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Writing Memo Open Letter 2

How to Write A Job Post for High-Performing Customer Service Reps

Even a casual reader of this site’s posts on customer service will know that the best type of rep is one who can make service “effortless” for a customer. When a customer has a problem with a company’s product or service they generally don’t want to be “wowed” or have their expectations surpassed, they want a quick resolution so they can get back to the rest of their day.

Providing this kind of effortless experience is more likely to prevent customer disloyalty, which is almost always a better goal to aim for than increasing customer loyalty.

Although providing this kind of customer service does require people with a certain personality and outlook, these type of high-performing reps are just as likely as others to take a customer service job. They are also willing to work for similar levels of pay.

Attracting them, however, is difficult, especially with traditional recruitment ads that often have a dated feel. Given America’s job market has made competition for high performers fierce, it’s imperative that you write a compelling job description.

5 Tips for a Job Post

There are five things you should keep in mind when writing a job post to intrigue the ideal, sought-after rep.

1. Previous customer service experience not preferred: Your ideal candidate does not necessarily have previous call center experience. In the words of one customer service manager, “We can teach you the skills you need, but we can’t train you to have a different personality.”

If you make experience even a “preferred” condition, high-performing reps with minimal or no experience will skip over the opportunity in favor of positions that don’t seem to have the same disqualifying limitations.

2. Don’t use “people person”: “Low-effort” reps don’t “love working with people,” they enjoy taking on questions and problems people present. They tend to love the idea that wherever people are involved, there are likely challenges to overcome and mysteries to solve.

3. Passion should be directed elsewhere: Don’t ask, “Do you have a passion for customer service?” Almost no-one does, especially the type of reps you’re looking for. They will understand their job is to help a customer spend as little time as possible engaging with a company, rather than trying to “serve” them like some kind of nineteenth century butler.

4. Appeal to their ambition: This doesn’t mean you should promise greater responsibility than the position offers (such as supervisory status, time with senior managers, or unique functions within the service center). However, you should certainly paint a fully-formed vision of the position, and how it contributes to the company as a whole.

Reps who take control of customer situations understand that their interventions affect the entire firm and the customer’s future interactions. Tell candidates that this is a position within the company that affects every department, a role in which they will learn about the entire operation and all products and services…

5. …But don’t call it “entry level”: Even if it is. A number of major corporations fill positions exclusively from the customer service contact center because they value the insight these employees gain while working on the front line with the company’s customers.

The Type of Job Ad You Should be Writing

Most companies use a template created years ago, insert a new title and some elements from a different job description, and post it on their website and 3rd-party job boards.

The best thing to do is start over. Scrap the template and write and ad that talks directly to your ideal candidate (this post gives some tips on what makes a good candidate). Use the ad to start a conversation about the impact they can have on the company instead of more tactical day-to-day concerns.You’ll find that subsequent conversations with candidates will be more productive.

Here’s a good and a bad example:

High performing reps will skip this ad — they are unlikely to think it is aimed at them:

“Are you passionate about making people smile? Have you been called a people-person with an ability to connect and empathize with a diverse group of people? We’re looking for a dynamic, full-time customer service representative to get in on the ground floor of our fast-growing company.”

Here’s an ad high-performers will read twice:

“Can you handle any situation with confidence and grace? Are you attracted to work experiences that expose you to a diverse range of people and the inner workings of a companies? At Company A, we value people with those qualities and trust them to have a direct impact on our customers, products and revenue. Join like-minded colleagues within our company’s Customer Support Center and help shape the future of our company.”

Contributed by CEB, a best practice insight and technology company.

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