EVERYTHING YOU NEED
TO KNOW ABOUT HIRING
A REMOTE TECHNICAL
If you’re a tech company, after-sales is just as important as point-of-sale. That’s why you need equally good TSRs as you have salespeople. So what do you need to know about hiring a technical support representative?
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Table of Contents
What is a Technical
Why are Technical
Important Skills and
Traits of a Technical Support
Where to Hire
C9 Staff Technical
What is a Technical
Any company that sells tech goods or services to an end-consumer, whether it’s B2C or B2B, knows the relationship doesn’t end at the point of sale. And while the salesperson takes care of the customer until he or she makes a purchase, the technical support representative picks up the relationship right after.
And in that sense, a technical support representative has the heavier responsibility of creating a repeat customer, a long-term client, a life-long fan, or the exact opposite of all that.
Why are Technical Support
And this underscores the real importance of having good TSRs.
When a customer who’s neither satisfied nor dissatisfied with a purchase calls technical support, the TSR has the power to turn indifference into a positive experience. When a satisfied customer calls technical support, the TSR can further reinforce satisfaction. Finally, when a dissatisfied customer calls technical support, the TSR can lessen dissatisfaction (and even turn it into a positive experience) by providing excellent technical support issue resolution.
Important Skills and Traits
of a Technical Support Representative
Excellent Technical Skills – what makes good TSRs “superhuman” is the ability to resolve technical support issues off-site. Sometimes, it is already problematic to solve onsite technical issues. TSRs are asked to perform issue detection and diagnosis as well as resolution and testing over the phone. That calls for true skill and patience.
Empathy – technical 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.
Listening skills – the key to successful technical issue resolution is being able to listen closely to customers to be able to understand their true concerns and address them effectively and efficiently.
Critical thinking – a huge part of a TSR’s work is understanding the real problem and proving a solution that directly addresses the problem. This takes critical thinking especially in instances where the TSR is dealing with an emotional or irate customer.
Ability to adapt quickly – TSRs are usually asked to resolve customer issues speedily and this calls for adaptability and a deep understanding of the technologies behind the company’s products or services.
Being receptive to new things – like previously mentioned, sometimes technologies change without a moment’s notice and this can create nightmare scenarios for TSRs. Nevertheless, TSRs 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 TSRs 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 TSR 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 TSR 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 remote talent:
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 TSRs 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 TSRs 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 constraints – if you hire a remote TSR, especially one that lives overseas, you need to understand right off the bat that you’re asking them to work in your time-zone which is usually opposite theirs. While more experienced remote TSRs are aware of this and find no issue with it, you may experience some issues when you’re dealing with newer TSRs.
That being said, a few places where you can find TSRs 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 TSR 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 “Technical 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 TSRs from over 35 top international talent markets. It is considered a concierge service where you don’t simply hire a TSR (or any other kind of remote worker for that matter), you hire a TSR 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.
When looking to hire a TSR, whether it be local or remote, there are a few important considerations you have to keep in mind.
Do you already have a working technical support department that you just want to augment? Or is this your first time to create a technical support department? Do you plan to integrate a remote TSR into an existing team? Or do you intend to build a team of remote TSRs?