Tip 17:  Customer Service vs. Technical Skills

Sometimes when choosing a new customer service rep you have to choose between one candidate who appears to be more qualified technically but does not seem to have good customer service skills, and another candidate who is not as technically strong but who appears to possess superior customer service skills. Generally speaking unless you’re recruiting ...

Sometimes when choosing a new customer service rep you have to choose between one candidate who appears to be more qualified technically but does not seem to have good customer service skills, and another candidate who is not as technically strong but who appears to possess superior customer service skills. Generally speaking unless you’re recruiting for a very technical position, it’s better to choose the candidate with the better customer service skills.  While it might take time to train the applicant on the technical skills you require, you’re more likely to be successful training on technical skills than you are to train someone to be great with customers.

Similar to the baseball adage “you can’t train speed,” in the call center “you can’t train friendliness.” Sure, you can train most people to recite a proper greeting and a proper closing, but tone is one of the more difficult things to train. It’s much easier to train someone on technical skills than to answer the phone with the needed enthusiasm. Ask yourself, “Where will this person be in sixty days in terms of their skill levels?” In sixty days most agents will have the required technical expertise regardless of where they started, but if they started with poor communication or customer skills, they will likely still be struggling in these areas.

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