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What Do Your Customer Service Job Descriptions Say About Your Company?

For better or worse, an indispensable part of the “tier one” customer support hiring process is the job description.

On the company side, you probably inherited one that’s 80% accurate for the current demands of the position, but what about that last 20%? Moreover, hiring for entry-level positions can be especially frustrating – of course you want to get the best possible candidates, but if you happen upon one that’s too good to be true, you know they won’t stick around long. Possibly not even 90 days.

On the applicant side, you have to wonder - are they using generic language in their job descriptions or are they hinting at specific, persistent problems they are presently experiencing? Also, is everything they include in the job description equally important, and how much of it is referring to professional development-type specialization vs. capabilities anyone might possess?

On either side of the situation, it’s a stressful experience. Not entirely unlike the actual work itself.

This article is not meant to be a guideline for what words or requirements to use in your job descriptions. Rather, it’s meant to use the framework of a job description to get you think about the different perspectives through which managers and applicants may be approaching the frustrating realities of entry-level customer service work. Hopefully it will help each side understand where the other is coming from a little bit better.


1.    “listening skills”

2.    “empathetic”/“patient”/etc

3.    “time-management skills”/“ability to multi-task”/etc

4.    “attention to detail”

5.    “reliable”

6.     “passionate about serving customers well”

7.    “familiarity with X” (e.g. MS products, email, phone, chat)

8.     “adaptability”

9.     “communication skills”/“interpersonal skills”/etc

(BONUS) Highly preferred:

10.    “2+ years of customer service or related experience”

11.    “product knowledge”

Job descriptions interpretations

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