Customer Experience

How to Hire a VP of Customer Service Who Will Delight Your Customers

Your VP of customer service leads your whole team. Here’s how to choose a leader who will guide your brand to customer success.

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The head of your customer service team needs to embody your brand’s philosophy, inspire your team through good times and bad, and understand your customers better than he or she understands himself or herself. It’s no small task, and selecting the right person for the job is a big challenge. This one decision could make or break your business and its reputation. Fortunately, there are a few key attributes to look for to ensure that you find the best candidate to become your next VP of customer service.

Here are a few ways to make sure your pick is the best fit for the job.

Knows your audience: Whether this comes from previous on-the-job experience serving the same or a similar target audience or through an in-depth understanding of your offerings, your ideal VP will innately understand what your customers want, need, and expect.

Understands the front line: A customer service leader who fully understands what frontline customer service agents do will be more capable of offering guidance and leadership from above. While some of this can be learned on the job, consider taking VP candidates on a tour of your call center and even having them listen in on a few calls so they can see what customer service looks like at your company.

Sets an example for the team: Beyond his or her direct reports, you need the head of your customer service team to possess stellar leadership qualities and display a high level of emotional intelligence. This goes beyond simply having a positive attitude. With emotions often running high during customer service challenges, you want a leader who can remain calm and collected, with his or her eyes on the organization’s goals.

Motivated by solutions: Customer service is a lot like troubleshooting, and it’s as important at the top as it is on the front lines. Look for indications that your next VP will strive to get to the bottom of problems rather than get distracted trying to place blame or make excuses. With a leader invested in solving issues, your team will become more capable of doing the same.

Effective communication skills: The best customer service leaders are adept at tailoring their conversations and messages to the unique needs of each audience, whether it’s one customer service agent or an entire department. Good communication is the hallmark of good customer service, and there is no substitute.

Manages time and priorities well: Sometimes, customer service is all about putting out fires—and that can make it challenging to keep up with routine responsibilities. Having a leader with superior time management skills and the ability to adapt to changing priorities is crucial. With these attributes, you can rest assured your new leader will be able to navigate a steady course without veering off the trajectory with every high wind.