Customer support representatives are the face of the company. Hiring the best agents equipped to work directly with clients is crucial for your business growth. No matter how many agents you outsource, it always matters to instruct them attentively to run efficient customer support onboarding. Otherwise, you risk getting stuck in endless troubleshooting instead of focusing on priorities.
You must build an effective customer support system to fulfill your business goals. How do you do that? A high-quality onboarding process and customer service training are the answer. This article will guide you through the crucial steps of customer support training and show you how to open your support agents’ full potential.
To begin with, let’s talk about what to look for in a candidate for a customer support position. Choosing your team
is just as important as managing your business. The right people can lead your company through turbulent times toward success. That is why it’s important to choose your candidates carefully.
Here are the skills and experiences you should look for in a candidate to build an outstanding customer support team.
It is the number one trait the candidate has to possess since the whole essence of a representative support agent position is to assist customers through communication. If a person cannot communicate clearly and effectively, they won’t be able to help your customers.
When interviewing potential candidates, consider these things:
- The way an individual formulates answers: If a person is a good communicator, they should be able to convey their thoughts clearly and give coherent and explicit answers.
- The tone of their voice: When customers reach out for help, they expect to hear a friendly and ready-to-help voice. Some customers may find it rude if a candidate’s voice sounds tight or unfriendly.
- Articulation: Pay attention to a person’s articulation and how easily you can understand them. It’s important because communication through a phone is usually not as clear as in person, so it requires more articulation.
- Ability to explain complex things: A good customer representative should be able to explain a complicated topic or break it down to customers. When interviewing, ask them to explain something related to your field. Besides, it shows how quickly a person can think on the spot and find an answer.
2. Patience & Emotional Stability
A customer support job entails dealing with havoc and stressful situations, e.g., having an angry customer or trying to resolve complicated problems. That’s why a person applying for a customer representative position should be able to withstand hectic situations due to patience and emotional stability. Additionally, your potential candidate should be able to listen to customers’ complaints and demands calmly and patiently. When interviewing candidates, you may propose an intense situation and ask them how they would handle it. Thus, you see an individual’s self-control and emotional intelligence.
3. Cleverness & Self-Efficacy
To answer any customer questions, a perfect customer support agent must be detail-oriented about the company’s product/service. However, it’s impossible to predict every issue a customer may have and to prepare. Thus, customer support service is an ever-changing system that requires resourcefulness and self-efficiency.
4. Professional Background
Your potential employee should have experience in customer service, answering calls, or servicing customers in the shopping space.
Look for customer service competence, i.e., diligence, politeness, understanding the specific industry, interpersonal skills, etc. Moreover, customer support representatives must be able to provide support through various channels (calls, live chats, emails, social media platforms, etc.).
6. Personal Traits
Consider people who can care for your clients as best as possible, being polite, empathetic, and hard-working. A potential agent must be interested in your brand and fit in with your team.
7. Positive Attitude
Your brand representative has no right to complain to clients about their problems or bad days. Agents must convince customers that their company can fix any problem, no matter what.
Are the candidates just searching for a new job, or do they want to work for your company? It’s better to choose someone less qualified who would be excited to join your team than an apathetic agent with more experience.
Introducing Team and Company Policies
A proper way to start familiarizing new hires with your organization is to introduce them to your team and company policies. Here are things you should arrange for the new hires on the first day of training to make them feel welcome and comfortable:
- Give them an office tour and introduce them to the entire team. Some companies deem this step unnecessary and skip it while it is an essential part of the adaptation process.
- Schedule an onboarding meeting with an HR manager to familiarize newcomers with company policies and contract terms.
- Take them to lunch or arrange a lunch meeting for the entire team in the office. It will allow new employees to get to know their new coworkers better.
Following those steps, a company welcomes new team members and leaves an impression of a professional and caring employer.
4 Tips on How to Conduct Customer Support Onboarding Successfully
1. Infect Them With Your Brand
If you want your reps to deliver great customer service, they must understand the product in-depth. To engage your agents, you should tell them about your company’s mission and voice, emphasizing that each one is a brand ambassador now.
2. Organize Effective Training
Training new hires can stretch over a couple of weeks or months. It all depends on the company’s standards and its size. Training is vital for building a strong customer support base as it sets out recruits for serving your company and gives them an insight into your business. Thus, take control of the negotiation process and cover the following issues:
- Your company’s mission, values, and voice.
- Customer persona.
- Product features and metrics.
- Ticketing system.
Ensure to make an impression of a good organization that cares for its employees and sets high standards for quality work.
3. Set Up Measurable Goals
Setting up KPIs is necessary to turn customer support outsourcing into a win-win situation. Usually, there are two common groups of KPIs:
- The first group measures a team’s productivity, e.g., call abandonment rate, follow-up time, etc.
- The second one serves to estimate customer satisfaction. It includes:
- Query age.
- Call frequency.
- First call resolution.
- Several escalations.
4. Ask Outsourced Customer Support for Reports
We’ve worked on multiple projects and learned that reporting is a potent tool. It helps you monitor progress, make more evident-based decisions, increase productivity, and simplify collaboration. Moreover, it enables you to provide on-time changes and prevent critical mistakes.
Product & Service Training
Introducing your service/product to new hires must involve theoretical and practical aspects. Thus, provide trainees with all information that needs to be studied and then quiz them on what they learned. Giving them enough time to go through a knowledge base is essential. For better insight, let them check out the product or service so they see what your customers experience for themselves.
Often, managers rush through the training process to get a new employee to start working as soon as possible. However, such an attitude can cost them the quality of the employee’s work. If an agent doesn’t have a solid knowledge base of a product/service, they will struggle to provide quality customer support.
Support Process Training
Usually, each company develops its support system that includes a specific interaction style, channel management, the way issues are resolved, and more. Hand out your company’s guidelines recruits should follow when dealing with customers but don’t stop there. Sticking to the guidelines won’t help agents in unfamiliar issues. Try to explain that while following established rules is important, there are circumstances that require critical thinking. Making your trainees go off script and use critical thinking would allow them to gain self-efficiency and confidence in their communication skills.
Soft Skills Training
The main component of customer support service is attitude. If an agent possesses the knowledge necessary to help the customer but doesn’t have soft skills, they might mess up the whole support process. To prevent such cases, give your new hires solid soft skills training. Here are the skills they must possess:
- Empathy: Trying to see a problem from a customer’s perspective allows an agent to resolve the issue quickly and effectively.
- Self-discipline: Since a customer support job involves dealing with difficult customers and intense situations, anger, and irritation are inevitable. Teach your trainees to calm themselves and stay patient during such cases.
- Navigation: Customer support communication is all about navigation and positively presenting the information. Stating facts bluntly doesn’t work here. Train your employees to convey any kind of information simply and respectfully.
- Decision-making: Empathize the importance of decision-making. Teach trainees to take the initiative and make judgment calls independently.
Don’t expect new agents to learn how to use tools while working. They won’t have time to figure out the system when they start delivering customer support. Ensure they learn how to use your software well before taking customer inquiries. Dedicate time explaining how things work and allow employees to get familiar with the system until they feel comfortable using it without anybody’s help.
Additionally, set up new hires with all apps, subscriptions, and other tools they must use to complete their job. Those can include platforms for research, team communication, workforce management, etc.
Choosing the right person for your customer support team is just a small part of the hiring process. A much bigger and more important part is training a selected candidate as it lays the groundwork for successful performance. That’s why giving new employees thorough and comprehensive training is important. Preparing recruits to deliver high-level customer support is a diligent and complex process that will pay off in the future.
Feel free to tell us
your needs and requirements if you’re looking for reliable outsourced customer support. We’ll gladly share our experience and best practices to accelerate your business development.