Article week 10 – 2024

War for Talent – How well-designed Role Profiles can support

In many companies, customer service has historically grown out of the respective specialist departments. Even today, this specialist knowledge is often still a prerequisite for employees with direct customer contact in order to ensure optimal customer care and enhance the customer experience. As a result, job advertisements for customer advisors often include the requirement for relevant qualifications. However, especially with today’s intense competition for skilled workers, the question of which skills a promising candidate should have and which skills can be acquired by investing in employees with a good training concept is becoming even more important.

As a first step, companies should therefore determine what requirements they have for the respective roles in customer service. A documented role profile forms the basis for reaching a common consensus on the requirements. This internally defined profile should include a detailed description of the tasks and responsibilities as well as the skills and knowledge required. These requirements for a role range from knowledge of products, processes and handling systems to soft skills such as communication skills and customer orientation. If you have challenges in creating this list of required skills and knowledge, you can look at your high performers on the one hand and analyze your customer feedback on the other. Here you can derive important insights into which attributes increase employee performance and which are the drivers of customer satisfaction. These can then be incorporated into the requirements profile.

If the requirements for a role are clearly outlined and a list of required skills and knowledge is available, these requirements must be classified. The company must decide which requirements can be considered during the recruitment process and which requirements can be met through a structured training concept or a well-documented knowledge database. The requirements for new hires or transfers to the customer service team should focus in particular on skills such as customer orientation, strong communication skills and a certain affinity for technology, as the core task of dealing with customer concerns is very closely linked to these. Bringing specialist knowledge from previous professional activities or academic experience is still desirable, but should not be an exclusion criterion for candidates without this experience. This means that although a banking education is an advantage for processing inquiries in the financial sector, it is not a must criterion, assuming the company can close this knowledge gap through documented knowledge and good training. At the same time, hairdressing qualifications are helpful for advising customers of a beauty company on coloring products, but training – ideally with live demonstrations – can also build a good understanding.

As a result, once the recruiting requirements have been defined, a gap analysis can help to define the scope of the training. The training should therefore cover all the content and methods needed to ultimately fulfill all the requirements of the role and be able to carry out day-to-day business. The focus here is usually on knowledge of products, processes and handling systems. For training for new hires, customer communication via various channels is also addressed and reinforced through interactive exercises. A holistic training concept not only focuses on the onboarding of new employees, but also on refreshers and up/cross-skill trainings for a later point in the employee life cycle for potential further specialization.

It is essential to be aware of the requirements for the core roles in customer service. The further subdivision into requirements that are recruited or trained helps companies to refine their job advertisements and their training plan. It is important to note that investing in employees through targeted training can pay off by attracting interesting new applicant profiles that are highly motivated and customer-centric.

Laura Belde – Senior Consultant


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