Imagine a customer that just bought a new computer. They bring the computer home, take it out of the box, and get started with their setup. However, a couple hours into using the computer they run into an issue.
It could be anything - a piece of software that should be there isn’t, something isn’t installing or downloading correctly, or maybe it’s just not connecting to the wireless router. Whatever the reason, the customer calls a technical support line to get help troubleshooting the issue that they’re experiencing.
This is a “make or break” experience at this point for the customer, and it’s entirely dependent on the company representative that answers the call.
According to a 2013 study from Dimensional Research, 72% of people say that they had a negative customer service experience was because they had to explain their issue to multiple people. This is why first call resolution is such a critical metric - because solving the customer’s issue during the first interaction is so important to achieving customer satisfaction.
Hiring service and support employees that are able to solve the customer’s issue is, therefore, critical.
Identifying job candidates that will be able to resolve a customer service issue on the first call can be challenge however. The key is to understand that you need to measure the candidate’s ability to perform the job, skills to perform the job, and motivations/behaviors to perform the job.
There are methods during the hiring process that can help evaluate the candidate in these areas. For example, during the interview process you could ask the job candidate questions about how they handled service situations. You can probe for answers that demonstrate their ability, skills, and motivations to perform the job. However, interviews tend to be less predictive than other tools.
A more effective approach is to use assessments that specifically measure job ability, skills, and motivations. For example, consider a job simulation where a candidate has to offer support to a customer troubleshooting a product in order to measure work skills. Does the candidate select certain questions that help narrow down the issue (and thereby potential solutions), or are they quick to try any solution and then defer the customer? Does the candidate try to seek out a potential answer when they don’t know the answer initially, or do they give up? In addition to job simulations, assessments can be used to measure personality traits and work ability that are related to first call resolution, and can be key to determining which candidates possess the qualities needed to succeed in these roles versus the candidates who can talk about the answers but not put them into action. Interviews can be added as a final step to measure oral communication ability and probe for any outstanding areas.
The biggest factor in using hiring assessments is that they provide qualitative data that can prove or disprove a candidate's true level of skills in troubleshooting issues and meeting first call resolution goals. This means that assessment scores are calibrated against first call resolution performance. Now, you have a predictive model to better evaluate job candidates for their ability to successfully meet job performance.
Considering using these two approaches together will enhance your hiring process - and thereby improve your customer's experiences with your contact center. If you're looking for more information on how you can improve your customer support in your contact center, contact us today. And if you're looking to learn more about improving your hiring process to meet these customer service goals, download our whitepaper on developing a quality of hire report card below:
Topics: Contact Center Hiring