Tips: Qualities to Look for in Hiring Customer Service Roles
By Brian O’Mara, Safelite AutoGlass® Vice President of National Contact Centers
Customer service jobs require a great deal of human interaction, friendliness, understanding, and in our case, empathy. Chances are, if someone’s calling for auto glass repair or replacement, they’ve had something bad happen to them. When they call Safelite AutoGlass®, they need a customer service representative that will be sympathetic as they recount their story and patient as they compile details of their vehicle make, model and year, as well as insurance information.
That’s why the hiring process is so important for any company who is committed to customer service. As I often tell our recruiters, “You can’t teach personality.” Therefore, we look for people with the right “soft skills,” and then train for the rest.
A favorite way to quickly spot the right people of is a little “test” so to speak. Upon meeting the candidate, they inevitably ask me how my day is going. My response? “Not so good, actually. We had to put our dog to sleep last night.”
Sure, it’s a little extreme, but the candidate’s response provides valuable insight on if he or she demonstrates the right soft skills needed for a customer service job. If the candidate shows little sympathy, we know he or she is not a good fit. If the candidate demonstrates empathy, we move on to look for other “Core Competencies.”
While our business objectives are “the what,” our Core Competencies are “the how” and are ultimately what sets us apart from the rest. The following six Core Competencies are key skills and behaviors that effective performers demonstrate to deliver better business results, and therefore serve as the foundation for all of our talent management programs including hiring.
Here’s an abbreviated list:
1. Live Our Values:
• Value our people
• Focus on our Customers
• Act with integrity
• Work together
• Show respect
2. Think People First
3. Have Passion for Creating Customer Delight
4. Understand the Business (and your role in it)
5. Be Innovative
6. Drive for Extraordinary Results
To read more about these Core Competencies, download the complete list.