: How Effective Will Your Team Be This Holiday Season?
During the holiday season, call centers often find themselves in need of some extra help due to the rise in customer calls. More likely than not, these callers could be more irritable than normal, because they’re probably calling about a gift or order that doesn’t meet standards. To appease these customers, calls need to be answered quickly and efficiently, which is where the extra help comes in.
However, hiring new team members can prove to be difficult for a variety of reasons. First of all, an influx of new employees can cause problems in terms of call center scheduling. All of a sudden, managers have dozens of new workers to schedule and account for. This on its own can be troublesome, but the right software can help make this process easier.
The real problem occurs when those new employees don’t pull their weight. SkillSurvey, a provider of cloud-based reference checking and credentialing solutions that deliver quick and reliable insights, recently released research that identifies certain work behaviors as unsatisfactory. These behaviors were rated lower than average for customer service and sales candidates based on direct feedback from thousands of job references.
After analyzing a sample of more than 19,000 references that provided feedback on one of approximately 4,000 recent job candidates, SkillSurvey found that the references rated the following job-specific behaviors lower than average for people applying for positions in customer service and sales:
- Maintain up-to-date knowledge of company products and services
- Gather information from customers and relevant sources to effectively answer questions
- Communicate information clearly so that customers can understand
- Tailor recommendations of products and services to the customer
- Encourage customers to buy new products or services by presenting relevant options
Job applicants’ inability to perform these tasks is troublesome, and can result in some serious losses for companies. According to Ray Bixler, President and CEO of SkillSurvey, “The findings indicate that retailers can lose money when they don't take the time to identify and hire candidates with skills such as the ability to gather the right information from customers and tailor their recommendations accordingly. Quality hires are critical during the holiday season because they positively impact customer interactions and therefore the bottom-line of the business.”
However, thanks to SkillSurvey, this information is now out there and can be referenced by hiring managers to help when it comes to improving their hiring, having more successful on-boarding programs, and immediately serving customers more effectively this holiday season.
“Great service goes above and beyond to exceed customer expectations and that often involves finding ways to understand their needs. Retailers can deliver a better customer experience by using job reference feedback to identify individuals who have demonstrated strengths in these key areas, or to pinpoint areas where development is needed,” continued Bixler. He recommends looking at past work experiences and strategically using references to best research a potential hire and determine if they’re going to be beneficial to your company.
In order to set your company up for success this season, follow Bixler’s advice. That way, even though call center scheduling may become more complicated for a bit, it’ll be worth it in the end.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi