November 4, 2021

Screening Service Skills: Essential for Hiring Success

Ensure hiring success with screening service skills. Discover essential techniques for screening top talent. Elevate your team now!

By
Jon Tucker
CEO HelpFlow
Screening Service Skills: Essential for Hiring Success

When it comes to hiring, defining the necessary screening service skills is crucial for finding the right candidate. In the case of customer service agents, recognizing essential skills is just the beginning. Assessing these skills early in the recruitment process is challenging yet important. Moreover, the urgency to fill the position often requires a swift hiring process. Therefore, it’s important to have a clear and efficient screening method that balances the need for speed with the need for quality in candidate selection.

Hiring customer service agents is not easy. But if you know these specific critical skills that determine success and have a simple but effective way to test for those skills during recruitment, it can make hiring agents much easier.

At HelpFlow, we provide 24/7 Live Chat and Customer Service Teams for over 100 e-commerce stores. We’ve been in business for over five years and have hired hundreds of customer service agents. We have built an insanely robust hiring process that consistently produces great quality agents.

In this post, we’ll walk through the three most important customer service skills and how to screen for them easily in the recruitment process.

Let’s get into it.

Screening Service Skills: Being Detail-Oriented / Active Listening

Screening Service Skills detailed

Effective screening service skills are essential to prevent customer frustration during interactions with service agents. A common grievance for customers is the feeling of not being listened to or comprehended. The initial minutes of a conversation spent clarifying the issue and desired resolution can set a negative tone. Companies are now focusing on enhancing these skills to ensure that agents can quickly and accurately understand customer needs, thereby improving the overall service experience.

While some of the problems can be customers that don’t communicate enough, oftentimes, junior agents don’t have strong enough listening abilities or aren’t detail-oriented enough. These are things that become apparent over time when managing a team of customer service agents, but it is possible to screen for the skills upfront.

For example, you can bury an instruction in your job posting with “start your application with ‘yes, I read everything.” If someone doesn’t submit their application starting with that, you can assume they’re not detail-oriented. If they miss a detail like this during a job application, what other information are they going to miss when the stakes for them are lower.

In addition to that simple screening method, try this to screen listening abilities. Please explain in the job post what’s most important to success in the role, and then later in the application, ask them what they think will be most influential to them doing well in the job. It’s basically the same topic, so they should provide an answer somewhat in line with what you said. If they don’t, that might mean that they aren’t really paying attention or listening to what you shared in the job posting.

Problem Solving Ability

Screening Service Skills solving

Customer service is really about problem-solving and helping customers overcome issues. If an agent does not have good problem-solving abilities, your customers will be left unhappy, and you will be left frustrated hand-holding them through simple situations.

The specific problems agents solve for customers will vary depending on your business, but you can test their ability to problem solve by adding a few steps to the application process.

First, ask them to submit an online video link to one of the answers on your application, but don’t tell them which tool to use. There are plenty of ways to record a video and share it online, so if they’re not able to figure out how to do that, they may not be skilled enough for problem-solving or technical enough for a customer service role.

An alternative approach in assessing screening service skills is to present candidates with a practical challenge. For instance, ask them to forward their application to another team member, providing only the name and title but omitting the email address. This tests their ability to use resources like LinkedIn or company contact channels to complete the task. If a candidate returns stating the email address is missing, observe their next steps without intervention. Should they fail to take initiative and only highlight the issue to you, it may indicate a lack of problem-solving skills, which are critical in service roles.

Composure Under Pressure

Customer service is a high-pressure job. Agents need to be able to listen and catch details while problem-solving under pressure. All while not breaking down and being rude to a customer because they are overwhelmed or frustrated.

This is something that’s a bit tough to test, but the below scenario can work well later in a job interview process (i.e. well past the application phase).

On a phone call, set up a mock scenario for them to search your website for information while you watch them on your screen. Tell them that you’re going to ask them to find something, while also asking them a few other questions along the way.

During the recruitment process, it’s beneficial to evaluate screening service skills by multitasking candidates. As they search for specific information, simultaneously pose straightforward questions about their job history. A capable agent will adeptly handle this pressure, continuing their search while courteously responding to inquiries. Signs of frustration or confusion may indicate a struggle with pressure, whereas a composed request for a brief pause to find the information demonstrates effective pressure management skills.

What’s Next?

As you start to hire additional customer service agents for your business, make sure that they have the skill sets so they represent your brand well. You can avoid misfires by integrating these screening techniques or other similar techniques into your hiring process.

Having a turnkey customer service team working alongside you would be helpful as you scale your business. So reach out to us today. We provide 24/7 live chat and customer service teams to 100+ stores and can help you scale seamlessly and profitably. Even if we don’t end up working together, the customer service audit process we can take you through will spark a lot of ideas for you since we’ve worked with so many stores.

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