In today’s evolving economy and job market, customer service specialists and professionals are vital roles to the success of a company. Not only can they help boost customer satisfaction, they also can nurture repeat business, which has a direct impact on company profitability. The latest Robert Half Canada Salary Guide finds that customer service specialists, call center staff and administrative assistants among the hottest jobs in administrative and customer support profession headed into 2024.Skilled customer service specialists and professionals alike, can be harder to find especially in a tricky job market. With many potential candidates quietly seeking their next opportunity, cautious of the current economic affairs affecting hiring, chances of finding your next customer service specialist or administrative assistant are harder than before.To help managers and businesses hiring for administrative and customer support, Robert Half Canada has created the guide below that outlines several crucial roles to hire for, salary ranges, interview questions to ask, and tips to streamline the process of hiring remote employees.
The most critical step in how to hire for a customer service specialist is creating or updating your job descriptions to ensure they contain the key details of the respective roles and key words that describe what skills your are after. Make certain they accurately reflect the kind of employees you want most. If you base your job postings on these descriptions, you’ll increase your chances of attracting skilled candidates.
Here are four in-demand administrative and customer service positions for businesses needing support in this area, along with typical job duties:1. Customer service specialistPerforms data entryReceives and places telephone calls (or if online, receives or offers chat communications)Handles questions, provides information, troubleshoots and resolves issuesFind a sample customer service job description here. 2. Senior customer service specialistHandles the responsibilities of a customer service specialistManages database recordsActs as a resource for customer service escalations to a problemProvides status reports of issues and resolutionsMay train and/or supervise employees3. Call centre specialistFor inbound call centres, responds to customer inquiries, processes orders and routes calls to appropriate departmentsFor outbound call centres, calls on businesses and consumers — with or without an existing account — to offer products and services, obtains customer information and produces leadsManages a high volume of callsExplore call centre specialist’s salary range, and other roles, here4. Senior call centre specialistAlong with the duties of a call centre specialist, this position must also have a deeper knowledge of accounts, products and services, and more work experienceProactively communicates with prospective customers and clientsUpsells to existing accountsMay provide training and/or management of a call centre specialists
Customer service specialists and professionals should have a solid understanding of all the company’s products and services. They should also be savvy at data entry paired with interpersonal skills, which are crucial in this role.
These specialists should be great communicators so they can handle customer questions and concerns with a professional demeanor. If there’s a chance applicants will start the job remotely but move to an office in the future, you also need to assess their flexibility and resilience. There should be a strong balance of technical and soft skills when it comes to hiring the right customer service specialist.
The pandemic has shifted the way initial job interviews are conducted. There is no knowing if your interviews will take place in-person, virtually or both. Even prior to the pandemic, customer service and call center roles were flexible by nature. Today interviewing job seekers by phone or video is an ideal way to assess soft skills such as communication, professionalism, and key competencies needed to achieve success in the role. It also helps to streamline the hiring process for hiring managers or recruiters; there is typically more flexibility to meet virtually anywhere versus in an office.
Here are a list of attributes to consider during the interview:How is the candidate's demeanour during the interview?Are they polite, and do they listen closely to your questions and try to answer them fully?Do they ask additional questions of their own if they need more clarity?In addition to assessing their communication skills and professionalism, here are a few questions to ask customer service specialist candidates, with added considerations:Can you tell me about a time when you’ve experienced great customer service? Does the candidate emphasize a quick resolution to a problem or warmth and empathy? Because everyone has a different idea of what constitutes good service, asking this question will help you determine if this candidate is a fit for your company’s approach to the job.How have you dealt with frustrated callers? Dissatisfied callers are a major aspect of the job, so it’s important to find out how the candidate approaches them. How would they diffuse the situation? What’s the most important thing to do when you first get a call from someone who is upset? Client relationships are critical for any business and you’re going to want to understand how a potential employee deals with the tough calls.What do you know about our product or service? Does their reply indicate they have researched your firm to prepare for the interview? While a candidate doesn’t have to be an expert on your products or services, they should have a solid understanding of them.