Interviewing Techniques For Assessing Customer Service Skills

Mary Joseph
Mary Joseph July 26, 2023
Updated 2023/07/26 at 3:00 AM
Interviewing for customer service skills

To prevent the negative impact of high customer churn and the subsequent harm to your reputation, it is highly recommended to improve your customer service teams through the utilization of customer service assessments.

Customer service assessments offer a convenient and efficient method to evaluate the essential skills and attitudes required for customer service positions.

By employing online assessment tests, you can effectively recruit and develop top-notch customer service experts, thus significantly improving the overall customer experience.

This blog will provide comprehensive insights into customer service assessments, covering topics such as the creation and optimization of assessments, as well as the specific skills and qualities that should be assessed.

What Exactly Is Customer Assessment?

Customer service assessments evaluate the abilities, knowledge, and temperament of job candidates or employees in relation to customer service and similar roles involving direct interaction with customers.

These assessments are conducted online and typically involve a series of questions presented in various formats, such as multiple-choice, true/false, essay, audio/video response, and others.

The outcome of these tests can be either a numerical score or a personality analysis, depending on whether they are scored or focused on personality traits.

By utilizing these assessments, recruiting professionals and hiring managers can enhance their hiring process and onboard high-quality customer service representatives who possess the necessary skills and qualities required for the role.

Additionally, corporate trainers can utilize customer service assessment tests to identify and address any knowledge or skill gaps within the existing customer service workforce of the company.

Different Customer Service Assessments

Assessments of Hard Skills:

Hard skills assessments evaluate an individual’s technical expertise and abilities that are directly relevant to customer service. The following are the fundamental hard skills necessary for achieving success in customer service positions.

Industry Expertise:

Regardless of whether you’re recruiting for a beginner or high-level role, it is crucial for a customer service representative to possess a solid understanding of the customer service sector and recognize the significance of interpersonal abilities in delivering exceptional customer service.

Product and Service Expertise:

A positive customer service experience entails the customer engaging with a single representative and achieving satisfaction in a single interaction.

For customer service professionals to provide prompt and effective assistance, they need to possess a comprehensive understanding of the products or services they support, as well as other relevant offerings from the company.

This means that customer service executives should be able to address customer inquiries without relying on manuals, brochures, or seeking help from colleagues.

In addition to product knowledge, customer service agents should be well-versed in the business’s policies and regulations. To ensure that employees have a solid grasp of this crucial information, corporate trainers can utilize customer service skills assessments.

Here’s a helpful tip: Incorporate links to your internal knowledge base in the assessment results when using customer service assessments as part of a training program. This approach encourages learners to review and refresh their understanding of the products they support.

Skills for Troubleshooting:

Customer support representatives should possess the ability to identify and diagnose customer issues accurately while implementing successful solutions. They should possess a comprehensive knowledge of the potential problems that customers might face when utilizing the product or service. Additionally, they should be skilled in asking relevant questions to determine the underlying cause of the problem.

Language Abilities:

The language proficiency requirements for customer service representatives vary depending on the region. In certain cases, representatives may be expected to be proficient in one, two, or multiple languages. For instance, customer service agents employed by US companies might be required to have a strong command of both English and Spanish.

When conducting a customer service skills test for potential candidates, it is essential to evaluate their proficiency in various language elements including grammar, pronunciation, vocabulary, accent, and more.

Computer Proficiency:

A significant portion of the duties of a customer service representative revolves around utilizing a computer to store and access information. Hence, it is crucial for all customer service agents in your company to possess computer literacy skills. Additionally, they should be open to acquiring knowledge of new software applications required for their role.

Numerous companies fail to recognize the significance of this aspect until they begin experiencing customer loss due to minor problems that could have been effortlessly resolved with adequate training in fundamental software usage.

Understanding Of Customer Service Tools:

To provide efficient customer support, a customer service representative may need to use a variety of internet technologies. For instance, customer service representatives may need to use a tool like ProProfs Live Chat to offer immediate assistance or full support software like ProProfs Help Desk to make moving between communication channels easy.

Customer service representatives should respond promptly through email or chat, either to enhance customer satisfaction or manage multiple customers simultaneously. Additionally, they should effectively communicate with their colleagues and swiftly update databases with new information. Hence, it is imperative for customer service agents to possess excellent typing skills, including speed and accuracy.

Assessments of  Soft Skills

Ability To Communicate:

Effective customer service relies heavily on strong communication as it serves as the foundation. Proficient communication abilities empower customer service representatives to swiftly address customer inquiries and concerns, defuse tense scenarios, foster improved customer relationships, and even capitalize on opportunities for cross-selling and upselling.

Skills In Active Listening:

More than thirty years have passed since the beginning of the internet era. However, despite this, phone calls remain the favoured choice among customers when it comes to problem resolution.

When it comes to phone customer service, the ability to listen effectively is equally crucial, if not more so, compared to speaking skills. Customer service representatives must grasp a customer’s inquiry or complaint in their initial attempt to avoid wasting both the customer’s time and their own.

Reading Comprehension:

Customer service representatives should possess the ability to rapidly and precisely understand all types of customer communication. Additionally, they should have the skill to grasp the underlying meaning and decipher customers’ intentions even when messages are informally written or expressed in a stream-of-consciousness manner.

A reliable method to assess candidates’ reading or listening comprehension abilities is by administering customer service quizzes that provide passages or audio clips and include related questions.

Etiquette Of Email:

It is important for customer service representatives to have a solid understanding of fundamental email etiquette in order to avoid unintentionally offending or confusing customers. Conversely, effectively composed emails can serve as a valuable means to create favourable impressions on customers and enhance customer loyalty.

Teamwork Techniques:

Occasionally, customer service agents may have to cooperate with colleagues from various departments, both within their own team and across the organization. Possessing strong abilities in teamwork contributes to productive and successful collaboration, resulting in enhanced customer service quality and efficiency.

Emotional intelligence & Empathy:

Skilled customer service experts possess the ability to effectively handle challenging circumstances by utilizing their own emotional control and understanding the emotions of the customers. They can exhibit self-assurance and poise even in the face of irate clients, finding creative solutions to resolve issues.

Furthermore, a key aspect of providing satisfactory customer service involves empathizing with the other person’s perspective to accurately gauge the seriousness of the matter at hand.

Customer support representatives who adopt an empathetic mindset can convey a strong sense of appreciation to customers, fostering a collaborative environment to overcome obstacles together.

Negotiation Skills:

Having negotiation skills can be highly beneficial for individuals working in customer service roles. Similar to how sales representatives negotiate the price and conditions of a sale, customer service representatives may need to engage in negotiations regarding the terms of a proposed resolution.

To illustrate, let’s consider a situation where you provide a cloud-based software solution and one of your customers requests a new feature.

However, implementing this feature would involve significant customization and development time, without offering substantial value to the customer’s business or your own.

In such a case, your customer service representative should possess the ability to employ persuasive techniques in order to convince the customer to consider an alternative solution, while being mindful of their emotions and preferences.

Positivity And A Sense Of Humor:

Customer service representatives must possess a self-assured and lively demeanour as well as a keen sense of humour in order to excel in their field.

A strong sense of humour allows them to engage in pleasant conversations with customers and foster a positive environment within their team. Additionally, confidence empowers them to effectively manage various situations and implement optimal solutions to address customer concerns.

Video And Audio Interviews:

Are you aware that an online assessment tool can be utilized for conducting audio/video interviews? Audio/video interview assessments allow individuals being assessed to record or upload videos or audio clips in response to questions, offering convenience. Video interview assessments serve as a great and highly flexible substitute for in-person interviews, particularly in remote hiring scenarios for customer service evaluations.

What Are The Benefits?

It resolves any problems related to scheduling interviews and enables you to effortlessly recruit customer service employees residing in different time zones.

Crafting a top-notch customer service team is undoubtedly challenging, yet it remains within reach. To achieve this, it is essential for your customer service representatives to possess a diverse range of both soft and hard skills, coupled with an appealing and empathetic demeanour. By integrating technology like online assessment software into your recruitment, onboarding, and training procedures, the hiring and development of highly proficient employees who interact directly with consumers can be streamlined and cost-effective.

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