At a time when India Inc. is facing severe talent shortage, a recent study highlights existing talent mismatch in the customer service function across sectors. The survey estimates that only 20 percent of people working in customer service profile have the perfect orientation towards such jobs. India’s largest skill assessment firm MeritTrac has conducted the study.
The study also points out that if an employee has a high orientation towards the job/function, the productivity per employee increases by 314 percent. As a result, several local companies in the services sector are losing out on maximum return out of their employee talent pool.
“The situation is quite alarming since customer service jobs account for a large chunk of hiring across sectors, especially banking, financial services, insurance, retail and telecom,” MeritTrac vice president Arvind T said.
The study was undertaken with a total sample size of 507 people with 0-3 years of experience across sectors.
The study has also analysed candidates on three critical parameters of a customer service role — personalised service, persuasive service and helpful service.
On the personalised service (how an employee approaches a customer) parameter, the survey shows that 5 percent of the candidates have a high orientation with the majority 82 percent with medium-level orientation.
On persuasive service (how to convince customers) parameter, employees have fared better. The study notes that nearly 58 percent of the candidates have a high inclination towards persuasive service with just 1 percent having a low inclination. However, high level of persuasive service and less towards personalised service show a sense of detached professionalism,” said Arvind.
In helpful service (how fast employees respond to customer needs), 30 percent of the candidates have high orientation, 61 percent have medium-level orientation and balance 9 percent has low inclination.
This is the only parameter with a fairly equitable distribution showing they are more adaptive towards responding than going that extra mile to build a rapport — essential for repeat purchase and loyalty, the study notes.
“The study has analysed executives on their basic orientation towards the job. These are basic soft skills, which a person can hardly acquire through experience. Since customer service roles are becoming critical, companies need to focus much more on their selection process,” added Arvind.