When the subject of my job in social media comes up in conversation I am commonly asked about my daily routine. I would like to respond with something simple like, “I’m on Facebook and Twitter all day,” but it’s surprisingly demanding.
Leading a digital customer service team requires more than knowing the perfect emoji for any given situation; it requires a team of digital customer service representatives that embody the necessary values and expertise to help our clients make authentic connections with customers.
Given the importance of assembling a customer service A-team, here are 4 traits that should always be a part of the hiring equation when it’s time to hire a new representative.
Ability to Handle High Stress
While reaching out via social media 42% of consumers expect a response within just one hour, and 32% percent expect to a response in under 30 minutes.
Similar to call centers, which use an Average Speed of Answer (ASA) metric, maintaining an optimized ASA for each of our clients is an integral part of what we do. The challenge intensifies in that each representative may juggle various customer service situations for companies with unique voices and protocols.
But with the right team, customer service excellence is possible. When interviewing potential team members, we look for candidates who thrive in high stress situations. We inquire about past working environments and how the candidate has responded in previous stressful situations.
We seek out team members who are quick thinking and can respond positively to criticism.
The team members communication skills are necessary for responding to customer service situations, interacting with clients and for internal communications.
Our agents communicate trends with the larger team, so that our clients receive feedback, so that they can in turn provide us feedback -- ensuring that situations can be resolved quickly and efficiently.
When hiring new agents, we observe a prospect's interview communications. If a prospect is hired will he or she be able to summarize situations thoroughly? Will he or she be able to communicate concisely and forcefully, especially in a short word count?
Experienced customer service representatives know that there is no end to the situations that can arise while engaging with customers.
A representative must be prepared for the unprecedented; the situation that is was never even considered when common protocols were established. The representative must be able to think critically.
We look for candidates who can cite instances when he or she has used critical thinking for resolving real life issue. We may also present a demo customer service scenario and evaluate the candidate's process and response.
Leading With Kindness
Customer service agents inevitably interact with unhappy, angry and even exasperated customers, particularly on an online platform. Our team members know not to receive online interactions personally, but rather to take a “Kill em with Kindness” approach.
Kindness allows agents to save relationships with customers, and often will convert the disgruntled into the satisfied, and an advocate for our client's brand.
It is has important to select agents who are compassionate by nature. This can be a tricky quality to look for, but a great way to start is with a culture interview. Interview questions like “How you have positively impacted the life of others?” can indicate a candidate's empathy in daily life.
Also following the interview current team members can be asked their perceptions of the candidate based on their interactions. Did interactions seem authentic? Were the candidates standoffish, talkative or polite?
Effective Customer Service Representatives are a valuable asset!
These core qualities make for customer service representatives who effectively manage digital customer service, and turn social media users into satisfied customers and have converted satisfied customers into brand advocates!