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Education vs. Experience?

It is important to consider education as a factor in a hiring decision. This has often been debated among employers. While some employers consider experience to be more valuable than education, other employers view an educated candidate as a disciplined and more driven individual.

Even if experience outweighs a college degree, it?s important to remember that an educated candidate DOES have some experience that can transfer to a customer service rep position. For example, an educated candidate can obviously write and/or speak in a clear and concise manner. Most degree programs require the student to complete college-level English and Communications courses, which enhance the candidate?s ability to competently handle conversations with customers.

A candidate with a college degree may also have the ability to think out situations with customers before becoming frustrated and referring the customer to their supervisor. Finally, it always enhances the company?s reputation to hire educated individuals for customer service positions. No one particularly enjoys speaking with a customer service rep who doesn?t seem able to handle the question or issue and can?t speak in an educated manner.

Additionally, there are some courses available that teach students the fundamentals of customer service. Such courses are available online or at various college campuses. These courses are very helpful in enhancing a customer service career, and the candidate should be given extra consideration for the completion of these courses.

Do Your Homework ? Run a Background Check

Another important factor in the hiring process is a criminal background check. All background checks for businesses are normally run through the FBI and are therefore very reliable. This may cost the company a little extra money, but it?s always worth it to find out exactly what kind of background a potential candidate has.

This has become standard for most companies, but should be particularly important when hiring a customer service rep. For example, if a candidate?s criminal history indicates assault or other altercations, it could mean the candidate has anger management issues or a bad attitude and therefore should not be dealing with customers.

If a candidate has fraud charges, it could mean they are not genuine and could seriously hurt the company?s reputation and potential for growth. Make sure that it is a requirement for each potential candidate to sign a consent form agreeing to a criminal history check. If the candidate refuses, chances are you wouldn?t want to hire them anyway.

English as a Second Language? Not for a Customer Service Rep!

Although the United States is ?home of the free,? it should be kept in mind that if the customer service position will be dealing with Americans or English-speaking citizens, the candidate should be able to speak competent English. There is nothing more frustrating than speaking with a customer service rep over the phone who cannot understand the customer?s questions or concerns due to a language barrier.

If the candidate was born in another country, it doesn?t exclude them from the position ? as long as they can speak and understand the English language, and their accent isn?t so thick that the customer would have a hard time understanding them. It isn?t discrimination; you?re keeping your customers best interests at heart.

Finally, be sure that the candidate has the right to legally work for your company. If they have a visa, be sure it is valid and not expired. Hiring an illegal alien could mean serious legal consequences for your company and permanently damage your business and reputation.