EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT HIRING A REMOTE CHAT SUPPORT
In today’s market, pre-sales and after-sales are just as important as point-of-sale. That’s why you need an equally good Chat Support Representative as you have salespeople. So what do you need to know about hiring a chat support representative?
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Table of Contents
What is a Chat Support Representative?
Why are Chat Support Representatives Important?
Important Skills and Traits of a Chat Support Representative
Where to Hire Chat Support Representatives
C9 Staff Chat Support Representatives
What is a Chat
In this sense, a chat support representative has a unique opportunity to create a customer or turn an existing one into a repeat-customer, all by providing a positive customer experience.
Why are Chat Support
Not all website visitors are potential customers. You can’t expect all website visitors to call customer service to ask for information. However, having the ability to immediately communicate even with casual visitors is an invaluable advantage.
This is why chat support representatives are important.
When a casual visitor asks a question through chat support, the quality of experience may directly affect whether that casual visitor becomes a customer or not. When an existing customer who is neither satisfied nor dissatisfied seeks after-sales information and foregoes calling customer service or technical support but instead decides to seek that information through chat support, the quality of response may sway him in favor of being satisfied with the company in general. When an already satisfied customer does the same thing, a positive chat support experience may turn him into a repeat customer. On the other hand, if an already dissatisfied customer does the same, an excellent chat support experience may lessen his dissatisfaction and may even cause him to have a change of heart.
Important Skills and Traits
of a Chat Support Representative
The following are important skills and traits of excellent chat support representatives:
Working Customer Service and/or Technical Support Skills – almost 80% of chat support interactions are either customer service or technical support in nature. As such, effective chat support representatives need to be familiar with customer service and/or technical support workflows and resolutions.
Empathy – chat support representatives need to know how to put themselves in the customer’s proverbial shoes. It’s often not enough to say, “I understand…” but to actually do so from the customers’ standpoint.
Comprehension skills – it is sometimes already difficult to understand customer concerns in person, much less over the phone. Imagine, understanding customer concerns over chat.
Ability to adapt quickly – chat support representatives are usually asked to resolve customer issues speedily and this calls for adaptability and a deep understanding of the inner workings behind the company’s products or services.
Being receptive to new things – sometimes marketing strategies of companies change without a moment’s notice and this can create nightmare scenarios for chat support representatives. Nevertheless, they need to be receptive to such changes and be able to adjust how they handle things accordingly.
Where to Hire
Like most professionals nowadays, one can easily find chat support representatives online. It’s only a matter of vetting them as far as experience and capability are concerned.
The first thing you need to decide when deciding to hire a chat support representative is whether you want to hire a local or a remote one.
The advantages of hiring locally include:
Ease of access and the ability to work with you personally – it’s always easier to work with someone face to face.
Less cultural and social adjustment needed – you’re most probably living in the same city as your chat support representative so you’re in the same time zone, speak the same language and share the same culture. This makes work so much smoother.
Better team-building opportunities – being in the same place physically creates plenty of opportunity to train, collaborate, build rapport, and get feedback.
On the other hand, hiring local talent
can have the following disadvantages:
Specific skill sets can be harder to find – if you’re limited to a particular geographical area, finding a rockstar will be challenging.
Overhead expenses – if you hire locally, you’ll be obligated to keep an office which means you have to pay rent, pay for supplies, pay for electricity and other utilities. If you already have an office, you’ll have to provide your new hire with a work space which translates to the same thing – increased overhead.
here are the advantages of hiring remotely
Access to a global pool of talents – you’re not limited to who’s available in your city and what they know. Hiring remotely gives you access to talented chat support representatives from different countries who may even charge relatively smaller fees than local recruits.
Little to no overhead – most remote workers work from home so you don’t need to worry about providing them with work spaces. However, for some full-time remote workers, you may be required to subsidize their internet connection, computer equipment etc. But these costs are still far less compared to local overhead expenses.
Less contractual obligation – you can initially hire chat support representatives on a per-project basis. If you like their work, continue to give them projects to work on. If you don’t, just don’t give them any more tasks to perform and that’s that.
Here are the disadvantages of hiring remote workers:
Trial and error – you can’t really gauge the level of expertise, experience and even work ethic of the remote worker until you take a leap of faith and hire them. The good news is, if you don’t like their performance on the first project, you can just part ways right then and there.
Time-zone constraints – if you hire a remote Project Manager, particularly a freelancer, you need to understand right off the bat that you’re probably sharing him with several other clients (some paying more than you). That means your project is at the mercy of the freelancer’s workload. This may not be the case, though, with full-time remote employees.
That being said, a few places where you can find chat support representatives online. Note that in some of these websites, you’ll have the option to hire either locally or remotely. It’s all up to you, your needs and your budget:
Upwork (local and remote) – geared more towards the US market. You can post a chat support representative job, and available contractors can start lining up to apply. All you’d need to do is choose the best candidate.
Monster (local and remote) – although Monster now caters to remote worker needs, its strength still lies in sourcing local talents. All you need to do is search “Chat Support Representative”, narrow down your search by location and experience, and you’re off to the races.
People Per Hour (remote and local) – geared more towards the European market. Just like Upwork, you post a job and contractors will apply. You can choose the best candidate and go from there.
C9 Staff (remote) – specializes in providing remote staffing services from a global pool of talents, including chat support representatives from over 35 top international talent markets. It is considered a concierge service where you don’t simply hire a chat support representative (or any other kind of remote worker for that matter), you hire a chat support representative with an entire management service behind him to keep him accountable and always on his toes. This is ideal for people looking to hire the best and expecting to get the best while keeping costs relatively competitive.
Next, what level of experience or proficiency would you like your chat support representative to have? Would you be okay with a mid-level one or are you looking for a senior level one?
Finally, how much do you have to spend? Do you have just enough for a newbie chat support representative? Is your pocket deep enough for a part-time or even a full-time recruit? Are you ready to spend good money on a senior-level chat support representative salary or is your budget pointing towards a mid-level one?