’s suitability for the support role.
- Behavioral interviews: Behavioral interviews focus on a candidate’s past behavior to predict their future behavior. For example, ask the candidate to describe a time when they had to handle a difficult customer and how they approached the situation.
- Case studies or presentations: This type of exercise allows the candidate to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in a practical way. For example, asking the candidate to present a solution to a common customer issue or to analyze a case study to assess their problem-solving skills.
- Shadowing: Shadowing is when a candidate observes and works alongside a current support agent to get a feel for the role and the company culture. This provides the candidate a more hands-on experience and allows the hiring team to assess the candidate’s performance in real time. This can be used during the probation period of the candidate.
06. Make a decision & hire!
Now that the interviews and tests are done, it’s your turn to make a decision. Before making a final decision, it’s important to check references. Reach out to past supervisors or colleagues, to get an idea of how the candidate performed in their previous roles. This will help you gain more insight into the candidate’s qualifications and skills and will help you make a smart hiring decision.
Build your team of customer service superheroes
Hiring customer support agents that can put their A-game is of utmost importance for providing excellent service and building strong customer relationships.
By following a structured process, you can identify and hire the right agents fit for your organization.
Remember, your customer support team is the face of your company, so it’s important to invest time and effort into finding the right individuals who can provide excellent service and represent your brand well.
In short, don’t just settle for any candidate, take your time to find the diamond in the rough. A great customer support agent is like a good cup of coffee, they make everything better.
So go ahead, start building your customer service dream team today, and watch your customer satisfaction and revenue soar to new heights!
Once you have your team ready, you need the right tools to equip them with. Try Helpwise for free and learn how it can provide assistants for your team with its AI capabilities.