If you feel as if you cannot handle all your customer service inquiries or you just don’t want to, the best way to deal with it is to outsource. Oh, and outsourcing doesn’t mean utilizing the services of someone in some far distant country, it means utilizing the best people to fulfill your need wherever they are located, either locally or further afield.
If your customer support is not up to par you could lose customers. Because of this, it’s often the first thing recommended to outsource. Having said that, there are some ways to hire your first customer support representative that will be more effective for you and your customers. Let’s explore.
Know What You Need
The first part of hiring a customer service support person is to know what you need. To know what you need you’ll need to track what you do each day, as well as the types of answers you give to basic issues. If you can create an FAQ that your reps will use for guidance, and even copy and paste from to answer the customers who have the same type of problems, it will help a lot.
Set the Expectations
Put in writing your expectations. Do you want to please clients no matter what? Do you want to return the money with no questions asked? Do you want to stick to some sort of rule about refunds that you need them to know? Whatever it is that you need the rep to know should be in writing within the training, so that they know what the expectations are.
Understand the Culture You Want to Advance
Now that you know what you need, decide the type of culture you want your workplace to be. Do you want them to follow strict rules or do you want them to think for themselves with some guiding factor in place? It can help to share your mission statement and the story of your business so that they can understand how you want to be seen by the world and the customers that they serve.
Know What Skills Are Required
Now that you have that set, you can decide which skills are required for this position. Write them all down. Do you want them to be empathetic, honest, and know how to use a certain software program? Write it all down.
Create the Job Description
Now that you have all the information you can write down about the job, create your job description. Be very specific about what you’re looking for. Be sure that none of your criteria is discriminatory or illegal in any way. Also, be sure that you’re paying them a fair wage for what you’re asking of them.
Post the Job Description
Once you’ve perfected the job description, you need to post it where your ideal candidates will see it. You can try Upwork.com and even job boards like Indeed.com, but you can also post it in virtual assistant groups with permission on Facebook. The important thing is to put the description where you know that it will be seen by the type of people you want to see it.
Screen the Candidates
Once you start getting replies, avoid the curiosity and let all the candidates come in by the due date you gave. This will give all candidates an equal opportunity. Once you have received them all, the day after the due date, look at the skills first to find out if they meet your requirement. Put the ones that do in one file and the ones that don’t in another. Then look through the ones who meet your skill requirements. Notice people who followed your direction the best. Contact the candidates for an interview. Choose at least five to interview.
Interview the Candidates
Now it’s time to interview the candidates. Set up a time to interview them. It’s recommended that you interview them using software like Skype or Zoom.us so that it’s a face-to-face interview. If people are willing to conduct a face-to-face interview with you, then it’s going to be a lot simpler to trust them with your business.
Let Them Do Their Job
Once you have hired the best person for the job, train them, and then let them do it. Their job is to serve your customers in the way that you’ve taught them to do it. If you get in the way of them doing it, it’ll make their jobs difficult – if not miserable. You want to be just as good of an employer or contractor as you want to be at serving your customers.
It’s very important to hire the right people so that you can relax. Let them know your expectations and the type of culture you want them to represent, as well as how you want them to handle the types of complaints or issues that normally arise. Give them a way to contact you when they first start but let them know you want them to handle things themselves as much as possible before escalating an issue to you. A good way to do this is to set a dollar amount that they can deal with, and anything over that goes to you.