3 Questions You Need to Ask Contact Center Applicants Before You Hire

call-center-hiringCustomer service in the digital age is about more than having patience and a ready smile— though it is still critical that customers who call a support line can hear that there’s a smile in your voice. Working in a contact center requires a variety of talents that are not limited to customer service, making it important for managers to ask the right questions before hiring applicants.

Digital communication skills are becoming more critical than ever before. When your call center is hiring, you need to be sure that you’re getting the right employees with the right skills. So, when you’re interviewing candidates, there are 3 questions you need to ask applicants.

Are You Digitally Savvy?

Basic word processing skills are an absolute necessity in the call center

Spread sheets, for example, keep relevant data like contact lists or customer account information intact and are often used to house data exported from mainframe computer systems and other important computer applications.

But the call center is rapidly moving past the point where familiarity with Microsoft Office is enough.

From internal programs that manage individual calls to cloud-based applications that store customer and case information—technology has become an integral part of the efficient call center. As the call center continues to expand into the contact center, the ability to easily navigate the internet and learn new technologies has become an increasingly valuable skill.

All call center hiring applicants should be asked about their digital skills and their ability to leverage technology to meet customer requirements. Otherwise, you may end up hiring applicants that cannot meet even the most basic of your customers’ needs efficiently.

Call center employees that cannot communicate effectively on a number of different levels lack the skills needed to compete in the digital age.

What Does Your Social Media Footprint Look Like?

Social media profiles are becoming an integral part of everyday life. As such, it’s important to ask applicants if they have established social media profiles. It’s also important to review these profiles to learn more about candidates and their personal brand. Employees reflect on the company that they work for, making social media a hiring consideration. Additionally, social media helps employees to stay connected to one another, making communication more effective and camaraderie easier to develop.

You’ll want to check out potential hires on all the major social networking sites:

  • Google+
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Linkedin
  • Pinterest

Are You a Writer?

Written communication is becoming an important part of working in a call center as the customer eco system continues to evolve

Just last year, Deloitte reported that 85% of contact centers interact with customer through multiple channels. Though voice is still the preferred method of contact, customers are increasingly turning to channels like email, chat and social media.

And with more than 90% of customers using interactions with customer service to determine how they will view a brand moving forward, it’s important that both voice and written communication are structured in a way that reflects well on your organization.

If your call center representatives already have writing skills, you spend less time (or money on writing specialists) on screening communication before it’s sent out.  The more skilled your employees, the easier it will be for everyone in a call center to complete their missions and provide excellent customer service.

Call center hiring is an important function that requires a careful selection process.

To customers, your representatives are the face and voice of your business. You can’t afford to hire the wrong people. Asking the right questions is a key to hiring the right personnel. By hiring candidates with the right skills, you can make your call center as effective as possible.

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RDI Corporation was founded in 1978 and is headquartered in Blue Ash, Ohio. We provide precise business solutions through a fully integrated outsourcing model and our clients ranged from mid-sized corporations to distinguished Fortune 500 companies.