The 6-Step Process for a Powerful Customer Service Job Description
How do you find the perfect candidate to fill your opening for a customer service representative? Resumes and interviews are important, but a successful hiring process begins with a strong job description.
The job description is the interface between your company’s hiring needs and the outside world. It largely determines the pool of candidates you'll be choosing from, the people who will ultimately represent your company to customers. The goal, then, is a concise description that filters out the best people for the job.
To accomplish this, it’s helpful to keep in mind what the functions of a job description are.
A good job description...
- Attracts candidates. It catches the attention of qualified applicants because it immediately communicates something about what makes the customer service job your company is hiring for appealing.
- Filters the pool of candidates. When you're up front about what the demands of the job are, you encourage candidates to self-select and you therefore save time .
- Sets the tone for the future work. The point of the hiring process is to select someone who goes on to be a successful customer service representative for your company. A meaningful job description can start people on this path by motivating them to meet the challenges of the job and introducing them to your company’s culture.
These are the goals – but how does one actually come up with a job description that accomplishes them? Here’s a process you can follow for writing a customer service job description that stands out.
1Make the title informative
The title of the job description is the first impression people will have. Most commonly, the job description title will simply be the job title, which communicates immediately what type of job you’re hiring for.
“Customer Service Representative” is the most generic job title you can choose, but any specifics you add can help target the description to the appropriate candidates. If the job is focused on a particular area like technical support, mention that. Likewise, including the level of the job, such as whether it’s a senior or management position, is important.
There are different schools of thought on whether to use more generic or more creative job titles. More original job titles can add personality and say something about your company’s culture. On the other hand, more generic titles are both easier to interpret for people outside your company and more likely to pop up in search results.
For the job posts we've written at Userlike , we err on the side of generalism for the titles, but with an extra twist at the end. "Customer success representative for frontline chat support", for example.
2Begin with a 1-2 sentence summary of who you are and what you’re looking for
Right out of the gate, get on the same page as the person reading the description by summarizing who you are and who you’re looking to hire. There are four elements you can draw on here:
- What kind of company you are
- What you do
- What job you’re looking to fill
- What general qualities you’re looking for in the person who will fill this job
For example, you might kick off the description by saying: “We're a rapidly growing startup that provides live chat software to help businesses communicate better with their customers. We're looking for someone who is friendly, easy to communicate with and detail-oriented to join our team of customer service representatives.”
Simple enough, but right away it communicates the basics of what the customer service job you’re hiring for is about. In terms of the job description goals outlined above, this clarity helps to both attract and filter.
3List the job responsibilities
Once you’ve given a brief overview of the job and company, it’s time to get into the meat of what responsibilities are associated with the position. Typically, customer service roles come with two main types of responsibilities: outward-facing responsibilities that involve communicating with customers, and inward-facing responsibilities that involve communicating with the company.
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An example of an outward-facing responsibility would be to help clients troubleshoot problems with the product. An inward-facing responsibility would be logging customer complaints and compiling information that can be used to understand the customer experience.
Besides listing specific tasks the customer service representative will be responsible for, this is a good place to mention responsibilities in terms of maintaining a friendly tone and keeping a rapport between the company and the customer. Key words you can use here include warm, professional, understanding, empathetic, positive, friendly, patient and respectful.
4List the required skills
Being upfront about the skills needed for the job will help bring in applicants who are not just willing to take on the responsibilities of the job but who have the ability to do so successfully.
For customer service jobs, it’s helpful to take a broad view of what we mean when we talk about skills. In fact, the goal is to find people who fit the role not just in terms of their skills, but in terms of what Ray Dalio would call their values and abilities.
For a customer service position, an example of a relevant value might be honesty, and a helpful ability would be thinking quickly on one’s feet. Skills, meanwhile, would include technical familiarity with certain products. Excelling at a job requires the right mix of values, abilities and skills. Of these three factors, skills are usually the easiest to train.
So how can the “required skills” section of a customer service job description incorporate all three components?
For starters, this section of the job description should include any education requirements. It should mention any specific technical skills, as well as more general technical requirements like being able to learn about the company’s product in detail.
Also important, though, are soft skills and personal qualities required for the role. To brainstorm what qualities these might be, ask yourself: what is a more difficult situation that someone in this role might encounter, and what interpersonal skills would be necessary to address the situation successfully? The answer to this question sheds light on the values and abilities necessary for the role.
Optionally, you can conclude this section of the description by mentioning any skills that are a plus to have, but not required – like past experience in certain roles or a specific kind of technical knowledge, for example.
5List the job’s perks
Remembering that part of the goal is to attract and motivate candidates, it’s a good idea to round off the job description with a list of job perks. Attractive benefits, details that set your workplace apart and growth opportunities are all worth mentioning. As you can see from this list , there’s plenty of room to stand out here.
One perk not to overlook is company culture. Besides making the job more attractive, mentioning company culture in your job description sets the tone for bringing in candidates who are aligned with your company’s way of operating. Similarly, bringing up your company’s mission can help candidates see the job as being a part of something larger.
One thing that works great for us at Userlike is to include a link to our Instagram profile in our job descriptions. I guess a happy team captured on camera is more convincing than a thousand words.
6Start positive and end positive
Job descriptions that inspire candidates often have a sandwich-like structure: they begin and end on a positive note.
Throw in a sentence or two about your company’s mission or culture, or about the job’s perks, in the first paragraph of the description, then revisit the full list of job perks at the end. Doing so will make your description more than just a laundry list of required skills and job functions.
In between, give a level-headed and clear list of job responsibilities and required skills that will make for an excellent candidate. That way, the beginning and end of the description do the heavy lifting in terms of attracting candidates while the middle of the description acts as a filter. The result is that you spend less time searching before you find the right candidate.
Customer service representative job description sample
Frontline customer service rep at fast-growing startup
We're looking for a customer service rep to join our fast-growing startup in the center of Cologne, Germany! You would be on the frontline, chatting and calling with small business owners, service managers, and eCommerce professionals who are interested in our software.
As a frontline service rep, you will be the face of our company. Its eyes, ears, and mouth. Your tasks would include:
- Replying on incoming customer requests via chat, phone, and email
- Actively soliciting customer feedback, and processing it to information that guides our product development
- Representing our company with accurate and timely information on our product, policies, and procedures
- Represent the voice of the customer in the company
- University Bachelor degree
- A passion for technology
- A great willingness to learn
- Be a people person
- Be a fast typer (minimum 60 WPM)
- Structured and organized mindset
Our team is the engine behind Userlike. And as proper Germans, we take care of our engines!
We believe in giving people autonomy and space for personal growth. We started Userlike with little experience; we had to teach ourselves everything. As our team grew, this mindset stayed.
We wanted to create a great place to work. An honest and transparent company, free of politics and internal competition, with a clear focus on our mission to fundamentally improve communication between businesses and their customers. We're still learning, but we think we've done quite well so far.
Check out our Instagram profile for an impression.
Some of our benefits:
- Inspiring teammates and work environment
- The best hardware and equipment for healthy and productive work
- An energizing mix of work & play
- Free fruits, coffee, tea, and sparkling water
- Regular team events & yearly retreat
- Work in the center of Cologne, one of Germany's most popular cities
- A monetary- and holiday-based educational plan
- A culture that empowers you to excel
If this resonates with you, we're looking forward to your application!