3 Qualities of a Great Customer Support Agent

MikeOldham3 Qualities of a Great Customer Support Agent - Search the web and you will find a plethora of traditional characteristics associated with a great customer service

representative. They will look something like the following:

  • Cheerful
  • Organized
  • Adaptable
  • Knowledgeable
  • Prepared

Don’t get me wrong, I am all for cheerful, organized, and knowledgeable agents assisting our customers, and view those characteristics as table stakes if you will. However if they speak a different language (a technically savvy language, that is) and can’t relate to the people they are helping, quite frankly they could be rocket scientists but still wouldn’t be able to help our customers.

Even though there were over 40 million people in the U.S. age 65 or older in 2010, the traditional call center agent is trained to assist the 18 – 35 age group. These are people that for the most part, have grown up using computers, smart phones, and tablets. They like to communicate via text messages and chat sessions using a short hand communication that anyone over 45 would struggle to follow. The art of phone communication has been lost on the new generation of customer support agents, but is still the preferred method of assistance for a significant segment of the population.

At Telikin, we have been successfully helping people—over ten thousand, in fact, most of whom had never used a computer—become comfortable doing things like e-mail, video chat, and photo sharing. I believe that during the last 2 years we have identified the DNA of a great customer support agent, and I’m confident that our customers would agree.MikeOldham

1. Empathetic - An effective customer support agent must be able to identify with the thoughts, feelings, and attitudes of people they are trying to assist. Not only are many seniors new to technology, but also deal with loss of vision and hearing, or other signs of aging such as arthritis. Our customer support agents understand the people they are assisting and find a way to make them comfortable asking any question.

2. Perceptive – When assisting customers using new technology, being able to listen to basic descriptions of an issue or problem and glean what is going on is a gift that few agents possess. This is something that can be nurtured in someone but can’t be taught. We seek out staff that has the innate ability to carefully listen, allowing the customer to complete their explanation, and then ask probing questions to expose the root cause.

3. Resourceful – No one can have all the answers, especially when they don’t know the question or issue in advance of a customer call. In addition to being very bright and having a heart for helping people learn to use our computer, our agents possess the ability to search out answers to new or obscure problems.

Give us a call and decide for yourself.

16 July 2012, 13:03