Recruiting & Hiring Blog for HR Professionals

How Do You Hire an Awesome CSR? Look for These 3 Traits

It should go without saying that making the right decision for your next Customer Service Representative role can go a long way towards overall customer satisfaction. Think about your own negative experiences when calling customer support. How did that affect your view of the company? Chances are it left you with a sour taste in your mouth.

As our co-founder Patrick Clark told Mashable last May: "It's infinitely more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep an existing customer happy. The best way to keep them with you is to pay attention to them.” The following three qualities are integral to creating a customer-first culture within your organization.

Empathy

Have you ever felt wronged by a company and tried to explain your situation to a company representative, only to hear the dreaded “sorry, there’s nothing we can do” response? An empathetic CSR should be able to put themselves in their customer’s shoes, hear them out, and not be too quick to say “no”. By doing so, it strengthens the bond they have with their customer, and helps turn the CSR into a Customer Advocate. Someone that is willing to go to great lengths to ensure customer satisfaction.

Ethics

Strong ethics in a Customer Service Representative cannot, and should not be overstated. Doing the right thing for the customer can inspire trust. It can also build goodwill with your customers. There are times when the customer simply is not right, but the CSR may be hesitant to say no for fear of a negative reaction. They may even try to bend the rules their employer has in place to placate the customer. However, if trust and goodwill have been built up over time from previous experiences, a customer is more willing to understand and accept when a request cannot be met.

Patience

Last but never least is patience. Not everyone is cutout to be a CSR, and a lack of patience is a big reason why. A CSR is typically the face and voice of the company, and as such they are the ones that get the brunt of the complaints from irate customers. Being able to remember that it isn’t personal, and allow the customer to vent is the best way to diffuse a volatile situation. Letting the customer "get it out" rather than interrupting and correcting them requires a great deal of patience, but the best CSRs are up to this challenge.

By focusing on Empathy, Ethics, and Patience, you’re on your way to finding a top-notch team of Customer Service Representatives for your organization. To hone in on whom in your applicant pool is really worth your time, I encourage you to ask questions that can reveal whether or not your candidate has these ever-important personality traits. Also, when evaluating your final list of candidates it is strongly recommended to conduct a personality and skills assessment to see where they rank in these traits.

For more information on how to attract the best applicants, download our eBook: 5 Tips for Hiring Rock Star Employees.

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Topics: Hiring, Attracting Right Applicants, Recruiting Advice, Company Culture

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