What is a customer service aptitude test?
Customer service teams are essential in providing excellent customer service and customer satisfaction. To be successful in this type of role, there are skills and behavioural traits that an employer can assess to accurately predict how well employees will perform in a customer service role.
A customer service test helps identify candidates with those important customer service skills needed to be successful. You’ll find that most exams assess skills like communication, comprehension, logic, and personality traits.
Why do employers use customer service assessment tests?
While experience is valuable in customer facing roles, using aptitude tests focused on the skills needed for excellent customer service are an effective way to assess someone’s skills and potential. This is especially helpful when recruiting for a role that garners a lot of competition between similarly qualified candidates, since the tests give more data that employers can use to rank applicants.
Customer service roles also require a certain kind of person who has the right kind of temperament and interpersonal skills; without significant time spent with someone, it is hard to gauge these during the recruitment process.
By using customer service skill tests that include sections like a personality test, employers can get a more accurate understanding of you as a person and whether you will be a good fit for the company in a less time-intensive way.
What skills do customer service assistants typically need?
While customer service roles do not typically require specific technical skills and qualifications, there are still traits required to thrive in this sector. These are just a few of the most important ones that employers will look for when you apply for these roles:
The first skill is one of the most important: strong communication. While this is vital for any job, customer service is almost entirely about working directly with customers and clients, such as on the shop floor, when answering on the phone and dealing with customer support queries.
As a customer service assistant, you are the main representative of the company to the public, and therefore you must be able to communicate professionally in all kinds of situations.
Related to your communication skills is your comprehension ability, which is how well you process and relay information. General reading and writing skills are essential to everyday life, but working in customer service means processing a lot more information than most on a daily basis, so you need to show that you are capable of this.
Problem solving and decision making
In customer service roles, you typically deal with customers and their issues immediately, meaning that unexpected situations occur suddenly and can require you to make quick decisions.
While you may not always be able to solve an issue on the spot, showing that you follow a logical process and understand how to make the most progress you can at the time is a vital workplace skill.
Roles like customer care representatives and customer support agents will need excellent problem solving skills since their interactions with customers are continuous and require immediate action.
Adaptability is hugely important when working with people, as you have to be able to deal with any situation that is put in front of you. Customer service is a fast-paced sector and often no two days are the same, so being open to change in routine and taking on varied tasks is part of the job.
When dealing directly with customers your ability to come across as friendly and empathic will have a big effect on how well you are received. Depending on the industry that you work in, you may be dealing with something very personal to your customers and have to be understanding of every single person’s situation. Being empathetic will ensure you receive positive customer feedback.
Ability to work under pressure
When things get busy, customer service roles like retail can be stressful environments to function in. The ability to keep calm and professional under pressure is important to keep things moving, and make sure that you still provide the quality of service that the customers expect from the company.
How are these key skills measured?
There are a number of tests that are used to assess your skills and cognitive abilities. Aptitude tests give recruiters objective data that they can use to compare candidates: therefore, your score on these tests will have a big influence on whether or not you get hired.
For the more subjective tests like personality assessments, they are typically measured against the answers of current employees and the company’s ethics and values, to show how closely you align.
In order to test your communication skills, including general literacy and comprehension skills, you may be asked to complete a written task. There are a few different kinds of written exercises that are used for different types of jobs, but the most common are writing a formal letter, an email, or proofreading a piece of text.
By doing this, employers can see your communication style, your level of grammar and spelling, and how well you understand context and tone when communicating.
Verbal reasoning test
A verbal reasoning test differs from a writing task because it does not ask you to craft anything, but instead focuses on your comprehension and logic skills.
The typical verbal reasoning question will present you with a passage of text and then you will be asked to answer questions based on the information given, usually in the style of true/false/cannot say, which show how well you filter key information and follow a logical process.
Situational judgement test
Many of the skills that employers are looking for when it comes to customer service are best gauged through a situational judgement test. Here you will be presented with work-related scenarios and asked to pick or rank responses according to what you think is most appropriate to the situation.
This can give a very accurate insight into your working style; for example if you are confrontational or how well you work in a team.
Personality tests are the aptitude test that most people are familiar with. They are a broader and more in-depth look into your behaviour than situational judgement tests, which give you limited parameters in which to answer.
A personality test can assess all kinds of aspects that are much harder to gauge during the limited contact of the recruitment process such as: your working style, how you build relationships, your values and ethics, how you see yourself, etc.
To assess how you might perform when actually on the job, employers like to use an e-tray exercise to simulate real-life working scenarios. You will be given a selection of different tasks that might be expected of you during an average day and then assessed on how well you deal with the workload.
This means it is not just about doing the tasks well, but also showing that you understand how to prioritise tasks, manage your time, and perform under pressure.