I’m sure many people think that anyone familiar with a product should be able to do technical support. Apparently these are the people who never had to speak to a person with technical know-how that couldn’t talk someone out of a paper bag. Lucky them.
For the rest of us, here are some skills that you should look for in your customer support agents:
- Good Phone skills: Whether some or all of the support is over the phone, you need agents who know how to manage a phone call. They create a pleasant voice, a business-like greeting, they can ask the proper questions to elicit the information needed to help, and they can keep calm in the face of irate customers.
- Good Documentation Skills: Even if #1 is met, if the documentation of the call is poor or non-existant, it will do your company no good if followup with the customer or changes to the product are needed. The information should be presented logically, with a record of what the problem was, what was done to fix it, IF it was fixed, and a closure.
- Good Social Media Skills: More and more, companies are using Chat, Forums, email, and other interactive methods of engaging customers. You need people with the same awareness of words and tone as on the phone. In both instances, the customer cannot see the face of the person they are speaking with and this can make for some misunderstandings if not handled with sensitivity to this fact.
- Good Teamwork Skills: While agents must be able to function under their own recognizance most of the time, they also need to be able to become a helpful member of the team: mentoring new agents, following up on calls that were originated by another agent, helping to put useful documentation together as in a wiki or knowledge base, maybe a support guide.
There are other skills needed to be a successful support agent, but these are the most important to me.
Anyone want to add to the list? We would love to hear from you.