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How To Hire The Right Support Agent For Your Small Business

Keeping Staff | October 8th, 2019

Hiring the right customer support agent is never an easy task for any business, but it’s even more difficult for small-to-medium sized businesses (SMB) because they often have very limited resources to cover the hiring and recruiting process.

Finding the perfect candidate with a great personality, the right skills, and the motivation to succeed can be extremely challenging.

In this post we’ll list the prerequisites of a successful and efficient SMB support agent, and we trust these tips will be helpful in creating a list of your own specific requirements. Then, when the perfect candidate walks through your door, you’ll know it immediately!

The perfect customer support agent for your Small Business should be:

ORGANIZED

An efficient customer support agent must be able to multitask at the same time as attending to the caller’s needs: they must be able to take notes, check the knowledge base, and update the CRM. And multitasking means prioritizing, ensuring all tasks are completed in a timely fashion. Basically, it’s a juggling act, which is helped enormously by having great organizational skills.

Basically, it’s a juggling act, which is helped enormously by having great organizational skills.

When choosing a customer support agent for your business, you’re looking for a candidate who meets all deadlines throughout the application process and who has proven organizational skills. Ask your applicants to provide examples of when they excelled in stressful or fast-paced environments whilst also attending to competing demands. These skills can make all the difference when optimizing a caller’s support efficiency and overall customer experience.

DETAIL-ORIENTED

Your customer support agent must be able to pay strict attention to all details while interacting with callers. Without this skill, the caller’s question could be misinterpreted and the agent could miss important details. When recruiting a customer service agent for your business you must ensure that your successful applicant is punctual, well groomed, and that there are no spelling or grammatical errors in their application. These simple facts alone could well be an indication that they are detail-oriented, making them a suitable candidate to interact with your callers and thus more likely to meet their needs.

These simple facts alone could well be an indication that they are detail-oriented, making them a suitable candidate to interact with your callers and thus more likely to meet their needs.

FRIENDLY

It’s vitally important to the success of your business that your customer support agent is friendly and understanding when interacting with customers or potential customers calling your business. Remember that a support team is often the face presented by a company, and you need this representative to promote your business in a positive, efficient, and caring manner. When in the process of selecting your final candidate, observe if they have a pleasant demeanor, if they smile throughout the interview process, and determine if they are a person you believe would be able to quickly establish a rapport with your callers. Not only will your callers thank you for such wonderful customer service, your bottom line will too!

When in the process of selecting your final candidate, observe if they have a pleasant demeanor, if they smile throughout the interview process, and determine if they are a person you believe would be able to quickly establish a rapport with your callers. Not only will your callers thank you for such wonderful customer service, your bottom line will too!

FLEXIBLE

Your customer support agent must be flexible because they’ll be dealing with the needs of a very diverse customer base. They’re going to be handling dozens of calls each and every day, so, to a certain degree, they must be able to accommodate the needs of very different people. When interviewing potential candidates, ensure your final choice is someone who’ll be able to interact with a wide range of callers by asking a series of appropriate questions that reflect this skill. If you’re not happy with the responses you receive, take this as a sign that you need to interview more candidates. The right person is out there, and you’ll know them when you speak with them!

When interviewing potential candidates, ensure your final choice is someone who’ll be able to interact with a wide range of callers by asking a series of appropriate questions that reflect this skill. If you’re not happy with the responses you receive, take this as a sign that you need to interview more candidates. The right person is out there, and you’ll know them when you speak with them!

EMPATHIC

Your customer support agent must be empathic, meaning they must intuitively understand the caller’s perspective and be able to understand their concern. In order to accomplish this, they must understand that every caller’s situation, needs, and resources will vary and that their approach will require continual adjustment when interacting with your customers. Before making a final decision, ask your candidates questions that will assess their degree of empathy for other people. If you believe your candidate is able to see a situation from another person’s point of view, they could well be the right candidate for you.

If you believe your candidate is able to see a situation from another person’s point of view, they could well be the right candidate for you.

Before making a final decision, ask your candidates questions that will assess their degree of empathy for other people. If you believe your candidate is able to see a situation from another person’s point of view, they could well be the right candidate for you.

CALM

Dealing with so many different types of people on a daily basis can be very challenging, and agents can’t afford to become flustered when on a confrontational call. They won’t be effective when interacting with your callers, and they’ll be more prone to burnout. The candidate you’re looking for will be someone who’s able to remain composed under pressure. Test your candidates and see how they react when you ask tough questions: consider role-playing different scenarios in order to gain a little insight into how they might respond to problematic callers. You’re looking for a   customer service agent who’s able to remain calm under different pressures because  it’s these people who will more likely be successful at meeting your callers’ needs.

The candidate you’re looking for will be someone who’s able to remain composed under pressure. Test your candidates and see how they react when you ask tough questions: consider role-playing different scenarios in order to gain a little insight into how they might respond to problematic callers. You’re looking for a   customer service agent who’s able to remain calm under different pressures

You’re looking for a   customer service agent who’s able to remain calm under different pressures because  it’s these people who will more likely be successful at meeting your callers’ needs.

EFFICIENT

Customer support agents who work quickly and efficiently are a huge bonus to any business because they’re able to reduce the average speed of the key contributors to customer service – answering, service level, and handle time.

Whilst going through the interview process with your candidates, ask them to provide examples of times when they worked in a stressful and/or fast paced environment, giving examples of the process they used to complete tasks efficiently and on time.

Their answers will be very telling, and should give you a clear indication of whether you believe they’ll be able to quickly and efficiently meet the needs of your callers.

CREATIVE

You’re also looking for a customer support agent who is creative because there will be times when they’ll be required to offer workable solutions to a variety of problems that come their way. It’s their creativity that will ensure your caller’s needs are met in a way that best suits both the caller and your company.

Present a scenario to your candidates which will help you assess their creativity; a   scenario that requires them to quickly present a unique solution to a specific issue.

Have the candidates speak out loud as they’re going through the problem because this will provide you with a solid understanding of how they might approach problematic issues. If they’re struggling to arrive at a win-win solution, perhaps they’re not the right person for your team.

KNOW WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR IN YOUR CUSTOMER SUPPORT AGENT

Prior to interviewing candidates for your customer support team, you must know exactly what you’re looking, for so be prepared with a list of prerequisites. We trust the above points will assist you in hiring the perfect customer support agent for your business. Hiring the right person will ensure that the quality of your customer support will skyrocket. Good luck!

Hiring the right person will ensure that the quality of your customer support will skyrocket. 

Good luck!