A few days ago, we had an opportunity to talk with Róża Szafranek—an HR expert, Recruiter of the Year 2018, and psychologist. We’ve spent over 1 hour talking about how to hire a great customer service team. Let’s find some extra tips and tricks which Róża shared with us!
Karolina: Hi! I’m Karolina Szostek and I work at Zowie as a Business Operations Specialist and it’s a pleasure to have Róża Szafranek with me today.
Róża: Thank you very much for having me, it’s a great pleasure for me to be here with you and talk with you about a super important topic which is hiring, especially in the area of customer service, customer success, customer support. But yeah, it’s great to be here, as we will be talking about super important, but also quite tricky things.
So, can you tell us a little bit more about yourself? Like who you are and what do you do on a daily basis?
Sure! I’m an HR person as we popularly call it, but I’m not a fan of the ‘HR’ definition, because it means resources. I prefer to say that I am a people person. I’m working with start-ups and fast-growing companies on hiring, building teams and creating the culture and the values in the company. In general, I help founders and managers in becoming better in the people area. From the beginning of my career I was a recruiter, and, as I counted it recently, so far I’ve recruited 450 people, so that’s quite a lot!
Okay, so now we know who you are and what you do, and I bet that our attendees are eagerly waiting to learn some tips and tricks regarding HR to be more ingenious in recruiting and managing their teams. I guess that it’s pretty important, isn’t it?
Definitely! I think that it’s. We can find a lot of quotes and other sources which tell us that we need to find the best people on the market and hire them. But the question is do we really need the best people? In reality, we need to find people whose attitude and characteristics match that of the particular company. To do that, you can’t only look at resumes and skills—you also need to consider their personality and experience. There are a lot of stories of guys who joined customer service teams, and despite liking people and being talkative, they weren’t flexible enough.
So what do you think a good customer service rep should be like? I mean what personality traits should they have?
I think that the most important thing which a good customer service rep should have is a bunch of traits like openness to feedback or flexibility. The VUCA is helpful here. For people who don’t know what it is, VUCA is an acronym to describe or to reflect on the volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. What it means that we are looking for people who are not only lovely and open-minded but also have analytical skills, which help them in analyzing the speech of customers—our brains reflect that, as those skills reside in different areas. Also, you and your employees need to be tolerant, as sometimes we face the challenge of meeting people who are a little bit weird and unpleasant for us, but we have to stay focused and fully professional. If you need a new colleague for your customer service team, then try finding a person who is passionate about this topic.
Okay, the personality traits are one thing, but analytical and soft skills are another kettle of fish, or, in other words, a completely different aspect of one’s qualities. So, which ones are more important: the analytical skills or the soft ones?
The definition of analytical skills is tricky. On one hand, it’s all about analyzing and reading data, but on the other hand, it’s also about analyzing people’s speech and emotions. In this case, we are looking for people who have developed analytical skills in that emotional intelligence area, and hard data analytics is not crucial. Good customer service rep should be able to ….