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Hiring the Best in Customer Service

  


Companies know the best customer service is delivered by engaged agents who are knowledgeable, patient and compassionate. The tricky part is finding this kind of coveted talent.

Attracting quality candidates is a competitive business, and top-notch customer service agents often have multiple employment options at their disposal. So, how can companies make sure they have the best people representing their brand? Here are a few key strategies that can help.

Build your employer brand and foster a strong company culture

Effective recruitment starts with a great employer brand. Since you'll be competing with countless other companies to acquire top talent, it's important that you stand out.

Your company's values, ethics, behavior and overall mission are all critical elements serving to differentiate you from your competitors, while also attracting employees who identify with your business's approach and point of view. Another significant factor is cultural fit. According to a survey by Glassdoor, 77% of job hunters consider a company's culture before applying for a job, and 73% will not apply to a company unless its values are aligned with their own.

Considering the amount of time team members will spend in the office, most want to ensure your company will be a good fit. But, how can you attract prospects that will be both a good brand and cultural fit?

Start by conveying your values and mission, and demonstrating your culture in action from the very beginning of the hiring process to appeal to potential new hires. This should include your corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts — for instance, the company's commitment to reducing its environmental impact, supporting local charities and organizing and funding company-wide volunteer activities. It should also include diversity and inclusion initiatives that promote a positive workplace environment for everyone.

Your goal should be to emphasize the unique advantages your company has to offer, particularly those designed to improve employee wellness and encourage their professional growth. Giving a clear and holistic view of the employee experience will help candidates better envision what it would be like to be part of your team.

Maintain a strong social media presence

Nowadays, more than one in 10 job hunters find their job on social media, according to research by Clutch. Even if they ultimately find employment through another channel, you can bet candidates are using social sites to research your company.

As such, make sure your brand has a presence where your target audience spend their time, including popular job search networks like LinkedIn and major social sites like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. You can't sell candidates on the idea of working for your brand unless you give them an inside look at what to expect. Brands like Disney, HP and Google do a great job of using Twitter and Instagram to showcase everyday life at the office and the overall employee experience.

Social media recruitment is also common as job seekers invest more time in building their online profiles, which give brands a better sense of their qualifications prior to the interview phase. There is also a significant opportunity to leverage your best asset — your employees — as brand ambassadors for any online recruitment efforts. Employee referral and advocacy programs that utilize your team members' social connections are a great way to amplify your reach.

Promote the benefits of a career in customer service

In certain countries, there's a misconception that customer service roles can't be fulfilling or amount to anything more than simply temporary work. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Being an effective customer service agent requires a combination of excellent communication skills, creativity, positivity and stamina. Done well, there are significant opportunities for advancement and long-term careers.

This is something you'll want to make clear in your recruitment efforts in order to build and sustain interest in working for your company. Highlight the pros associated with a customer service career, like the opportunity to build a skill set that's in high demand and transferable across numerous lines of business. Additionally, these roles provide an opportunity to gain problem solving skills, and enhance emotional intelligence. Explain how your business will help them accomplish all of these things — all while enabling them to maintain a positive work-life balance.

Retain top talent

Once you've acquired top customer service talent, you'll find yourself facing a new challenge: keeping it. Retention and the art of keeping employee attrition rates low are part of a strategic process that includes recognizing superior performance, helping your team hone their skills through coaching, training and professional development programs, and providing a clear path for advancement.

On top of that, make a point of demonstrating your respect and appreciation for your staff on an ongoing basis, and proactively create opportunities for them to contribute to your company's success. Even a simple employee suggestion box can aid in keeping workers feeling appreciated, interested and engaged.

Recruiting candidates who are qualified, motivated and that mesh well with your corporate culture is no small feat. These best practices make it easier to locate, acquire and keep the talent needed to build a strong team that delivers exceptional customer service.


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