Ian Cowley shares the key personality traits he looks for when interviewing for his contact centre.
In the customer service arm of our business, attitude is key. Our call handlers need to be upbeat and polite, making their customers feel appreciated and heard, while giving them the best experience possible.
They must also be resilient. An unhappy customer can be very unpleasant and sometimes aggressive. So when I interview, I look for signs that the interviewee will be able to handle this and not take it too personally.
If I feel like a potential employee will take things to heart or, even worse, take this out on the team, they’re not going to fit.
We prize employee ambition. Ambition drives a pride in their work, which means we are guaranteed quality output. It also means they are looking to advance.
They are often willing to take on more responsibility and look for opportunities to contribute with new ideas and insight to ensure the business remains innovative.
We will never dismiss anyone with prior experience. However, having someone with raw talent and lots of aptitude presents us with more value than customer service experience.
This is because they are a blank canvas, so we can train them to our standard without inheriting any bad habits from previous employers.
In interviews, I look for clues that suggest an ability to quickly create a rapport, handle rejection or hostility from a customer and be willing to follow a proven process.
The ins and outs of our call centre can be taught, but an innate ability to handle issues is key to being a good customer service representative.
4. Cultural fit
If you have a small team, it’s important that you have a set of complementary personalities.
Can you see your team members working happily with this person every day? Will they balance the skills and characteristics of the current team?
Ensuring a good personality fit will enable your new recruit and existing employees to excel as a team.
If an employee has passion, it radiates throughout the office.
Someone who loves their job and is passionate about providing the best possible service will also help to motivate the rest of the team.
Having employees who want to be there, reflect your vision and push the business forward is priceless.
With thanks to Ian Cowley, Managing Director of Cartridge Save