Study: 37 percent of hired customer service reps 'don't fit'

About a third of call center representatives still get hired even they were not fit for the position.

About a third of call center representatives still get hired even they were not fit for the position.

Whenever customers are unhappy with a purchase, they could go back to a retailer and talk with the manager or they could call the toll-free number provided on their product. Many people do not look forward to doing this because many of the representatives who handle these calls turn out to be unhelpful.

Oftentimes, customers end up escalating the problem, demanding to talk to their supervisor. This pattern happens all too often because many of the staff members are not qualified for the job, according to a study from Talent Q, an assessment specialist.

Due to the high turnover rate for these busy roles in the retail, hospital and service industries, managers from 102 United Kingdom businesses admitted that they have to resort to hiring unqualified individuals about 37 percent of the time. Unlike many other work environments, where human resources personnel are unsure if they filled the position with the right person, customer service managers are fully aware that some of these people are a poor fit.

Call centers and businesses that operate their own customer service lines can save themselves from future headaches if they utilize HR software solutions. Instead of manually screening a pile of applications, the program pulls out a batch of job seekers that may appear more qualified for the job. From there, supervisors can challenge these applicants during a one-on-one or group interview.

Respondents to the Talent Q survey reported that each year, more than 200 customer service positions open up. Almost half said they receive between 51 to 100 applications per position and 12 percent reported reading 50,000-100,000 of applications per year.

Talent Q's study also found that 48 percent of the time, people who quit their customer representative jobs felt that "the expectations they have of the job are not matched by the reality of the role."

Active use of HR software solutions can prevent many of these obstacles in the future, thus increasing the company's overall retention rate.