As easy as it may sound, customer service has its own charm along with a number of hurdles to cross before getting certified as a good social customer service agent. Just like any other job, these agents also have a number of criteria’s to fulfill. If a company is trying to make an impact in the market by strengthening their social CRM practices, here’s a list of qualifiers to look for while hiring a representative.
1. Language is the Key: Although in most cases, one simply makes use of pre determined template, there are situations where the agent might require framing their own sentences. In such cases, it is extremely important that companies hire agents who are good with their English grammar.
Knowing the language is not just useful for communication with customers but also to reduce internal communication gaps, within the team as well as with managers and clients. It also helps project a sophisticated company structure with well defined work personnel in all domains.
2. Excellent Typing Skills: Being able to type fast on a keyboard without making any errors while doing so is one of the basic requirements of a good customer service agent, for a non voice process. Especially when the field of operation is social media, one needs to keep a check on their speed of reply, as well as presence of mind while replying to different messages.
3. Excel Experts: Most social customer service jobs also require creation of long and complicated reports at the end of day/ end of hourly sessions, as per the requirements of the client. These reports generally need decent knowledge about use of excel sheets. Whether it is calculating results using excel formulas or creating graphs, someone whose strength lies with excel spreadsheet can deal with a lot of manual work easier and faster.
Since the process is not over a call, where you can predict the mood of the customer and ask them questions unless you get the required data, responding to customer complaints using a social media platform is much tougher. Among the other requirements here are a few things that need to be kept in mind.
4. Innovation: Most customers on social media wish to be replied within the fastest possible time frame; however they also regret talking to someone who sounds like a robot. People prefer customer service agents who add a personal touch to their messages. Therefore it is necessary that the agents customize their statements for each customer while keeping the base message constant. This requires a combination of strong English as well as good presence of mind to make sure that the replies do not offend the customer and also reap the required answers.
5. Technology Use: Every company makes use of a pre defined CRM tool which allows routing of cases and responding to them with ease. The customer service agents should be good with adopting new technology. They should be fast learners and should be able to juggle between the various technicalities of the tool, with ease. This makes using the software easier, allows them better access to stored data and hence improves their replying skills. In fact customer service agents who are pro with the software in use respond to much higher number of cases and also stand out among their team members, unlike the slow learners.
6. Good Communication: Communication here is not restricted to that with customers but also with their fellow agents. Most likely than not, the cases of returning complainers on social media end up getting routed to different agents each time. Therefore it is necessary that all the agents are in sync with what the previous representative has responded. They also need to be able to adapt the same tone and reply to messages trailing the previous conversation.
For example a trail of messages like this would not lead to good customer experience:
Customer: Having a bad experience with the internet connection. Please look into the issue!
Agent 1: Dear Customer Name, we can help you out with that. Please share your contact number so we can reach you with the resolution.
Customer: 9845362799. Please call me at the earliest.
Agent 1: Thank you for sharing your details, our team is working on it as we speak.
Agent 1: Dear Customer Name, we hope the issue you mentioned earlier has been taken care of. Please share your experience.
A few days later…
Customer: Disgusted with your services! Why does the same problem keep coming up again and again?
Agent 2: We are sorry! This is not the experience we want you to have. Please share your contact number so we can look into this promptly!
Here, the second customer service agent should have inquired from the trail of messages stored in history to understand how the case was handled by another agent in the past. This would have helped strike a more comforting conversation with the customer who has already shared his/her number in the past. In fact, Agent 2 should have also followed the patter of reply used. While the first agent used a salutation to make the conversation more formal, yet comforting, the second agent failed to do so.
In conclusion, customer service is a crucial part of performing good business. It is as important as any marketing or sales activity. After all, only happy customers can help you run your business long!