5 Signs you've hired the wrong customer support agent

Friday, October 14, 2016

Hiring customer support agents is often a gamble. No matter how stringent your recruitment process is, you may still end up choosing employees who don't have the skills you require.

This is a crucial issue all leaders must keep an eye on, as today's customers are becoming more and more demanding. They expect support reps to be increasingly tech-proficient, capable of personalizing the customer experience, and responding quickly to complaints.

To ensure that your call center adheres to these standards, you must regularly conduct a performance assessment among your individual agents. This is a foolproof way to determine whether you've hired the right employees. In addition to this, however, there are tell-tale signs that you've recruited the wrong people. Here are some of them.


1.   You're getting plenty of repeat transactions.

Repeat transactions—those made by the same customer because of the same issue—indicate that your agents aren't successfully resolving customers' complaints. Your customer relationship management software must be able to alert you of these types of transactions, the channels in which they take place, and which agents are making the mistakes.

Once you've pinpointed the culprits, the next step is to identify the source of the problem. Is it poor customer service training or lack of coordination between departments? Or could it perhaps be attributed to the agents themselves? Singling out the root cause will let you create a strategy for dealing with such issues, thus improving your performance.


2.   Agents sound robotic.

Over the next decade, some customer support processes may no longer require human intervention, as automation tools are gradually being introduced into the mainstream. For now, however, human agents are expected to provide a personal touch to every customer interaction.

The downside is that training your agents to adopt a friendly and empathic tone isn't that easy. Sure, you may give them tips, but it's up to them to follow these guidelines during all the transactions they handle. If they fail to do so, it may be that they're not truly fit for a frontline support position.

3.   Your data keeps ending up on the wrong hands.

If you think cybercriminals are the biggest threat to your data security, you're wrong. Your employees, who can freely access customers' information, are the ones who expose you to much bigger risks. If they're careless about handling, storing, and transferring confidential files or if they don't follow the protocols you've set, they may end up sabotaging customers' data whether intentionally or not. When this happens, you may end up paying fines and losing your reputation.

4.   Teams don't coordinate with one another.

To solve customers' issues successfully, agents may have to coordinate with other departments or teams to obtain the information they need. However, some employees just refuse to do so for lack of teamplaying skills or a general unwillingness to talk to others in the office.

These types of customer support agents don't usually perform well. If they refuse to communicate with others, your call center may be better off without them.

5.  Plenty of customers are complaining.

Let's face it: Some agents are downright rude to customers. They're the biggest nightmare of every manager, and they can endanger a brands' reputation. If you hear customers complaining about some of your agents, you need to take action immediately to prevent these problems from happening again.