Today we want to share with you the theory and practice of customer service. We’ve put it all together and unified it to share with you simple but working tips on how to find a support person who loves customers meets expectations and becomes reliable support for the department.
Submission of a vacancy in many ways (together with the site where you post this vacancy) determines those who will respond to it. If you are conservative, diligent, and demanding and expect the same from the applicant, then emoji and jokes should be removed from the description so as not to create false impressions (you, of course, will not insert them there, but suddenly a colleague creates a vacancy for you). If everything is fundamentally the opposite and you are a representative of a “young team, not devoid of ambition,” with an “active life position” and a burning gaze, and you are used to being on a short leg with clients, creating close and almost family relationships, then make sure that from the job description, it was immediately clear which approach was close to you – write as you write to clients, write in a manner familiar and typical of the department.
If you are looking for a funny person, and you start a vacancy with “We have been on the market since 1899”, then a cheerful person will hardly find you, because he does not recognize in the vacancy what he is looking for in vain.
However, it also happens that you put your heart and soul into the description and make it clear that you are looking for very perky, bright stars, unique support snowflakes, and in return, you receive a stack of resumes from specialists with 10 years of experience with 1C and Excel, therefore the point about choosing a suitable site is also important. LinkedIn, Indeed, Remote.co are at your service, as well as good old Facebook with an appeal to share your vacancy.
To cut off the lazy and rebellious ahead of time, ask applicants to write a cover letter. Firstly, if you do not receive it, it means that the applicant is inattentive and does not suit you right away, and, secondly, by the style and content of this letter, you can understand a lot (without exaggeration).
What to look at in a letter:
◾️ Literacy, style. The applicant writes without mistakes, knows how to express thoughts, does not use stereotyped phrases.
◾️ The job seeker writes about what benefits the company will bring and why exactly he is worthy of your attention.
So, for example, when we were looking for an employee for a position that implied very warm and informal communication with clients, we immediately cut off applicants who left only the simple “Please consider my candidacy for …” in the letter, because if our acquaintance began with a cliché, then it will be very difficult to remove this habit from work. By the way, I myself always make a big bet on a cover letter if I apply for a vacancy, and compose it in such a way as to get almost an offer in response.
It will not be superfluous: if a resume, letter, and everything else to your liking, call the applicant. Ask him simply, but not entirely expected questions: ask how he is doing, what he enjoys, where he went on vacation, and whether he brought magnets from there. If he is embarrassed and cannot exchange a few words with you, he is unlikely to be suitable for work in support, where a large proportion of communication falls on calls, but still may not be bad at correspondence.
“Good morning! I saw a vacancy and my heart began to beat faster – it seems that this is a perfect coincidence.
For 5 years I have been working in support, I have had to take care of a variety of clients: from bank visitors to disgruntled users on the forum. During this time, I learned to find an approach to any, even the most vulnerable client, and also mastered the art of resolving conflicts even before they flare-up.
In conversational English, I quickly learn new things and understand IT things well (I can raise the server, fix the layout, quickly localize the bug).
I want to put my skills to good use, your project looks like where I can do it best. Let me know if you thought so too, I will be glad to talk in person, to do a test task.”
To find that one, sometimes you have to wade through the densest obstacles, but no matter how the diamond is hiding from you, the main stage in finding it is an interview.
◾️ In 2 stages – in absentia by phone or Skype and in-person in the office to communicate live.
◾️ At the correspondence stage, clarify whether the job search is relevant and why the applicant responded to your vacancy, briefly tell again about the vacancy and yourself. At this stage, some of the applicants will be eliminated, because they have already found themselves in other places.
◾️ Face-to-face meet – conduct a full interview and give the second (more on that below) test task.
If the team works remotely or it is a streaming dialing, then the confrontation, of course, can be replaced with the same Skype call, this is not much inferior in effect, but it significantly saves time and effort. Adjust the collar and turn on the video: without it, you will not get an idea of the person and you will not be able to make an informed decision.
◾️ Don’t ask general questions like “tell us about your work experience”, focus on situations that tell about skills. For example, “tell us about the most difficult situation in the work that you managed to cope with,” “tell us about the biggest failure and mistake that happened to be made,” and so on. What if not this will paint for you a picture of the candidate’s future abilities.
◾️ Ask what the applicant’s company was doing. Ask for a story about the product. This will give an approximate understanding of how much the applicant will be involved and understand not only their specific responsibilities but in general the specifics of your business and other teams in the company.
◾️ Find out from the applicant what tasks he likes to do most and what he dislikes, in which he is strong and in which he is not, in which direction he would like to develop. So you can hire a person, not for a couple of months, but build a long-term relationship, giving the employee everything he needs for development and well-being. Tasks that he likes should be given, diluting the routine. It is important to give the tasks that he does not succeed in giving carefully, helping him to build up his experience. Problems that you don’t like should be shown from a different, interesting angle.
It will be good if you create two test tasks, so you get a maximum understanding of whether a person is right for you or not. It’s no secret that it’s best to find out as early as possible.
We must say right away that we do not propose to conduct a separate literacy test, you will check it behind the scenes by reading his answers. However, the exceptions are definitely large call centers, where each answer cannot be physically deducted, but to see how many points the applicant scored in spelling tasks is real.
Along with the vacancy, place in the test task 3 real written cases from your practice on different topics (consultation, complaint, and return, satisfied customer with praise). Ask the applicant to fantasize that they know the product and respond to each of them.
Check literacy, evaluate how close his approach is to yours, and if it is far from it, how much you are willing to invest in his training and whether there is a basis for this.
◾️ The employee fits into your KPI standards for response speed (you need to estimate with a margin of 50%, making a discount on the fact that this is a new subject for a person, indicate in advance that you are taking into account time).
◾️ Adequate reaction to the situation: praise, complaint. All of this has to fight with your politics and vision.
◾️ The applicant is not lost and does not say that he cannot dream up the details necessary for the assignment.
◾️ Act out a scene from your typical day in support work: portray a client with a common situation and ask the job seeker to help you. Avoid stress testing if this is a starting position.
◾️ Ask to solve the problem for logic and thinking. For example: ask him to describe the approximate life pattern of order in your company, invite him to draw up an ideal support schedule, taking into account some injections, and so on. There will be no correct answers here, this will show how structurally and close to what you want the candidate thinks.
◾️ The employee is not lost and does not refuse to complete the task.
◾️ If this is a scene with an unhappy client, pay attention to the arguments and behavior style that the employee will show – there will be no time to think, so the reaction will be the most natural and sincere. Any signs of irritation, aggression and reciprocal discontent can be immediately considered disqualifying.
◾️ The employee resolved the client’s question, showed ingenuity, and generally accepted the challenge with enthusiasm.
The diamond is yours, but the work with the applicant at this stage is not over yet. Let these little tips come in handy in the difficult task of organizing a department.
The introduction of a new employee into work should be smooth and natural: first of all, this is important for clients – a newcomer can unknowingly spoil relations with potential buyers and it is important to insure him for some time:
1-2 days. Read the company’s FAQ, read customer dialogues.
2-10 days. Working in tandem with another support worker: a senior employee selects light cases, a new manager writes internal comments on them, a senior employee reads and corrects them, and only after that the text is sent to the client.
10-20 days. The employee picks up all the dialogues, leaves answers in internal comments, but looks for information about what to write or asks a senior employee himself.
Once a week, you can give a new employee tests with client cases from the previous period: this way he will consolidate skills, remember all situations, and practice in a safe environment. The test results are checked by a senior employee, and any errors are corrected. If some mistakes are repeated from time to time, do not miss this call, perhaps the bridge of understanding between you and the newbie has collapsed somewhere.
The figures, of course, are approximate, do not rush to laugh at them. Build processes in a way that is convenient and good for you and the company.
Not everyone can withstand the ‘faceting’, it’s not for us to tell you about it. This is what we advise you to pay attention to if doubts crept in and you feel that the employee is not working the way you want. Each of the points separately and together can be a signal that it’s time to part:
If a few minutes ago they processed a ticket, and then a couple of hours later received a similar one, but no parallel was drawn, the solution was not extrapolated, make a note for yourself and observe – if this is repeated systematically, this will become a big problem in the future.
When performing the test task, there was time to think and rewrite, in battle there is no second chance, and time is limited, as a result – the employee communicates dryly, does not distinguish between slight discontent and strong irritation, does not read the user’s signals about which direction the dialogue will now go.
“I don’t know what to write/say to them,” “I don’t know how to solve this,” and so on. Under stress, they may lose control and starts to slip instead of looking and sorting out options.
When this happens, there are, as a rule, two reasons for this – the employee does not have the necessary experience and they need time to learn to understand themselves and their place of work, or they do not have the required level of responsibility. The first you can fix together, the second – it remains to be patient.
The main goal of each stage of hiring is to attract productive people to your company and prevent those who will not benefit from getting into it. By following all the recruiting steps correctly, you can find truly valuable support personnel who will make a valuable contribution to the development of your company.
We wish you to hire the best employees!