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Customer support representatives are today’s unsung heroes. The very fabric of our society would unravel if not for these friendly, dependable, helpful, knowledgeable and polite professionals. Or at least, these are the qualities we expect them to have.
Successful customer support representatives have a unique mix of characteristics that you don’t usually find in every other person every day. The next time you are hiring a customer support representative, use this as your checklist or criteria before handing over that employment contract:
- Service-oriented. The desire to serve people cannot be taught, only nurtured. Considering that a customer support representative’s primary job is to listen to a customer and help resolve their concerns, it is imperative that you hire those who actually love helping others. Customers can feel and hear the smile in the voice of the agent, and can tell when it isn’t there. Customers who are warmly and professionally attended to by an agent consider that to be a positive customer experience, which goes a long way for the business’ growth.
- Willing to commit. It is arguably one of the toughest jobs in the world, that’s why this quality is a non-negotiable. Only those who are willing to commit can succeed in a job that involves listening to a stream of angry, disappointed, impatient and upset customers for hours. Those with an easy-way-out attitude would probably bail out after the first angry client call. You need to hire someone who can take these challenging moments in stride, knowing that it’s all part of the job.
- Effective communicator. A large part of customer service is listening and responding appropriately, and this is where effective communication skills come in. You need to hire someone who can converse with customers with confidence and professionalism. Remember that all the knowledge a customer service representative has may be useless if he cannot even make the customer understand what he is trying to say.
- Patient and calm demeanor. Despite the highly-stressful nature of their job, customer support representatives cannot and must not, ever, lose their temper on a customer. This is particularly challenging when customers are also upset, but it is up to the agent to understand them and still treat them with respect. High-quality customer service can be seen best in the most challenging circumstances, and oftentimes, a calm attitude is all that’s needed to peacefully resolve the issue.
- Quick thinker with good judgment. Sometimes, a customer will ask a question or blurt out a comment which a customer support representative is unprepared for. During these instances, it is critical that the representative can come up with a professional and sensible response on his own. You need to hire someone who is smart enough to wisely judge matters on his own and is not afraid to go off-script, when the situation calls for it.
Remember that the quality of customer service your business provides is largely dependent on your customer support representatives’ performance. Hiring customer service professionals with these five qualities can help your clients feel more valued, resulting in a better business reputation and bottom line.