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Square Pegs

Filling your customer service team with `mini salespeople'? Chances are, you're missing the mark.

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This story appears in the September 1999 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

There's not an entrepreneur in business who'd say customer service isn't important, but how many of them back up their words with good hiring techniques? The fact is, entrepreneurs, like most other businesspeople, usually don't put enough thought into hiring customer service reps. In fact, they often think of their customer service reps as clerks or sales trainees--not realizing good customer service people have unique qualities, and finding the right person for the job could mean the difference between keeping and losing customers.

"There's often some overlap between sales and customer service," says Harold Weinstein, COO of Caliper Corp., a Princeton, New Jersey, human resources assessment and consulting firm. "But in most cases, you're really looking for two different types of people."

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