According to Forbes magazine, the ultimate success of a company is a combination of customer and employee trust. Regardless of how great a company’s product is, if its workforce is unhappy and unmotivated, customer service is going to decline rapidly. What should a business manager look for when hiring customer service representatives? Consider the following five attributes of employees that provide great customer service.
Professional. As superficial as it sounds, first impressions are key, whether it’s in person or over the phone. If your interviewee appears or speaks in a unprofessional tone during the interview, they will most likely appear unprofessional to your customers. Especially on the phone, employees need to be easily understood and have a tone that is positive, upbeat and ready to help.
Proactive. A proactive customer service representative identifies problems before they become problems. Employees should engage customers, asking what they like and do not like. What would they like to change about the product? This approach makes the customer feel like you value their opinion and helps you develop a clear plan to troubleshoot issues with your product.
Adaptable. Technology and products are constantly changing. As a result, customer service protocols are always evolving, requiring new training. Customer service representatives need to be adaptable to these changes, ready to tackle new challenges in an effort to provide the best customer service.
Assertive. Customer service employees should be empowered to resolve customer issues and have the assertiveness required to complete the task. If they waste time getting approval for every resolution, customers will grow impatient and loose confidence in the process. The faster a problem is resolved, the more efficient your customer process will run, resulting in a happier customer and a lower “cost per call.”
Committed. A committed employee is not just one that doesn’t quit. A committed person is interested and passionate about the product or service being sold by their company. The more committed someone is to their company, the better they will treat customers and the more passionate they will be about resolving problems.
Hiring and retaining talented employees is a challenge. However, it pays off. Employee retention is directly linked to customer retention. Lower employee turnover saves money and makes money.