This day and age, most people realize how it important it is for businesses to hire the right employees for a team, no matter the industry. However, how much time do you really spend on thinking about the top personality traits and skills needed by the workers who deal with customers day in and day out, that aren’t so obvious to see on a resume?
Anyone who is at the frontlines when it comes to customer interactions needs to possess certain qualities which will ensure they wow potential and current clients every time. These traits aren’t usually listed on job advertisements or candidate CVs though, as they’re something that can be difficult to quantify.
If you want to ensure you pick the right person for a customer service role, it’s important to read between the lines on applications and to look for signs of the right traits during interviews. While it pays to enroll in a master’s degree with a specialization in human resources if you want to learn the ins and outs of recruitment and employee management, read on for some top qualities you should look for in customer service candidates today.
A Good Attitude
First off, a good attitude is one of the most important traits to look for in potential employees, and can make all the difference between a less-than-wonderful team member and someone who you want to have on board for many years to come.
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When comparing candidates, look for those who can demonstrate a positive outlook and plenty of enthusiasm for the role and the company they would be working for. This can often be displayed through body language, word choice, past employer feedback, and the types of questions that candidates ask.
The right customer service agents will use their positivity and passion to:
• Be friendly and empathetic to clients
• Work well with the rest of the team
• Take on challenges that others might try to run from
People with the right attitude are also more likely to put in the extra effort required to really wow customers time after time.
Adaptability and Flexibility
Being adaptable and flexible is also very important in any role, particularly in customer service positions. While these types of jobs often have a high turnover rate, if you employ people who can “roll with the punches” and adapt to changing circumstances and client requests, they’re more likely to stay in the job for longer.
Having team members who can adapt to and learn new processes, technologies, systems, and techniques will make a big difference to a business and its success over the long term. Flexible workers are also more likely to:
• Be willing to stay late when needed
• Be open to changeable working hours
• Cope with a variety of tasks and new environments
• Be keen to take on new jobs as needed
When analyzing potential new hires, look for people who demonstrate that they have willingly taken on new tasks or responsibilities in their past roles, who have learned new systems, or who have shown themselves to be adaptable and flexible in any other way.
In customer service roles, relationship skills are also incredibly vital. Agents who have good interpersonal skills and a high level of emotional intelligence are not only going to interact better with all the customers they come into contact with, but will also work well with the rest of the team.
It is important to find workers who can communicate well across a variety of methods (including in person, in writing and over the phone), and who can get across complex or difficult information to customers in a thoughtful and effective way. Customer service people must also have fantastic listening skills, so that they can hear and understand not only what a client is saying, but also what they may not be communicating that needs to be considered.
During interviews with candidates, take note of those people who come across as personable and likeable, and who express themselves well. Keep in mind that you’re not necessarily looking for extroverts here, but rather people who know how to communicate politely and tactfully at all times, without losing their cool.
When looking to hire a new staff member it is also beneficial to find workers who have plenty of initiative. Such employees won’t have to be micromanaged, and can instead go about their role without having to look to managers to guide them all the time.
People who display initiative are more likely to:
• Get more done every hour
• Come up with fresher and more creative ideas that solve problems or bring potential issues to the notice of management
• Be motivated to go “above and beyond” in their day-to-day work