Special offer 

Jumpstart your hiring with a $75 credit to sponsor your first job.*

Sponsored Jobs are 2.6x times faster to first hire than non-sponsored jobs.**
  • Attract the talent you’re looking for
  • Get more visibility in search results
  • Appear to more candidates longer

How to Hire for Your Customer Service Team

Giving good customer service is an essential part of building your customer base — and keeping it! The importance of the team you hire for customer service can’t be overstated because these are the people who solve customer problems, build loyalty and help your business maintain good relationships with customers. The high-priority nature of these front-line employees means that when you’re hiring for your customer service team, it helps to understand the roles within the field and what skills workers should bring to the table.

Post a Job

Overview of key customer service roles

Understanding the types of jobs you need to hire for customer service makes the process easier. For instance, most small businesses need a customer service manager, representative or associate, but only larger companies typically require call center managers and representatives. Many of these roles are interchangeable below the management level, however, some advanced skill sets are absolutely necessary when you want to create an effective customer service team.

Retail Associate

A retail associate assists customers by providing information about products, making recommendations, and conducting transactions. By providing exceptional customer service through prompt responses to any questions, retail associates can help ensure client satisfaction. In turn, this can create a positive shopping experience and increase customer loyalty.

Customer service manager

A customer service manager you can depend on contributes to business and customer success with consistent quality. These professionals also help you retain customers by implementing a framework for training employees and helping them succeed.. In small offices, the manager you hire for customer service may also serve as the main liaison between your business and the public. At larger companies, CS managers typically stay behind the scenes, smoothing out problems for employees and customers alike and providing workers with the tools and information necessary for excellent support.

Things to look for when you hire customer support management are excellent problem solving and communication skills and experience in leadership roles. Likewise, customer service managers should ideally have experience, dealing with customer issues themselves.Expertise in Microsoft Office and customer relationship management (CRM) software is also usually preferred.

Customer service representative

The role of customer service representative requires employees who have great communication skills because they represent your business when customers have issues. These professionals handle complaints and questions from customers — in person if you have a brick-and-mortar location and/or via social media, phone and email. In many cases, these employees often double as product or brand ambassadors, seeking out opportunities for customer referrals and promoting new offerings that might upsell current customers.

Also known as customer service associates or even IT support staff in more technical fields, customer service representatives carefully document each interaction with customers, which gives your business the potential to better spot problems and trends. Strong problem-solving skills are a plus for customer service representatives as is a professional yet upbeat demeanor. Whoever you hire for your customer service positions should also have the ability to multitask well, prioritize tasks effectively and work with Microsoft Office and CRM software.

Call center manager

Larger businesses that field lots of customer calls or utilize direct marketing techniques typically hire a customer service expert as their call center manager. The key duties of these professionals are monitoring and motivating customer service representatives under their charge and ensuring that the center is meeting the goals of the business. Many call center managers also handle customer service training, either supporting an overall customer service manager or replacing the position altogether, depending on the business’s needs.

Skills required to be an effective call center manager include the ability to motivate and inspire others toward excellence. This CS professional also needs experience in telemarketing in phone rooms and/or online software for businesses that hire customer support workers to chat with existing and potential customers online.

Call center representative

Businesses that make or take lots of calls typically hire call center representatives working underneath a call center manager. Trained similarly to customer service representatives, these professionals likely never see customers face to face like some of their counterparts, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need to know just as much. In fact, the first contact that most customers have with online businesses occurs when they talk to a call center representative.

Call center representatives are hired to get the word out about businesses, accept call-in orders and handle most minor to moderate complaints or problems customers have. Though call center work is often considered an entry-level position, senior representatives with the ability to deal with more complicated issues help out immensely in more technical businesses, making them worth the extra salary. Likewise, businesses may also need to hire customer service team leaders to assist call center managers working in larger phone rooms.

Deciding what CS roles need filling

Which types of employees you need to hire for customer service positions depends on the size of your business and how it interacts with its customers. For instance, a small office may require just one customer service manager who handles inquiries, takes orders and answers customer questions. Medium-size businesses like a factory or warehouse usually need a customer service manager and several customer service representatives to deal with day-to-day operations. Larger companies with higher call volumes may likewise need a dedicated call center with a manager and representatives.

Finding customer service job candidates

Knowing what you need helps shape the way you go about hiring customer services personnel. For example, if your business uses social media platforms to share photos or videos of your products, you probably want to use social media for recruiting new employees. Likewise, if you want someone who can fit right in with your current customer service team, you may choose to hire a candidate already working within your business or ask trusted professionals in your network for recommendations.

If you’d rather handle the process yourself, though, consider hiring customer services workers through Indeed. The convenient search features let potential CS hires discover your job listing by title, skills, company and location, and you have everything you need to make good decisions at your fingertips. Our features include access to all hiring tools in a single dashboard, including easy access to submitted resumes and options for interviewing via video conference.

Attracting the right hire for customer service

When deciding on the type of personnel you’re hiring for customer services, you’ve likely already noted the attributes required for each position. Now, it’s time to use that information to craft a job description using inclusive language that catches the eye of the right candidate — and preferably one that includes the phrase “depending on experience” (DOE) in conjunction with salary. This gives you leeway when sorting through resumes as some experienced candidates may pass your listing by if it doesn’t have competitive compensation in line with their expectations.

Other ways to attract the right hire for customer service include offering an attractive benefits package. Along with the basics like insurance and vacation time, other benefits that draw in top-shelf hires for customer support include a 401(k) with company matching, flexible scheduling, daycare services and transportation reimbursement. Benefits that support a healthy company culture also tend to draw in top talent, including a company cafe, fitness center or pet-friendly office space. For ambitious professionals, profit-sharing arrangements and programs to help employees pay off student loans may also aid in hiring customer service workers with high-quality skill sets.

Screening and interviewing CS candidates

When the resumes and applications start rolling in, it helps to have a game plan for finding what may seem like a needle in a haystack. Customer service jobs require attention to detail and effective communication skills, so one way to sort out potential candidates is to ask a screening question about your company that’s simple to find the answer to online. If the candidate fails to answer this question or does so in a way that fails to meet the skill set you require, you can let them know that they aren’t being considered for the position. Other screening tests include asking for a writing sample like a cover letter that demonstrates their customer service acumen.

Then, it’s time to contact these potential hires for customer service for an interview. You can do this in person, by phone or via Indeed video conferencing, but no matter how you do it, you need to ask questions that tell you more about the candidate. For example, if you’re hiring a customer service manager, you might ask about a time they had to deal with changes like policies or scheduling and how well they met the challenge. Customer service representative job seekers should be able to answer questions like how they define customer service or how they’d describe a time they had to handle an onerous customer. Questions like this focused on factors important to your business help you further narrow the field to find the ideal candidate.

Retaining those you hire for customer support

Once you hire customer service employees with clear-cut career goals that align with your business’s mission, retaining them is your goal. It costs businesses a lot to hire a worker, especially in a high-level position, and this means it’s especially important to find a great fit who understands exactly what’s expected of them. To help you maintain a customer service dream team, be sure to keep your benefits competitive, maintain a stable work environment and reward excellent performance to show your employees you appreciate the hard work they do.

Post a Job

Ready to get started?

Post a Job

*Indeed provides this information as a courtesy to users of this site. Please note that we are not your recruiting or legal advisor, we are not responsible for the content of your job descriptions, and none of the information provided herein guarantees performance.

Editorial Guidelines