The 4 competencies to assess to hire great customer service professionals

October 24, 2017

 In today’s competitive market-place, it’s clear beyond any shadow of doubt that Customer Service is non-negotiable to the success of business. While it may be included in the mission & vision statement of the company, it is truly engrained in the DNA of the company when the junior-most customer service representative can do a fabulous job of delivering excellent customer service. 

So how does one go about hiring the right people in the role of customer service? It’s important to ask competency based questions that will prompt an interviewee to draw from their experience while answering rather than rattle out standard and structured answers.
While the minute competencies will change as per the industry, the role and the designation, there are some common competencies that are broadly required to excel in a customer service role. Let’s begin with what these competencies are, what questions you need to ask and what answers are you expecting to assess if the candidate has these competencies or not.
Questions to Ask
Answers Expected
Personal Definition of Customer Service
What does customer service mean to you?
A good candidate will be able to articulate why customer service is crucial to your specific business & how it can have an impact on the company revenue, reputation etc.
His personal instances of excellent & terrible customer service will show you his ‘expectation’ of customer service on either extreme. It should enable you to assess if their personal expectation aligns with your company expectation of customer service.
How does it impact the business?
State an instance where you received excellent customer service
State an instance when you received terrible customer service
Emotional Intelligence
Share an instance where you have dealt with an enraged customer
A good candidate will most prominently display an innate empathy towards the customer. In his narration of these instances, his tonality & words must ideally indicate patience and understanding towards the customer.
A good candidate will demonstrate accountability towards the situation instead of placing the blame on the customer or the colleague. Most importantly, a good candidate will show tremendous pride in instances where he was able to address the customer satisfactorily thereby leading to customer satisfaction or customer retention etc. He may also share some statistics on the same if he has any.