How to hire and train the right CS people for your company

Customer Support September 11, 2018

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How to hire and train the right CS people for your company

Let’s face it.

Your CS people are your product super heroes. They are the face of your company and the link between your internal teams and customers.
 
At some point, some in your CS team will leave. Whether it’s a role switch, a better job offer, a cool startup idea or even traveling around the world. The reasons may vary but the outcome is the same.
 
To cut your loss, you will have to hire and train new people. We look into the process from A to Z.

Hiring is a process

So you decided to get fresh blood into the team? It’s time to hire. You write a job description. You post it on your website and you hope for the best.

It’s way more complicated than that.

Remember, pick the wrong people and you will lose money.

An INC article outlined the 4 effective hiring best practices:

  • Job interviews in which candidates are asked to describe specific examples of their skills
  • Automated resume screening and search
  • Assessments that predict whether candidates are motivated by the factors associated with a particular job or a company’s values and ways of doing things
  • Simulations that gauge specific job-related abilities and skills

Still, hiring, training and recruitment cost you a lot of money either way. David K Williams revealed that the cost of a single bad hire is from $25-50,000.

So the challenge is not only about designing an effective hiring process. It’s also about bootstrapping it.

Ask your team for referrals.

Paul Petrone, editor at Linkedin Learning is in favor of employee referral when it comes to hiring.

After all, not only it will save you time and money but also, it will foster ownership and commitment within your company. When you ask your teammates for help, they will feel more involved.

For the process to be successful, provide guidelines. Mary Shulzhenko, assistant Marketing Director at Provide Support emphasized that a great CS agent has to be an excellent communicator and a team player with leadership skills.

But, you need to build a database of potential hires.

Hire for character, train for skills

Hiring the best people doesn’t always mean hiring the most experienced ones.

You need to pick the ones that align with your company ‘s core values and culture even they don’t have all the required skills.

This will ensure that your team will stay put if things go south. From a business perspective, retaining talent is more cost effective than hiring.

With the proper training, you are set to work along future rockstars.

Train fast, train often

Customer support to be successful requires a lot of intersected skills and that can be overwhelming.
It starts with a clear roadmap for the training. Once you figure out your trainee ‘s pace and shortcomings, start with the basics.
 
First things first, let them collaborate with a work buddy.
 
By watching someone in a full position, your hire will be able to recognize patterns, silence their ego and most of all develop their problem solving skills.

Meanwhile, they should start with updating the documentation/knowledge base. This will allow them to be exposed to the FAQ and better understand the scope of problems they are supposed to deal with.

Some companies offer a separate product training for their CS teams.

Keep in mind that training should be frequent. A training every quarter along with performance reviews is recommended.

Offer a simulation

Now you need to step it up for them. It’s not the time to interact with customers yet. They will interact first with a chatbot with a predefined case.

Chatbots are taking over human resources and they are expected to change customer support for the next 5 years.

Based on the interaction results, analyze and give feedback. If you feel they are not ready, sit down with them and talk.

The one week test

Your trainee is now ready for the real deal. Start by assigning small tickets and monitor.

By the end of the week track their metrics; satisfaction rate, speed of response and relevancy. The training continues although they are officially with the team.

Training and hiring are complementary. If done right they will give you enormous results. If you want to improve your response time, sign up for our private beta and get free early access.