Serving customers is an essential part of most businesses, from convenience stores and utility companies to passenger transport and luxury real estate. Commonly known as customer service, this special attention to individual customers goes by various other names, such as client services, customer care, customer success, and customer support.
To offer customer service is to go beyond offering a mere product or service. Serving the customer means caring that the customer has an excellent overall experience with said product or service. In some environments, such as hotels, customer service means ensuring that the customer is safe, comfortable, and even happy.
This brings up a key point: In some cases, customer service is built into another job, such as nursing or auto sales. In other cases, customer service is the job itself.
What customer service actually looks like varies with the industry it’s tied to. With software and other tech products, customer service often involves help with installation, basic how-to training, and troubleshooting. In a posh or one-on-one setting, offering top-notch customer service might mean offering refreshments or changing the music to suit the client’s taste.
Superior customer service can differentiate your business from another that offers a nearly identical product. Customers will remember how they were treated when they were engaging with your business. Hence, providing exemplary customer service is surely the best way to secure repeat business.
It’s critical to hire the right people for customer service roles because bad service can alienate customers and kill your business. The customer service industry isn’t for everyone; the successful customer service representative has certain qualities.
Here are some more general characteristics and skills to look for in a customer service candidate:
In some cases, the representative may need to tolerate certain working conditions. For example, call center representatives are typically tied to a desk, computer, and headset for most of their shift, whether at home or in the actual call center. Customer service jobs may involve night and weekend work. This could be the case when the business operates globally with customers in different time zones, or when the product or service is needed around the clock, such as phone service.
One of the more common problems in hiring the right people for customer service roles is choosing candidates who don’t enjoy helping people or have a generally negative attitude. These less desirable traits can be invisible in a resume and hidden well during an interview. But on the job and under pressure, someone who’s not fit for customer service can quickly lose patience with a challenging customer and cost you business.
The customer service industry is a terrific industry to screen and hire for via pre-employment assessments. By testing applicants for emotional intelligence as well as hard skills, you’ll quickly home in on a talented group of candidates for your customer service positions.
As with most employees, customer service employees should be computer literate and good with basic math. These skills are easy to test for. You also likely want your customer service reps to be quick-thinking and well-spoken. You can assess these qualities through custom scenario-testing questions and through video interviewing.
A superior customer service agent knows your company policies thoroughly but also knows when to go the extra mile to keep a customer happy. You may wish to hire customer service reps who are bilingual. Whatever you’re looking for, there’s a way to assess for it. HireNest pre-employment testing for customer service jobs lets you assess candidates fairly and faster than you ever could before.
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