Episode 225 – Hiring the Right Type of Agent

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 Wisdom Wednesday Episode. On Wisdom Wednesday I bring wisdom from the best books, articles, videos etc. and share the highlights with you!

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“I’d rather interview 50 people and not hire anyone than hire the wrong person.” – Jeff Bezos

Book of the Day: Match: A Systematic, Sane Process for Hiring the Right Person Every Time – Dan Erling or get it free with a one-month free trial to Audible.

Hiring the Right Type of Agent

Informed by “Kick-Ass Customer Service” from the January-February 2017 issue of the Harvard Business Review by Matthew Dixon, Lara Ponomareff, Scott Turner and Rick DeLisi

  • The Overview:
    • This article is simply fantastic and full of useful information. I highly recommend you give it a read.
    • For our purposes today we’re focusing on hiring the right type of agent
  • The Study
    • The authors conducted a global, cross industry study of 1440 reps
    • Seven types of agents emerged from the data
  • The Seven Types of Agents (Everyone is some blended variety but has a dominant type)
    • Accommodators – Meet customers halfway with discounts and refunds
    • Competitors – Focus on outperforming other reps
    • Controllers – Outspoken, opinionated, demonstrate expertise
    • Empathizers – Good listeners who like helping others
    • Hard Workers – Follow rules and procedures
    • Innovators – Process improvers, idea generators
    • Rocks – Don’t take conversations personally
  • The Results
    • 42% of managers reported preferring to hire empathizers
    • But… Customer satisfaction ratings scored much higher with Controllers
      • What??
      • Yes!
    • Because… essentially empathizers apologize and controllers just make things happen. And customers want resolution first and then an apology second.
  • Summary:
    • Consider going against long-held beliefs that empathizers should handle your support
    • Try hiring people who are primarily controllers with undertones of empathy rather than the reverse.

What this has to do with Socially Supportive

Social Media is a place where full customer satisfaction is critical. Dissatisfied customers are already in a channel where they can complain as they wish to a large audience. In hiring agents, I have historically leaned toward controllers, asking interview questions that ensure agents are comfortable with going far beyond what they’re used to in order to fully resolve issues for customers. In my experience that can include creating a new process where one didn’t exist before, negotiating brand new deals with other departments, and basically making up something new on the spot to ensure that first the customer is taken care of, and then later a process is written to fill in the gap. That’s the kind of person I want on my social care team!

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  • GoldMedalWineClub.comWine of the Month Club Award-winning wines delivered to your doorstep every month. They never feature bulk wines, private labels, or closeouts. Each selection is a genuine, small-production wine crafted by a winery with their family’s reputation on the line in each and every bottle.
  • CraftBeerClub.comGood People Drink Good Beer. Get the finest craft beers from America’s best microbreweries delivered to your door! They search out exceptional craft beers from around the country and then deliver the monthly beer club selections direct-to-you or your gift recipient’s door. You can choose an ongoing beer club membership or Craft Beer Club gifts to ship monthly, every-other-month or even quarterly. This is a fantastic gift for the Craft Beer enthusiast in your life. Give 1 to 12 shipments and receive up to 3 bonus gifts and an additional $25 bonus with your order.
  • OneTravel: Search and compare flights from over 450 airlines.

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About the author, Frankie Saucier

Frankie Saucier created the Socially Supportive podcast because believes that in order to advance digital and social customer care, leaders must come together in a community where colleagues can collaborate on the latest strategies and discuss the best technology. The Socially Supportive podcast creates a space for that community to thrive. She is also the Founder and CEO of Socially Supportive, a digital consultancy that helps brands communicate effectively with customers online. Frankie is a member of several consortiums, including the Social Care Leaders Group, an international group of leaders in the digital and social care space. She has over 20 years' experience in customer experience, including 7 years creating and running the digital customer support team at the 3rd largest cable company in the U.S. She also holds a bachelors in Mass Communications.

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