Having a great customer service team means building with diversity. The CSR position, unlike some other career fields, tends to be less age biased in practice, because when it comes to great service, it is more about personality and experience than age. In the CSR world, having a multigenerational team does have its advantages.
Whether they’ll admit it or not, some customers have a mental bias even if they do not realize it. An older customer may not relate to a young CSR, or might feel like they are less competent to handle their needs. The same can be said of the opposite situation. Therefore, having a diverse team that includes all age groups, will give coverage to most any and all cases. A great manager knows this, and will be hiring employees of all age groups, to have a better-rounded team.
Having a great team also requires having a great company culture. “Customer service is a business philosophy and a culture, not just another department in your company. I like to call this idea customer-centricity. But to truly deliver great service, you have to hire employees who will buy into both the philosophy and the culture,” says John-Paul Narowski at the Return Customer blog. Once the company has a great culture, it lays the foundation upon which to build a great team.
When it comes to dealing with people, whatever the field, you must be the right kind of person to successfully do it well. Great candidates for such a CSR are those who are natural communicators, great at listening, know how to show empathy, stay cool and know what to say in agitated situations, are not defensive and prideful, and can take things in stride without taking it personally. Some of these skills can be taught, but many require a specific personality, which is why having a diverse, multigenerational team is important in order to acquire strengths in different areas.
So, as you seek to enter the CSR career path, here is a quick checklist to use to examine yourself to see if you meet the criteria for what most companies should be looking for in a new hire. Brendan Cruickshank at Return Customer states these points:
Energy: A CSR must have higher energy levels in order to deal with the day-to-day stress and work involved in handling the needs of a variety of different customer personalities. Being an extrovert is helpful, but not necessarily required if you can still play the part successfully. Plus, they say studies show that introverts tend to listen more and if they have all of the other desirable traits, then having this type of person can provide a desired diversity. However, having a slow, dragging, tired personality just won’t do.
Empathy and Sensitivity: As already mentioned, dealing with customers requires a careful personality in a world that has grown so “I could care less” these days. If you do not have a heart-felt desire to assist others – without distinction, then consider this a strike against your candidacy in this field.
Intelligence and Creativity: Creativity can be a big plus when it comes to problem-solving scenarios. If you are simply someone that can only follow a written script or have a canned-response mentality when it comes to resolving issue, then again, this might not be the best field of work for you. Thinking fast on your feet, and thinking outside of the box in order to resolve problems, is a trait that comes naturally to most excellent CSR candidates.
Company Culture: Do some research ahead of time to determine as much as you can about the company culture. You may have the skills to do the job, but find out you hate the culture. In order to be as successful as you can in a position, it is important to figure out not only if you are a fit for the company, but also if the company is a fit for you.
Most companies know it takes a strong, diverse and multigenerational team of qualified group of people to make a great CSR team to support their business, so know the culture, know the personality needs, and on your next interview, sell yourself as the next great team leader for the company.
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