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What to Look for in Customer Service Candidates

Any company that depends on providing exceptional customer service (and who doesn’t these days?), will need a team of competent professionals. The experience a customer has while interacting with your company’s representatives, whether when lodging a complaint, making an inquiry about a product or service, or listening to a representative’s product pitch, significantly impacts your sales. While effectively training your team and evaluating their performance is a critical part of guaranteeing your customer service is top-notch, as CEO of Metis Apax Herb Kimble of the Philippines argues, you can also improve your customer service by knowing how to hire the right people.

Herb Kimble customer service

Skills to look for in prospective employees include:

  1. An unrelenting positive attitude

Hiring candidates who already possess the technical skills you’re looking for can be beneficial, but it’s often the case that these “hard” skills can be trained. What can’t be taught are the essential qualities of a person’s character, such as an optimistic disposition. Positivity and personability are essential for effective client relations, so look for candidates that naturally exude a sense of excitement and optimism when you speak with them during an interview, even when discussing uninteresting topics.

  1. Experience in any service field

Your hiring team may be making the task of finding top-tier candidates more difficult by only looking at applicants with previous experience as a customer service sales representative. While these are certainly applicants to pay attention to, applicants with more diverse experiences can still be relevant candidates for the position. Anyone with experience in the service industry, whether it be working as a receptionist at a hair salon or as a checkout clerk at a grocery store, could have the interpersonal skills you’re looking for. What’s more, employees with diverse backgrounds may have more to bring to the table.

  1. Exceptional communication

Effective communication is perhaps the most important skill customer service representatives need to perform well. Not only must communication with customers be professional, but it must be clear and calm at all times. Seek out candidates that demonstrate the ability to communicate smoothly, efficiently, and knowledgably, even when they’re forced to speak on a subject they’re not already familiar with. By asking “surprise” questions in an interview, you’ll be able to get a sense of how a candidate communicates under unexpected circumstances.

  1. The ability to learn quickly

Perhaps more important than a candidate who already knows the rules of the game is a candidate that can quickly adapt to new rules.  The ability to learn quickly is crucial in the customer service industry; when a new product or service is launched or when new protocol is implemented, you want employees who will be able to adapt to these new circumstances without a hitch.

Interested in learning more about ways to improve your company’s customer service? Herb Kimble offers an array of advice about business management and customer service!



Why Exceptional Client Service is Critical

A business’s return on investment is only as strong the priority it places upon client service. As Herb Kimble can attest, the success of a business hinges upon on an outstanding customer service plan. We’ve always known that customer service was crucial, but just how large of a role it plays in profit may be surprising. Did you know? According to 81% of customers are more likely to give a company repeat business after receiving great customer service, and on average, the loyal customer is worth up to ten times as much as their first purchase. Not to mention, poor customer service is the primary reason for a business’s bad reputation. Given heightened competition and greater customer engagement through internet marketing and social media platforms, businesses can no longer maintain a competitive edge with “good” customer service. It needs to be exceptional.

Where to start? Today’s successful client service plan prioritizes convenience. This means that customers have easy access to product information both in store and online, experience an easy-to-use web interface on a company web page, and can order a product or arrange for a service in multiple ways. Convenience also means that when a problem arises, a company already has a strategy in place to readily resolve it. An exceptional client service plan remediates an issue with additional incentives and service that exceeds client expectation.

An effective customer service team understands the value of active listening. In the world of customer service, it’s our job to identify the problem and provide the best solution. Passive listening and inadequate attention stand in the way of customer satisfaction. In fact, if your company can convey active listening and sincerity while on the phone with a customer, you’ll be ahead of the game; 85% of consumers are currently dissatisfied with their customer service experiences on the phone.

Herb Kimble also believes that the most competitive client service plans also emphasize expertise! There are few things more valuable to a customer than a sales person who is ready to respond to any question about a product in detail. Exceptional client service emphasizes valuable product insight, as well as an understanding of the industry as a whole.

A client service plan that truly goes above and beyond to meet the needs of its customers is a great way to ensure positive feedback; this can be accomplished by treating each customer as an individual, speaking with sincerity, frequently using their first name, etc. Give more than a customer expects, survey the playing field and offer an extra incentives your competitors don’t.

Finally, today’s exceptional client service plan leverages social media to solicit customer reviews and feedback. The first step to improving customer service is to identify areas of weakness. Use your customers’ honest opinions from your social media customer review section to make continual adjustments.

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Herb Kimble & Claire Reyes Discuss Best Telemarketing Practices

Herb Kimble and his partner Claire Reyes believe there is a correct way to conduct sales and marketing, specifically when conducted over the phone. Successful telemarketing can only be achieved with adherence to a set of basic principles that ensure customer satisfaction and high sales. The first step in running a successful sales and marketing company like Metis Apax is delivering professional communication. Service representatives should speak with a clear voice, utilize strong grammar, convey a polite tone, and demonstrate an understanding of appropriate business conversation. Conversation with clients should also be natural. While scripts are often necessary, communication should never feel inauthentic or out of sync with a client’s response. In addition, telemarketing correctly requires the consistent implementation of procedure; the rules service representatives must follow when speaking to clients should be effectively communicated and monitored by company leadership. One of the most essential components of effective sales and marketing is product knowledge. A sales representative’s inability to answer a product question is one of the surest ways to lose a customer; plus, the more a representative can speak on a product or service, the more effective his or her marketing will be. Finally, effective telemarketers must respond with congeniality, even in the face of client rejection. Though a sale may be lost, a sales professional should always end a conversation in a pleasant and appreciative manner.

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Herb Kimble on The Philippines

Effective marketing requires an understanding a target audience. Herb Kimble knows this well, as he successfully conducts professional sales and marketing in the Philippines. Because Herb understands the focused needs and goals of his clients in the Philippines, he’s able to implement a markedly different sales campaign compared to what might be necessary to attract clients in the United States. Understanding a target audience is important in sales and marketing for a number of reasons. When a business like Metis Apax knows who its clients are and what they want, they can more easily attract business, as clients recognize when their unique needs and goals have been prioritized. Researching the demographics of a target audience can influence the style of your marketing as well. Learn how to best reach your target audience, and craft a message with a style that is specific to their preferences. For example, the marketing approach an international cosmetics company might take will vary significantly between countries based upon the differing demographics and cultures, just as Herb’s approach to conducting sales and marketing calls to clients in the Philippines differs from the approach he might take with a client in the Midwest. Tailoring an approach to marketing is imperative to attracting the clients a business seeks.

Herb Kimble

Herb Kimble is the proud founder and CEO of Metis Apax, a professional sales and marketing company based in the Philippines that has been in business since 2009. As Herb will attest, his successful sales and marketing business is the result of the implementation of proven strategies and practices. According to Herb, structure and discipline in the workplace are essential for success in the world of business. The successful culture of Metis Apax centers on these core principles, with firm yet fair expectations of leadership and employee performance to ensure customer satisfaction. These tenets of structure and discipline start with Herb himself, who leads with assertion, motivation, and focus, and who holds himself to the highest of standards. Herb’s own experience as a company leader has taught him that successful entrepreneurship is best learned through the practiced behaviors of structure and discipline. Industry experts agree that the most successful companies are those that prioritize these aspects in their business model. As a result of his belief in best business practices to deliver quality customer service, Metis Apax consistently provides quality call center agents, database/lead management, quality control/TPV, and exceptional sales management services to its many clients.

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