Why hiring the right candidate is key in customer support

Customer support is the new marketing. And your customer support representatives are the face of your organization. The experience of your customer with your product or organization is directly dependent on the kind of service they receive from your customer support representatives. Therefore when you hire someone for customer service, you need to look for attitude, technical skills (wherever applicable) and soft skills. We have laid down some factors that can help you in understanding what makes a candidate a potential customer service representative for your organization, how to identify, and hire them.

Qualities to look for in a customer support representative

 

Empathy level

Handling support tickets and customers of different kinds can be quite challenging. So, one of the most essential qualities to look for in a customer support representative is high level of empathy. Without it, reps can break quickly and it may reflect badly on how a customer conversation is handled. They need to have the ability to handle frustrated customers.

Ability to troubleshoot

Troubleshooting ability doesn’t necessarily mean technical ability, but the ability to take a scientific approach or perform a root cause analysis when they approach an issue. It is also important to look for the customer service representative’s ability to anticipate a customer’s need in advance and go the extra mile in proactively offering the solution.

Internal voice of the customer

Your customer service reps need to be the internal voice of the customer, who will continuously take feedback from the customer and try to push them into the development queue. Of course this comes with their ability to judge what’s mutually beneficial for the company and the customer, and if it’s worth pursuing it.

Creativity

Being a great customer service representative isn’t just about their ability to solve problems for the customer, but being able to find easier and clever ways to do so. And the creativity also extends to how they respond to a situation. The phrasing of a response makes all the difference. For example, “Logging out and logging back in should help resolve this” sounds much better than “Can you log out please?”

Communication skills

The ability to communicate effectively with the customer is key. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you should look for the vocabulary and language skills. Effective communication is all about making sure the communication to the customer is simple and easy to understand. For example, at times, it makes more sense to say that the issue will be resolved in 4 hours than explaining the technical issue at depth.

Sample questions for interviewing customer support representatives

While the above set of questions are only an example, feel free to have your own set of questions that will help you discover how well the candidate fits into your team and your long term strategy.

 

What next?

What should you train your first customer support representative on

Training and getting your new customer support representative upto speed is not only important for your business but also for your customers. The successful first month or two of your customer support rep’s training is indicative of their long-term success.

Training customer service agent