How to hire an invested Customer Service Representative

It’s no secret that turnover rates for customer service representatives top most other jobs in the United States, especially if your team operates from a call center.

I often hear business owners ask, “How do we hire the right CSRs or dispatchers to fit the culture we want?”

We all want to hire invested customer service representatives.

It’s a great question, and one that can be resolved by asking the right questions in our candidate selection and interview processes.

You Already Know What They Need to Know

Working in the HVAC industry, I asked common interview questions in order to verify a candidate could get the job done. For example:

  • How many technicians have you worked with on your dispatch board?
  • What Software are you familiar with and how fast did you learn it?

I learned to look at resumes with the same expectations in mind. I considered professional qualifications like:

  • What is their Home Services experience?
  • How long did they work for previous employers? Are there any gaps in employment?

And… all of that is important, but should it have the same or more weight than their ability to connect with those around them?

For years, I paid top dollar for skilled people. But in their power positions, they became energy vampires. These hires were good at their job, but they scared everyone else away. It was no longer a pleasure to come to work, and my technicians no longer felt like they were part of the team.

In the end, we had a bitter team and the challenge of constantly trying to bring on new clients because we lost customer loyalty.

It made me ask myself, what is trainable and what is not?

What are trainable skills?

Training someone takes some upfront cost. We obviously want to hire people that will be invested long-term, so we have to consider what skills are trainable and what are not. I recreated the hiring standard at our company. I look for personality, organizational skills and potential. If I could get that AND experience all in one CSR, then I was having a really lucky day.

The end result of this shift were loyal team members who really loved being part of our family. Unsurprisingly, when they loved the job, my customers flocked to the schedule, and I no longer had such a huge marketing expense.

You want invested customer service representatives and other team members, not just qualified ones. Look at the team you’ve built and ask yourself these questions:

  • What qualities contribute to the culture you have or hope to have in your office?
  • Are there questions you could ask potential candidates to look for those qualities?
  • Which skills are trainable in the position you’re hiring for?
  • What do we NEED for this position? (And we’re not just talking professional qualifications).

Hiring Right the FIRST Time

On average, the hiring process takes at least 20 hours a week and can take as much as 60 hours a week until a hire is made. Then it can take up to six months for a new hire to be completely productive and generate income for the business.

Never hire a salesman who doesn’t bring a pen to the interview.


Hiring is a critical part of your company culture, and it’s important to get the right person. It requires a lot of time and resources, a luxury we don’t always have.

Here at Power Selling Pros, we work with companies for all around customer experience and that encompasses who you hire. We now have a CSR recruiting department that can post the ad and interview for you!

If you are already a coaching client and have done all the hard work, we will do a final interview for you at no charge!

You can hire invested customer service representatives that help your company culture thrive.

For a free list of interview questions, click the download image.

Lynzie Markham is “Wonder Woman” at Power Selling Pros, She has 18 years call center/office experience, with 13 being spent directly within the home services industry. For the last 7 years, she has been helping to build call centers by sharing her knowledge of how to provide a fabulous world class customer experience. She has taken call centers from 2 CSR’s to over 35 in under a year by hiring the right people and providing them the support they need to grow. From inbound call taking, sales coordination, install coordination, marketing, HR and upper management; She has had her head in many of the hats your team wears daily. Her passion is helping others and watching them become more successful by far exceeding their own expectations. She also enjoys fitness, good food and everything outdoors with her 5 children, husband and fur baby.