Providing customer support is not easy – and excelling at the customer support agent job is even harder. Your support agents are the voice of your brand, multitaskers, and problem solvers all wrapped in one. There are certain common qualities that are found in awesome and exceptional support agents. We’ve rounded up the top six qualities to look for in the next addition to your team.
Quality #1: Persistence
Some cases are really simple to resolve, other cases will require more time, ingenuity, and a whole lot of persistence.
You can prepare your agents with all the necessary training so that they can properly do their jobs but great agents are also very resourceful. They don’t throw in the white flag if the solution isn’t in the knowledge base or manual, instead, they work persistently to find a solution. Persistent agents can think quickly on the fly and come up with creative solutions to resolution roadblocks.
This is an invaluable quality of an agent because it will not only help them resolve the customer’s issue but it also helps enables them to go above and beyond to increase customer satisfaction.
Quality #2: Patience
Support agents need to have an inordinate amount of patience. Many customers who call in are confused and frustrated. Great support agents keep calm, cool, and collected while resolving the issue as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Whether they’ve got an enraged or talkative customer on the line, they exercise patience in every situation they’re in. Patient support agents take the time to clearly understand the customer’s problem and go about finding a way to assist them without getting frustrated or flustered.
Quality #3: Empathy
Empathy is perhaps one of the most important qualities of a good customer support agent. The ability to put themselves in the customer’s position, understand what they’re going through, and assess the problem is very valuable.
An empathetic support agent is sensitive to the customer’s plight and understands the frustration that they are going through. If an apology is warranted, the agent is able to genuinely offer one – explaining they understand why the customer is upset and how they can help resolve the issue. Most importantly, an empathetic customer makes sure that the customer’s frustrations, feelings, and concerns are heard – which can go a long way in calming down an irate customer.
Quality #4: Friendliness
Your support agents are representatives of your brand and on the front of your company every day. It’s important that they act in a way that aligns with your brand values and above all, is friendly! Warm and welcoming support agents leave your customers with a good impression of your brand, which makes them more likely to refer their friends and family.
It sounds so simple to be friendly but it’s a difficult skill to master when your support agents are talking to the customer after customer, and often to ones that are angry, all day. Build a fun culture that increases their productivity, lifts spirits, and prevents burnout.
Quality #5: Communication
Clear communication is usually the first thing that springs to mind when it comes to the qualities of a great support agent, and it’s not hard to see why. Your customers call in to resolve a problem and get clarity. It’s up to the support agent to communicate clearly with the customer to achieve that. This involves avoiding super technical jargon and speaking to the customer so they understand clearly.
But communication’s a two-way street, your customer support agents not only have to clearly convey what they’re saying but they have to also exercise active listening. Active listening is not simply listening to the actual words the customer is saying but the entire message – including the customer’s feelings and views – they’re trying to get across to you.
Great support agents are able to quickly understand the information the customer is providing, read between the lines, and determine the best way to resolve the situation.
Quality #6: Efficiency
Efficiency is just as important as the previous qualities listed. Customers are not calling in to chat, they’re calling in because they need assistance – and they need it fast. Great customer support agents treat each case with the appropriate amount of urgency; they know what can be done immediately and what needs proper follow-up and prioritizes accordingly.
That’s not to say they rush to find a quick solution to get the customer off the phone. They exercise all the qualities like friendliness and communication mentioned above but work to find a solution to the customer’s problem promptly and efficiently without compromising the quality of the service.
These are just some of the qualities we believe make up an awesome support agent. But of course, great support agents are nuanced and have many different qualities. Do you have some other qualities of super agents that we missed? Get in touch with us and let us know what you think.