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Ten Tips for Hiring the Right Customer Care Representative

November 21, 2006

There’s no question that training, incentives and the right technology are all tools that can help call center agents provide better service. Keep in mind, however, they’re just that: tools to help the agent. At the end of the day, the most sure-fire way to ensure that your customers are getting the best possible service is to put the best possible agents on the phone handling their calls.
Finding the right agents is often harder than it might sound. Here are ten tips for attracting and hiring the right people:
10.       Determine if external expertise is needed for your company’s customer care
Many organizations are best served by using external firms that are experts in the field of customer care. Take a close look at your company to determine if you could benefit from partnering with a company that provides call center services.
9.         Recruit from the largest pool of potential employees possible
One significant hiring challenge is the limited size of the recruiting pool around a physical center. Explore the benefits that a home-based employee solution provides, such as the ability to recruit more people, hire those with more experience and provide scheduling flexibility.
8.         Recruit people that are technology savvy
Prospective employees should know how to operate their computer efficiently and manage several windows simultaneously. The last thing you want is a customer waiting on the phone while an agent struggles with his or her computer.
7.         Look for a pleasant, professional phone presence
Voice and language skills are important for any customer care representative. After all, they’re representing your company to customers on each call. Make sure voice qualifications are part of the interview and screening process.
6.         Find customer care representatives with skills that match your customer’s needs
With a broad recruiting pool, you are able to find customer care representatives with in-demand skills. For example, financial services companies can seek people with finance or accounting degrees.
5.         Utilize a distributed customer care workforce
To decrease your exposure to weather or disaster-related outages, use customer care representatives from multiple locations. Even having dozens of agents in physical centers puts your company at risk.
4.         Offshore is not a panacea
In the rush to reduce costs, many companies have learned the pitfalls of offshore outsourcing. Determine in advance the customers that require the best customer care experience and send those calls to customer care representatives that mirror those customers.
3.         Train customer care representatives when and how they will work
Be certain that your customer care representatives are trained in an environment and at a time during they day that matches their expected work experience. If you agents will be working at night, train them at night.
2.         Find customer care representatives that build business flexibility
In a home-based customer care environment, there is no commute to work. Your customer care representatives can log in quickly and easily to assist with unforecasted call volumes.
1.         Customer care representatives should embrace your company culture
To represent your company in a way that builds customer loyalty, make sure your customer care representatives understand, and have a passion for your company.

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