areas for improvement in customer service repsAccording to new research from SkillSurvey, Inc., seasonal retail employees are lacking in key customer service skills which are hurting customer relationships and affecting revenue. The SkillSurvey study reveals that:

  • Nearly one-third (31 percent) of customer service and sales job candidates could improve their ability to encourage customers to upgrade or buy new products or services by offering them more options.
  • More than one in four (27 percent) need to work on their ability to give customers specific recommendations about company products and services, based on information about the customer.

“Whether in-store, on the phone or online, retailers may not be completely satisfying customers and may be leaving sales on the table if they don’t make the right hiring decisions this holiday season,” said Ray Bixler, President and CEO of SkillSurvey. “At the same time, job-seekers need to know which skills to emphasize in their applications and throughout the hiring process. Employers will be well-served by seeking out candidates who have shown that they can use creativity and strategic thinking to create smart solutions to customer problems.”

Other key findings from the SkillSurvey data include:

  • 23 percent of customer service and sales employees can boost their ability to make high quality decisions based on business priorities.
  • 22 percent have room to grow when it comes to effectively using customer service systems and databases to resolve customer issues.
  • 20 percent could improve at gathering information from customers to more efficiently answer questions and resolve issues.
  • Nearly all (95 percent) of these job candidates are good at treating other people with fairness and respect.
  • 93 percent of candidates demonstrate honesty and high personal standards when dealing with others.
  • 90 percent show ethics and integrity in their work.

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