Put Your Service Center into Overdrive by Hiring Customer Service-Oriented Employees

Dec 20, 2016

Put Your Service Center into Overdrive by Hiring Customer Service-Oriented Employees

Savvy auto dealers understand that people skills count. Customer service before, during and after the sales or service process has a tremendous impact on the bottom line and CSI score for any dealership. These best practices can help you hire employees with top-of-the-line service acumen to help ensure your customers keep driving back.

It all starts with selecting service employees who excel in interacting with customers. How can you identify these individuals? Look for characteristics of empathy and confidence during the hiring process, which can be determined with a pre-employment assessment, references, and behavioral interview questions designed to focus on empathy and confidence competencies.

Employees with high levels of empathy have the ability to understand the thoughts and emotions of customers. Having confidence, in addition to empathy, further allows these service pros to anticipate customer needs—and shine at upselling. Because of the connection they are able to make with customers, this type of employee builds trust and develop rapport with ease, making customers feel comfortable with and sure of their service experience.

Since you probably won't find the attributes of empathy and confidence typed out on a resume, behavioral-based interview questions are the best way of identifying these characteristics. The S.T.A.R. behavioral interview approach provides valuable insight into a candidate's thinking process and potential job performance by organizing questions in such a way to prompt the most informative answers. Below are examples of behavioral based interview questions you can incorporate into your S.T.A.R. interviews.

Questions specific to empathy include:

  • "Can you think of a time when you received positive feedback about a customer interaction you had? Tell me about the situation, what you did, and the outcome."
  • "Describe a time when you were very successful in building rapport with a customer."
  • "Give me an example of when you had to deal with a difficult customer and what you did to engage the customer to improve the situation."

Questions specific to confidence include:

  • "Describe a situation in which you had to change your approach because your first attempts to persuade a customer didn't work."
  • "Describe a time in the past when confidence and the ability to communicate confidence to a customer worked for you. Additionally, has there been a time when you came across too confident? If so, please explain the situation."
  • "Describe a time when you were able to convince a skeptical or resistant customer to purchase a product or utilize your services."

Responses to these questions will give you a better idea of a potential hire's degree of empathy and confidence—offering insight into the individual's customer service aptitude.

From the standpoint of a customer, think of your own negative experiences with service employees. More than likely, those unfortunate interactions affected your opinion of the business—and probably influenced your purchasing power. Your customers are no different. In an industry with no shortage of competition—from other dealerships to independent mechanics—customers can easily go elsewhere for their vehicle needs. However, if you hire employees who are capable of offering a quality customer service experience to every guest of your dealership, you will reap the benefits of having satisfied, loyal customers.

ZERORISK helps organizations build great cultures by identifying, developing, and retaining top talent. The ZERORISK Hiring System blends a revolutionary behavioral science with state-of-the-art technology to reduce unwanted turnover and improve employee performance. For more information contact us at (800) 827-5991.

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