When The Chat Shop started back in 2012, our founders, Joe and Jonny, were two young men with a vision. They wanted to change the face of digital customer service and marketing. They wanted to use the internet to provide a much better service to customers. They felt that customer relations were becoming too automated and obsessed with the numbers game. They wanted to put the humanity back into customer relations.
Three years, and an awful lot of work later, they have gone a long way to achieving this goal. Today, The Chat Shop stands at over 80 team members, working from home round the clock chatting with customers across more than 12 industries.
And The Chat Shop hasn’t stopped there! We’re growing in number, and in passion by the day. The thing that unites us all is the drive to provide the best customer service to our customers. Our team is growing every day. But we haven’t lost our commitment to 27 second response times, 99% customer satisfaction, 5 times higher conversion rates and stellar reputation among our clients.
The key to this success?
To put the humanity back into customer service and sales, we need the right people. Finding the right people isn’t an easy feat. We need to make sure that we are a team full of dedicated people, who all share the same great attitude and passions: providing excellent customer experience. What, you may ask, makes a person a fantastic chat agent? Well, keep reading to find out exactly what we look for, and how we go about finding it.
At The Chat Shop, I recruit new agents - I and a few colleagues make up a dedicated, in-house recruitment team. You can find us most of the time working hard in the office to find hot new talent to join our family. The rest of the time, we’ll be at the pub.
But why do we bother? Why not just let some faceless recruiting agency find our next chat experts? Because we want to make sure we find exactly the right people. For our clients, for our customers, and for our family. Joe and Jonny set us up as a team that embodies The Chat Shop’s values to scour the earth for the very best agents out there. As a team, we get to know each applicant the second they apply, and then follow them through our recruitment process.
We are a team driven by the excitement of seeing that special spark in an applicant that shows they’ll go the distance.
Searching the earth for our very own Greek gods of customer service
The Chat Shop – from Two Friends to a Family
The Chat Shop receives a job application every 4 minutes. In May alone we received over 2500 applications a week to our Live Chat agent positions and we interviewed over almost as many candidates. Sifting through these applicants to find the exact right agents for our clients is a tall order. And of all of them, we hire less than 1%.
Why so competitive? Because we are deeply committed to maintaining a world class culture at our company. A culture that means we can’t wait to log on every day, to talk to each other and our customers. And, of course, to do the very best work we can!
We hire for attitude, dedication, and the skills needed to be on the frontline of customer service. Of course, we as a company have a duty to work hard to keep our teams happy and engaged. But we believe that the best agents are those that are engaged and share our values from the start. To find our next agents, we have an extensively tested recruitment process. We want to demystify this process, to encourage even more people to join our team! Here’s how:
Get Our Attention
After first getting in touch with our recruiters, all our candidates are asked to complete a small questionnaire. We want to see the first signs of that magical spark of potential. We want to see who is dedicated and who cares about customers. We want to see what an applicant thinks about live chatting, and what they think makes for fantastic digital customer service. And we want to see who has a passion for working in our team and providing such great service!
We then ask everyone to complete a short typing test. One of the most important benefits of live chatting is its efficiency. If customers had all the time in the world, they would call a helpline. In fact, studies have shown a direct correlation between speed of response and customer satisfaction. Customers online don’t have time. They want a quick and fast response, without losing the sense that they are being looked after. Formal studies have proven that the faster the response, the happier the customer. Welcome to the instant gratification generation.
We pride ourselves on our speedy 29 second average response time. Like the Lamborghini of customer service, we ensure that customers get their answers fast - but no less satisfied.
Ready to satisfy our customers - super fast!
The Recruitment Process
From here, we have a three-part recruitment process. Think the Deathly Hallows, the Musketeers, and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. All good things come in threes!
If a candidate puts on a good show and catches our attention, they are invited to a live chat interview. This can be scary, but as our name indicates, all we want to do is chat. We want to get to know our candidates. Picture a chat between friends at a coffee shop - just with instant homemade coffee and a virtual cake we can’t share.
We are looking for a few key things here, so here’s your cheat sheet if you have an interview coming up with us!
First, all successful candidates must be able to respond quickly to our questions, and respond accurately. By accurately, we mean two things:
- We need agents who have perfect typing skills. Perfect spelling, grammar and punctuation.
- We look for agents that are efficient in their answers. When we ask what you enjoy about customer service, we don’t want a three-year lecture about every customer service position you have held. Just like a customer, we want our information delivered completely and courteously.
Second, we are looking for personality. A flare. A spark that says – this person knows how to make a customer feel special. A person we would be happy going to for help about a product or service we’re thinking about buying. Our mission is to redress the lack of human interaction on the web. It can be difficult to achieve this through the medium of live chat, especially given the rise of chatbots trying to replace us.
Sure, it’s fun to feel like we’re all in a sci-fi movie - but talking to a robot will never provide the personal touch so important to today’s customers. So we're looking for people who can shine through their computers in the medium of chat. And the best advice for this - sound as human as you can! The key to providing a human experience is to have a personality that would match a person. Too bland and sterile, you sound like one of those chatty robots. Too over-the-top excited, you sound fake and demeaning. It can certainly be hard to convey emotion and personality through text, which is why we commit so much time to finding and training our agents.
Don't worry, though, there is a trick to doing well in this interview - but just be yourself. Be the human that you are and allow the humans that we are to engage with you.
Perils of being a robot
If as a team we think a candidate has shown they can do all this, we invite them to a second interview. At this stage, we are looking at the specifics.
- We are looking for someone who can engage, who can advise, and who can sell.
- We are looking at how you would come across to customers, and how you would represent ourselves and our clients.
- We are just looking for people with the potential to be fantastic customer reps - those with the right communications skills, people skills, patience, attentiveness, adaptability and all the other competencies that make up a great agent.
If you are successful, you are almost there. When our team agrees that you have the right potential, attitude, and determination, we will call you up in the following few days for a quick chat on the phone. This interview is to review your availability and your excitement for this opportunity! It's your last chance to shine and prove how strongly you share our values, and how excited you are to join our family!
And then you are done! We want our agents to get cracking as soon as possible so we’ll set you up in a team and set you off on your training. And from there, you are a member of the family!
Diversity at The Chat Shop
The best part about this recruitment process is the results it produces. We at The Chat Shop are like a family – a big, international, spread-out family but one full of people who share similar passions and aspirations. Finding a new person to join that family is exhilarating. And the diversity of that family is upheld in every recruitment decision we make.
We are committed to equal opportunities in our recruitment policy, and across our entire company.
Ensuring we meet this goal is the key to having a fantastic team of agents, and an equally fantastic culture here at The Chat Shop. We are proud of our diverse and embracing team. And we thoroughly enjoy it. Having friends from everywhere, with countless different backgrounds, makes for a fun environment, an open environment - and an environment where we all feel fulfilled.
The bottom line – no matter who you are, you will be welcomed with open arms into our family.
Why You Should Apply to The Chat Shop
We at The Chat Shop think this work is incredibly rewarding.
Diversity and communication are at the heart of this family. We are all free and encouraged to talk to everyone else working in the company. We’ve worked hard to ensure that remote working is not a block to the community spirit in our ranks. Teamwork in general is vital here, despite and across borders. Great communication, after all, is all about having the best team. We work alongside an exciting team of agents, helping and supporting each other, and having a good time. We believe in providing excellent customer service. We get to help people from all over the world every day from the comfort of our own homes. And we believe in opportunity. We get to work in a dynamic and growing company, with endless opportunities to expand to new clients, countries, teams and positions.
If you share these values, come try us out and see if we are the kind of family you’d like to be a part of. Read more on live chat jobs from home or chat with one of our experts now.