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Create a Stronger Contact Center Workforce

Learning Objectives

After completing this module, you’ll be able to:

  • Describe best practices for hiring a dream team.
  • Determine whether or not a candidate has the specific skills needed.
  • Determine a candidate’s motivational fitness for the job.

How to Hire the Right Agents

Service Cloud is the cornerstone of a successful contact center, but to build from there you need to understand how to identify the right agents for the job. In this unit, you learn the most important things you can do to create your dream workforce.

Best Practices for Hiring

How can you find people with the right mindset for customer service? During the interview, be transparent about the job and a typical day in the life. Take the candidates on a visit to the floor and include at least one senior agent in the interview process. Certain interview questions can help reveal nimble decision makers and people who can handle high-pressure situations.

Customer service mindset. Clearly, any candidate for a customer-facing position must have a customer service mindset, which includes anticipating customer needs, answering questions thoroughly, maintaining a positive attitude and understanding that the client is the reason you’re in business. With that in mind, here are some specific interview questions you can ask.

  • What does giving “excellent service” mean to you?
  • Can you tell me about a time you experienced great customer service?
  • What do you like most about being in customer service?
  • What do you think is likely to be the difference between success and mediocrity in this position?

Tolerance for stress. Candidates must demonstrate an ability to keep stressful situations in perspective and stay rational while being empathetic. Stress test with the following interview questions.

  • What’s the most stressful situation you’ve encountered in the workplace, and how did you respond?
  • How do you deal with the stress of persistent customer contact?

Decision-making skills. Customer service professionals work independently and make decisions that balance the interests of the customer and the company. These decisions can have a big impact on the company’s bottom line. Here are some questions you can ask to learn about a candidate’s decision-making experience.

  • Have you ever had a situation where you had to consider details or opinions from multiple sources to make a final determination?
  • Can you describe the process you use to make a critical (bottom-line impacting, customer-impacting, and so forth) decision in the workplace?

Creative problem-solving skills. Customer dissatisfaction demands quick and creative solutions. Your agents need to be solution oriented, think on their feet, and find innovative ways to appease unhappy customers. To suss out these personality traits, you might ask:

  • Can you describe a difficulty you faced that required you to challenge assumptions or break the rules to solve a problem?
  • What was one of the most creative ideas you’ve had recently?

Motivational fitness. In addition to the core competencies listed above, you want candidates who are a motivational fit for the job. Look to identify someone who truly enjoys the kinds of challenges that come with being a customer service agent. Consider asking the following questions to help you understand what motivates the candidate.

  • What do you like most about the idea of being in a customer contact position?
  • What do you want from your next job that you’re not getting from your current job?
  • What part of your current job do you enjoy the most?
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