Customer Experience Recruitment
Customer Experience Recruitment
Customer Experience is a rich new way of thinking about your customers, and seeing them beyond the traditional, transactional Customer Service approach. Customer Experience treats your customers like long term partners, soul mates who will never leave your side. Blood brothers who will walk through life side by side with you. Ok, you just want them not to jump ship. Customer Service is more transitional, and treats each contact your customers have with you as an isolated incident. This shift in thinking seems small but really, it’s a whole new mindset. And once you have developed your Customer Experience Strategy, it’s time to adjust your hiring process to ensure your agents have the same way of thinking. They need to have the skills to work in the way you need them to. Here are some ways to change your hiring process to a more Customer Experience recruitment approach.
I like the people
Yes, really. Some call centre agents like talking, like solving problems, love technology and might be passionate about your brand, but people? Meh. Soft Skills are pretty important when your agents are the voice of your company. They need to be able to carry on a conversation, not just follow a script or ask/answer particular questions. When you’re interviewing, don’t launch straight into the structured stuff- have a chat, ask them about themselves, what interests them and see if you can spark something. You want to see a bit of energy and life, and the ability to form a bit of a connection with you. After all, you need your agents to form lasting, meaningful relationships with your customers, thats what Customer Experience recruitment is all about.
This is bigger than me
As part of your Customer Experience Recruitment Strategy, you have recognised that a customer’s interactions with you are part of a bigger journey. They may have had a very rocky road to this phone call, or had the Best. Experience. Ever. Understanding that this phone call, and this customer is a part of the much bigger tapestry of your brand will help your agents treat your customers like partners. They’re in it together and no rock will go unturned until this issue is resolved. Share a topline overview of strategy in your interview. See if in describing past roles and what motivates them they have expressed an interest in company objectives. Understanding the bigger picture and buying into your Customer Experience Strategy will help your call centre team feel like an important part of your business strategy, not just a bolt on service.
I feel you
Your call centre agents can’t always deliver customers solutions, but they can always deliver empathy. Delivering your Customer Experience Recruitment Strategy all starts with empathy. People want to feel understood and like they’re being listened to, not just heard. And you know yourself when you’ve had a less than ideal interaction with a customer service agent, it’s pretty obvious when they’re faking it and when they are genuinely interested. You can learn empathy if it’s lacking, but as a Call Centre Manager you don’t have time to be a psychologist too. So look for warmth and for potential hires who ask about you as well as speak about themselves. You should leave the interview feeling like you’ve gotten to know them a little.
Life is good
Being on the receiving end of customers calling with problems (let’s face it, they rarely call just to say hi) can be torrid work. These guys will be in the trenches, working through issue after issue and doing it with aplomb. It can be pretty easy to turn to the dark side when faced with this kind of work all day every day. So when your hiring agents that fit your Customer Experience Recruitment Strategy, ensure you see a little sparkle of optimism in the interview. You want to look for and hire people who see the positives in life. People who don’t dwell on and get overwhelmed by negativity. Remember, like attracts like, so consider your own approach to business, your core values and ensure they are aligned with your business values.
I do what I say I will do
At school, ‘conscientiousness’ was a hallmark of any report card. It was used so much it seemed to lose any meaning. But it’s pretty important that your agents follow through with your customers, in the time frame they have committed to. This is a tricky one to identify when you’re recruiting- there are the obvious little tests like turning up on time to the interview. Following through with any further information you request of them (references etc) before the offer. You get the picture. You’ll get a better sense of things in their trial period. Allocate tasks to your agents, with clear deadlines, and make sure it’s done on time. If it’s not, you may have an issue with their ability to deliver on your Customer Experience Strategy. Take your Customer Experience Recruitment beyond the initial interview, start observing their style.
So here are a few tips to hiring to make sure your Customer Experience Strategy flows through the business and ultimately your customers feel all the happy feels. It pays to stop for a beat and consider your own approach to your work, your customers and your own values. Do they marry up with those you are describing as essential to potential employees? As well as tweaking your recruitment strategy, it’s important to understand your values as a company and share them with all existing employees. After all, you want your Customer Experience Strategy to be the life blood of your entire team, not just the newbies.
Need a game plan to win on the customer experience battlefield?
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