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Presenting a strong customer service resume reflects well on a candidate regardless of whether the job they seek is for a service position or a sales role. Customer service attributes are highly valued by smart business owners that seek to grow and ensure longevity in the marketplace.
A customer service resume shows a hiring manager that a candidate has the necessary skills to represent the best the company has to offer. Employers seek sales and service professionals who understand clearly that every sales interaction provides service opportunities, and that every service interaction provides potential sales opportunities. Sales and service are not mutually exclusive. .
Being strong in sales production is certainly important, but sales skills alone is simply not enough in today's competitive environment. Sales production without a solid customer service commitment means an employee must work twice as hard to achieve the same rate of growth as those that back up sales with solid service delivery.
A lack of follow up and service support will eventually lead existing customers to move their business to another organization that demonstrate a higher quality of service delivery.
Employers who hire individuals who cannot produce a strong customer service resume may be too narrowly focused on filling the role quickly so they can get back to focusing on other areas of responsibility, but this is a huge mistake. Hiring the right people for the right positions should always be a leader's top priority. Leaders who hire too quickly to meet short-term objectives are placing the future of the business great risk.
As a rule, any role in the organization that will have any contact with a customer, should be able to produce a customer service resume that affirms a history of service accomplishments.
"To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity."
- Don Alden Adams
Great leaders do not compromise their long-term growth strategy by losing sight of the importance of maintaining high service quality standards. They continually work to hire great people to secure the future of their business, and they understand the potential risk to the brand and reputation when making short sighted hiring decisions.
Each employee is perceived by your customers as being a representative of you and your organization. Make sure you are totally comfortable with any new candidate you are considering for hire. Will this individual represent you well? Will the candidate safeguard your good name, and the reputation of the company?
Possessing strong service skills helps to ensure the candidate will instinctively care for your most highly valued asset - your customer.
Any resume can be classified as a 'customer service resume' only when the resume exhibits a strong background in customer service achievements. Additional clues that employers can look for are service related descriptions, keywords and references.
When reviewing a candidates resume, seek to identify for the following customer service clues:
- Ben Cohen, Ben & Jerry's
It's common practice for new job seekers to submit a job application along with submitting a resume with a cover letter and references. However, there is another document, which is probably more important any of the others, that is rarely asked for by the hiring manager and seldom offered by the candidate.
What is this mysterious document you ask? Get ready to put palm to forehead because it should be so obvious, but this critical document is almost always never shared.
The most valuable document a hiring manager can review is.... a candidate's annual reviews from a current or past employer.
As discussed above you can glean a great deal of information from the customer service resume and reference letters, but in large part the candidate has a great amount of control over what you see, and if their smart it's all going to provide glowing reviews. Past annual reviews are written by past supervisors and they will provide insight on the candidates areas of strengths as well as details on what the candidate should focus on to further develop their skillset. Past difficulties or counseling that have taken place might also be referred to within the review.
If you ask if copies of a candidates last annual review and the candidate is eager to share it with you it's most likely the review confirm details shared on their customer service resume and will only make their case for employment stronger. However, if the candidate balks at the request that may mean they just simply didn't keep a copy or it may be a sign that you should proceed with caution as they may have something they are hiding. It's important for hiring managers not to make assumption, but it's also wise to be alert to possible signs of a less than stellar work performance history.
All leaders can be of service to their team members by making it a priority to conduct well crafted, highly informative annual reviews. The annual review document can later become an asset to the employee when he or she is applying for a new position within the organization, or seeking employment elsewhere.
As a hiring manager, you might be surprised and impressed if an candidate proactively offered to provide you with their last 2-3 annual review. So, why not arm your team members with the ability to do the same time when they are seeking to progress in their career. Examples of customers service accomplishments included in their annual reviews will provide clear evidence that their customer service resume is firmly supported.
The next annual review you write just might be the thing that wins that employee their next big promotion - and that would be something both the leader and the employee can be incredibly proud of.