Remember the childhood game of whispering a phrase to someone and asking them to pass it on? By the time it reached the fourth or fifth person, the meaning of the original phrase was lost! Then, it amused us; in customer care, it can be costly.
The very best people skills that candidates will ever employ are on display in the interview situation as they try to win a position with your company. If they don’t capture you there, do you really want them in front of your valuable customers?
Just like all the other areas of a company—the warehouse, the accounting department, shipping—customer care is a process. In fact, it typically involves a number of processes, such as incoming order processing, returns and re-stocking, setting up new accounts and solving customer problems. If a customer-care candidate does not already have a process orientation, it will be an uphill battle to instill one. Consider the following true story.
If you want to measure productivity in your customer-care providers, measure their bias toward action before you hire. Taking action is a quality that says, “I must do something, so I’ll quickly assess the situation, decide on a path, and do something myself.” Rather than wait for the customer to call back, a bias toward action says to reach out to the customer first. A bias toward action is the proactive ingredient in customer care.