Shep Hyken's Customer Service Blog

Guest Blog: How to Hire Live Chat Agents Who Delight Your Customers

This week we feature an article by Jason Grills about how to use live chat agents properly in order to delight your customers. I believe that as a quick first line of support, live chat is a great alternative. – Shep Hyken

The implementation of live chat software is an easy task to achieve. The important thing to understand is that it is only a tool. The true value and effectiveness of a live chat software tool lie in the people behind it.

This means that you should know how to hire live chat agents who are going to delight your customers. By picking this approach, you can expect a higher number of people returning to your business. It will help you build a more powerful brand over time. Therefore, let’s take a look at things you should pay attention to when hiring live chat agents.

Writing Skills

The agent’s primary means of communication comes down to two different writing skills. If he or she lacks any, they might not be the best choice for your customer support team. Before hiring a person, check the following two skills.

  • Writing style – Writing style includes grammar correctness and politeness in chat. Both of these elements are important, as grammatically incorrect texts can lead to various misunderstandings, making the communication with the customer harder. It will also show that your brand is not professional, but hires cheap personnel, who are not even capable of forming normally structured sentences.
  • On the other hand, having a great vocabulary will help your agent greet every customer with respect. Additionally, he or she will be able to more easily solve a problem and help the customer with broader writing skills.
  • Typing speed – Speed is also an important skill for a live chat customer support agent. He or she are going to be in a better position to deliver help to a person. It might not look that important, but when you scale to a high number of customer support agents, a lot of time can be lost if they do not have good typing speed.

Luckily, checking whether the person has two of these crucial writing skills is easy. You can either create a test with a limited time, or simulate a real life example in which the interviewed agent should provide help to a person.

How Good Are They at Multitasking

Website chat software is increasingly becoming popular because it gives the chance to live chat agents to multitask and help multiple customers at once. However, not all people are good at multitasking, and it is necessary to make sure that the agent you are planning to hire is capable of achieving this task.

The best way to check his or her capabilities (as a live chat agent) is to create a situation in which he or she is going to have to communicate with several mock customers simultaneously, helping them resolve their issues in the best way possible. Once you have tested their skills, making the right choice is going to be easy.

Are They Willing to Continuously Learn

Besides writing and multitasking skills, it is necessary to find an agent who is ready to invest his or her time and learn about new things. The following are a couple of examples he or she should be ready to do, in order to remain a high-quality customer support agent.

  • Learn about the live chat – Every website chat software is different. There are differentiating features that make some better than others. No matter what you have chosen, the customer support agent needs to put in his or her effort to completely understand how the software works and how to use all of the tools to be the most efficient.
  • Learn about navigation – It is also important to check whether the customer support agent is ready to learn all about the structure of your website or knowledge base. He or she is going to need to provide help to the customer in the shortest time-frame possible. Therefore, navigation through the website plays an important role in how well he or she is going to perform.
  • Learn about the product or service – The customer support agent needs to know everything about the product or service you are selling. Over time, you are going to upgrade the software or make new products, and the customer support agent should be motivated to learn about them as well. This is quite important, as this type of dedication is crucial for the customer support agent who can provide complete help to all customers.
  • Adopt new customer support approaches – Every agent has his or her practices that they believe are the most effective. However, there are always those who perform better than others, and the rest of the team should adopt these practices instead of their own. Additionally, there is a wide range of affordable online courses you could purchase for them, and they should invest time in learning new approaches and including them in their work methodology.
  • Learn about the accompanying software – As previously mentioned, live chat software comes bundled with a variety of features. One of them includes integration with other software tools. The live chat customer support agent should be capable of learning and understanding how to use other pieces of software that make the live chat tool even more effective.

It is through continuous education and self-improvement that you are going to make your team impeccable. Therefore, pay attention to whether the person you are planning to hire is going to give their best to invest time in their professional advancement.

Previous Customer Support Experience

In all lines of work, experience greatly matters. Customer support is no different. Before you decide to hire a live chat customer support agent, it is necessary to check their previous experience, whether he or she has previously worked on a live chat software.

Taking this step will give you a perfect idea about the amount of training that an agent might possibly need.

Going through all of the above steps will let you pick the right person for the job. Additionally, finding a skilled agent is going to make it easier for you to let him start working immediately. Therefore, test and trial as many people as you can, and only then will you be able to find the right person to whom you can entrust your company’s communication with customers.

Jason Grills is a technical writer currently associated with ProProfs Chat. He enjoys writing about emerging customer support products, trends in customer support industry and the financial impacts of using such tools. In his spare time, Jason likes traveling extensively to learn about new cultures and traditions.

For more articles from Shep Hyken and his guest contributors go to customerserviceblog.com.

Read Shep’s latest Forbes Article: AI And Chatbots Are Transforming The Customer Experience

 
  1. Indeed, choosing the right live chat agent is a crucial thing for customer support centers. Every live chat agent is creating the reputation of certain business and if live chat agent is being rude or so, the customes are unlikely to deal with this kind of business in future.

  2. Don’t forget that the selection of the chat tool itself is also important. Choosing the wrong one can lead to ineffective solutions. Choosing a great chat tool that is flexible and adaptable can make the customer experience much more satisfying and lead to increased customer retention.

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