Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The ideal Customer Care Agent Profile

Have you also heard that the ideal Customer Care candidates profile should read something like this:
"Not too young, woman is preferred as we all think women are better at caring, children are good (as long as they are in school) - basically somebody who is happy to have a 9-5 job (or whatever the hours), who is happy to have a job they can combine with Family life (meaning: forget when they go home) and have no major aspirations to grow in the company".

I lead a multinational Customer Care organisation in Europe where we price ourselves on having native speakers of all the 13 languages we supports. We have people from all over Europe in our team (which makes it a fabulous team to work in).

Naturally most of the people we employ are not native to the country we are in. So getting native speakers can be tricky. It is not at all political correct - but the men and women who leave their native country to pursue happiness and fulfilment (privately and professionally) are not your "ideal" CC profile, these people are generally looking for love either new (thanks to Internet dating we see many people here) or more mature (trailing spouses). They would probably never have applied for a CC job in their native country, and they do not fit the profile at all but we hire them anyway.
And what we have discovered is that although these people generally are overqualified for the job, they thrive here. The teams benefit from the International feel and atmosphere and the ideas for improving our service and procedures are never ending.

The only exception to this is the team supporting the country we are based in. Here we have a team that matches the profile for at least 80% of the people. This provides us with a team with many conflicts (I am a woman so I feel OK saying this - "maybe too many women on one team is not cool"). Needless to say the conflicts are rarely work related and incredible personal (sometimes it is almost like living a soap).

OK, for the over qualified men and women on my team we need to keep them happy with more interesting projects, special responsibilities and such, and once in a while (but rarely) do we loose one of them because they find a job in their own field of specialty. So we have to find those projects and special responsibilities... but I think it is a small - and very interesting price to pay, for conflict free teams full of positive energy.

So I have stopped caring for the Ideal Customer Care Agent Profile.

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