In most cases, these are the only people at your company with which your customers will have contact. Which, for all intents and purposes, means they are your company as far as those customers are concerned. This is why you need them to embody the image you’ve carefully crafted. But how can you be sure they’ll do so? Here’s what to look for in a customer service representative (CSR).
Some people just naturally enjoy talking to other people. These individuals are usually referred to (and many will actually refer to themselves) as a “people person.” This personality trait is a natural fit for customer service, as it is comprised of an affable personality, a good sense of humor and a genuine interest in what other people have to say.
A High Degree Of Professionalism
Now within that, CSRs must be capable of demonstrating outstanding emotional stability and maintaining a professional attitude. While they are in place to help customers, they must also be capable of minimizing the cost to the company. If they are too empathetic they could be overly generous, so they must come across as sympathetic while maintaining a professional distance.
Strong Communication Skills
The best customer service representatives are highly fluent in the conversational language spoken by the bulk of their customer base because they must sometimes convey complex concepts in everyday language. They are also good listeners. A huge part of communication involves listening to get to the heart of an issue and address it free of preconceived notions.
Like the Queen’s Guard at Buckingham Palace, a customer service rep’s resilience is tried on a daily basis. They encounter people with a wide variety of personalities, some of which are exceedingly abrasive, and yet they must remain cool. While expecting them to endure extreme verbal abuse is unreasonable, they must be patient enough to listen through a caller’s emotional outpourings to find a workable solution.
Independent thought and strong problem-solving skills give CSRs the capability of digesting a situation and arriving at a solution on their own while working within the customer service guidelines established by company policy. You want someone who can make decisions without running to their supervisor for confirmation of every action. Now, within that, they should also know when something is outside of their authority and seek approval before committing the company to something problematic.
Adaptability, coupled with the ability to think on their feet has carried many a customer service representative to success. CSRs must be able to pivot from situation to situation, taking experience from the previous situation with them, while leaving behind any residual irritation. Sometimes the perfect solution might be something previously untested, so they have to think flexibly enough to see the potential in something unorthodox.
A Desire To Learn
Finally, when you’re considering what to look for in a customer service representative, you want someone who is naturally curious and loves to learn. They have to get to know every aspect of the products they represent to make decisions on the fly. Depending on the size of your product portfolio, this could mean many hours of studying, asking questions and interacting with the products so they get to know them inside and out.
Maintaining a positive relationship with your customer base is a must for every business. Regardless of the nature of your eCommerce business, your best opportunity to do this lies in hiring the right people for your customer service team.
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