Use a combination of job skills tests, personality tests, and cognitive assessments to find reliable, productive customer service employees. Strong customer service candidates balance basic skills like computer and verbal communications with the cognitive aptitude to be able to quickly absorb new job-specific training.
The proofreading test will ask a candidate to review sentences that may (or may not) require corrections. It’s meant to test a candidate’s command of the English Language and their ability to accurately spot mistakes in sentences. The test typically takes 6 minutes and the average score is 9 out of 16. The Top 10% of candidates score 13 out of 16 and generally complete the test in under 5 minutes.
Since handling incoming calls is a major part of the Customer Service Role, the Customer Service Phone Simulation will test a candidate’s ability to handle a few incoming calls. The calls will test a candidate’s ability to navigate through provided documentation, their general phone etiquette, and the speed at which they’re able to resolve a customer’s issue. Candidates might even be asked to handle a call from an upset customer which will test their ability to remain friendly and calm in a stressful situation. The assessment typically takes 8 minutes to complete and has an average score of 3 out of 5. The Top 10% of candidates score 4.5 out of 5 and complete the test in around 6 minutes.
The Email Simulation measures a candidate’s ability to reference provided FAQs to resolve a customer’s issue. It also tests the candidate’s ability to craft a professional email response and reconcile a customer’s account in a mock CRM. The Email Simulation typically takes 15 minutes to complete and has an average score of 5 out of 11. The Top 10% of candidates score 7 out of 11 and typically complete the assessment in around 11 minutes.
The Typing Test is used to measure a candidate’s speed and accuracy when typing. The Typing Test is especially useful when hiring candidates for Chat or Email based positions as it offers an insight into the Words Per Minute (WPM) and accuracy of a candidate’s typing skills which are generally difficult to measure without a test. The Typing Test typically is completed in 3 minutes with an average score of 39 WPM / 99.1% Accuracy. The Top 10% of candidates score 62.3 WPM / 100% Accuracy and typically complete the test in under 2 minutes.
Strong candidates balance basic job skill with the cognitive aptitude to be able to quickly absorb new job-specific training. The ideal candidates also display markers of a dependable and trustworthy future employee who will stay at the company for a long time. Many employers use these dimensions to evaluate potential candidates:
Many CSRs will be faced with irate customers who have been through a difficult or extremely frustrating situation. Agents should be well versed in dealing with upset customers without losing their cool. They should be able to express empathy for the customer through all methods of communication.
The faster an Agent is able to resolve an issue, the happier the customer (and company) tends to be. Resolving an issue on the first point of contact (also referred to as First Contact Resolution or One Touch Resolution) is ideal and requires an Agent to have an exceptional attention to detail.
Since SOPs are put in place to protect companies, customers, and agents — they’re important to adhere to. Disregarding Standard Operating Procedures or forgetting to abide by Company policies can lead to major issues for all involved. Customer Service Representatives should always be aware of and enforce their company’s SOPs & policies.
Each time a call is escalated, it costs the customer more time and the company more money. It’s not a good scenario for anyone involved and can often be avoided if the first Agent is able to handle the issue and does their due diligence. Some applicants for Customer Service Positions (and even seasoned CSRs) get flustered when faced with the prospect of upset customers and will escalate the call when it could’ve been handled without an escalation. Self-sufficiency is crucial to a positive customer experience.
Many times a customer will call in and expect a Customer Service Representative to have the answer to each question they might have about a situation or product. A CSR should be able to quickly research and resolve an issue without providing inaccurate or rushed information. When issues become more complex, Agents are often tasked with trying multiple solutions (some tried and true, some experimental) to resolve a customer’s issue.
Following through with promises to customers and to fellow coworkers can sometimes make or break a customer service experience. Agents might be asked by fellow coworkers to contact their customer during off-hours, customers might request a callback the following day, management might request followups be sent out the following week to a handful of customers all experiencing a previously unresolved issue. Failing to come through on promised actions can drastically affect a CSR’s Quality of Service goals and can often times be the divider between good CSRs and excellent CSRs.
Some may find it difficult to remain positive despite the stressful nature of a Customer Service position. Agents who enjoy being busy, thrive on problem-solving and find happiness in resolving complex issues will excel and find happiness as a CSR.
Employers have observed that candidates who are dissatisfied with the compensation are much more likely to leave after a few months on the job. Consequently, they may ask for a wage history in order to ensure they’re offering a rate that candidates will be satisfied with which will lead to a longer (and happier) stay at the job.
Customer service representatives will find themselves communicating with customers through a variety of contact points. Agents will be asked to handle the high number of requests while putting the customer’s needs at the top of their list. Many customers contact companies only after experiencing a difficult or frustrating situation and Customer Service Representatives need to be able to handle upset customers with kindness and empathy. Customers who contact companies through email expect well-written and timely replies from Customer Service teams.
Often times CSRs will be given a knowledge base to help them tackle any complex issues that customers may have. A successful CSR should be able to navigate provided documentation and clearly communicate established troubleshooting to their customers. If they’re faced with a new situation that they have not solved before, CSRs should exhaust available documentation and follow Standard Operating Procedures before escalating a request or asking for management’s assistance. Doing so will often times result in quick resolutions for the customer which ultimately leads to a better Customer Service experience.
Companies provide their Agents with a set of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to guide Customer Service Representatives through most of the situations they might encounter. These SOPs are developed as a way of protecting the agent, the customer, and the company whenever an issue arises and ensures that the customer’s issue is handled in the correct way. SOPs also ensure that issues are handled the same way across the board. Due to this, many successful candidates display excellent attention to detail and the ability to use current documentation effectively and accurately. These candidates are less likely to request a supervisor to guide them through already established practices and will excel in environments that require the implementation of established practices.