ESkill The Best Customer Service Simulation Tests For Hiring And Training Call Center Agents

A good call center agent is worth their weight in gold. In most companies, a call center agent’s job involves combining empathy with knowledge to answer questions and help customers resolve problems as quickly as possible. A competent call center agent can help turn a challenge into an opportunity, not just for your company, but for your customer as well. If a call center agent has a solid understanding of your company’s product and services, they can act as crisis counselors, public relations liaisons, communications experts, and rhetorical crash test dummies, often on the same call.

The value of call center agents can be seen in their results. Microsoft reports that good customer service accounts for nearly 70% of brand loyalty, and Esteban Kolsky of SAP reports that 55% of customers say they would be willing to pay more for good customer service. On the other hand, if a call center agent lacks skills, the result can be a decrease in revenue and loss of customer loyalty. According to Zendesk, 66% of business-to-business customers stop buying products or services after a bad customer interaction, and Oracle found that a single negative customer service experience is enough to prevent 34% of consumers from ever purchasing from a company again.

Given what is at stake, the need for skills testing for customer service and call center agents is obvious. However, many skills tests are not designed to be an effective indicator of how a candidate will perform on the job. A multiple-choice test cannot tell you how a call center agent will respond to an angry caller or a customer who needs help understanding product and service options that are available to them. The best way to test a potential call center agent’s ability is to observe them answering calls. While you cannot have candidates talk to customers, you can do the next best thing — use customer service simulation tests.

What Is a Customer Service Simulation Test? 

In a customer service simulation assessment, candidates are allowed to demonstrate their abilities in a realistic call center environment. The results of a customer service simulation test will provide you with the information you need to judge an applicant’s communication skills, ability to multitask, and how they would perform in your work environment. Candidates also have the opportunity to see what the job entails and can decide to opt out of the interview before they are offered the position, which helps reduce your call center’s turnover rates.

Types of Customer Service Simulation Assessments

There are several ways to conduct a customer service simulation test. These are several examples.

  • Mock interaction: This can be as simple as a script performed in person, or it can be conducted over the phone. It is a low-tech solution, but it can be customized easily. It is also less expensive because you create your own script. Of course, that is also a drawback because you have to develop the script and have someone role-play it with candidates. 
  • Virtual dialog simulator: There are companies that provide virtual dialog simulations. These are easy because you simply enter the parameters that are necessary for the type of interaction you want to create and the tool does the rest. The problem is you need to develop and design dialog as well as the screens and software the candidate will use on the job. And while a customer service simulation test is important, it may not test other attributes such as problem-solving skills and proficiency with software your company uses. 
  • Packaged talent assessments: A company that can fill all your customer service simulation assessment needs is the perfect solution. The provider you work with should be able to offer tailored customer service simulation tests according to your specifications. They should be customized for the industries you work with, the software applications you use, and the types of interactions your call center agents commonly handle. It should be possible to integrate the simulation with other skill tests such as Microsoft Office applications, data entry, and attention to detail.

A good hire is only the first step in employment. Once you have hired good call center agents, you need to develop them by providing appropriate training.

Call Center Training: Learn by Doing

The greatest attributes a good call center agent has are not skills at all — they are talents. You can train a call center agent on your product line and service offerings, but you cannot train them to have a customer service “mindset.” A basic aptitude toward offering superior customer service needs to be nurtured and developed to benefit employees and your company.

Studies have shown that classroom training is good, but experiential learning, also known as learning by doing, results in a nearly 90% retention rate for acquired knowledge. Customer service simulation assessments are useful in training because they help employees bridge the gap between knowledge and experience. They can also be used when there are changes in policies or processes and to help call center agents learn how to handle difficult customer interactions.

Using customer service simulation tests to hire and call center agents can ultimately save money and improve overall customer satisfaction. Request a demo today.

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