What Traits To Look For When Hiring For Customer Support


I assume you already know the importance of having a good customer service staff so I won’t be talking about that here.

In this article I will focus on what qualities you should look for in a candidate whom you want to hire in your customer service team.

Particularly I will be talking about soft skills. Soft skills means the skills that a person either intrinsically has or he doesn’t. Hard skills, on the other hand, means the skills that can be taught and learned. HTML coding, working with Photoshop, understand WordPress CMS are all examples of hard skills. Not losing your temper, empathizing with a customer, speaking fluently are all examples of soft skills.

A business adage says – hire for soft skills, train for hard skills.


Good conversation skills

Your team should be able to communicate clearly and concisely, after all that is the most important part of their job, that is what they will be doing.

Teaching grammar is not your job, they should be well versed with the fine details of language before coming for the interview. If they have a personal blog or website of some kind, go and take a look at it in order to see their writing skills. Reading someone’s writing can give a great insight into his knowledge and experience. Let them interact with some model customers to see how well they talk.

So look for a conversationalist.

Good personality

They should have a nice personality. You should look for someone who is cheerful and always carries a smile on his face. They should have the capability of winning over angry clients. It’s not necessary you look for loud, show-off kind of people. A quiet and shy kind of a person may also do well.

Some creativity

No I don’t mean he should be a painter or a poet. I simply mean that he should have the capability or the creativity to figure it out what will satisfy the customer. You see every customer is different and every problem they face is different. You can never train your staff for all kinds of situations. You never know which situation will arise when.

After all that’s why you are hiring humans and not using a computer operated support system.  Humans can react intelligently and creatively.

Self motivation

You require a person who is driven, can work on his own without your constant attention, etc. You will usually have a lot of things to do and so you will not have time to babysit your team members all the time. In order to know about this feature of a candidate find out what projects, if any, is he working on during after office hours. Does he own a small business? Does he raise money for a local charity? If yes, count him in.


You wouldn’t want to hire a candidate who won’t fit in well into your team or your company’s culture, would you? You may want to take them out for a coffee with the rest of your team members. Then observe whether they are naturally blending in with your team or they are forcing themselves to talk to them.

Yes you will need to have some good observing powers to notice such details but if you can manage it, it’s worth going for.                                                      

Past experience

It is always good to have someone who has had a past experience of helping people, where they had to interact with a lot of people and answer their questions. For example a person who has worked as a librarian, or managed an apartment complex, or a restaurant could be a good fit.

Any kind of work experience where they had to interact with people is a plus.

I hope these points will help you hire better people for your customer care. Do drop in a comment below if you know of any other good point that I’ve missed.