The most important people in any business are not the CEO and management team, but the frontline customer service staff. These often lowly paid workers, are the ones who create the memorable moments with your customers. Ideally you want them to create positive memorable moments and not negative ones.
If the words “that is not my job or not my area” leave their lips at any point, they are not the people you are looking for. The best customer service team accept personal responsibility for resolving issues and building a great team.
They need to see a problem and be able to work out what they can do to fix it without waiting for 10 levels of approval.
Understanding of Internal Politics
High initiative needs to be counter balanced with an understanding of which egos need to be stroked and what the broader rules are. You are looking for high initiative within boundaries.
Solid Grasp on English – Both Written and Spoken
If customers are already upset when they contact your customer service staff and then can’t make themselves understood by your team, or can’t understand what the person is saying – then you are adding fuel to the fire. You need to be conscious of this and either have rapid escalation processes in place if this starts to happen or ensure your hiring practices deal with this issue.
Your team must be able to understand and empathise with the feelings of the person – not just be cold and logical. Unless the emotions are appropriately dealt with, the underpinning issue will not be seen to successfully resolved.
Problems need to be resolved today and not tomorrow. How fast do people tackle the hard issues? Do they leave the ticket open or do they take action to solve the problem?
Resilience & Confidence
Your team will face a bit of flak at times. How resilient are they in the face of negative approaches? How confidently can they present the solutions?
Build these into your next selection process and you should get some real winners.