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How to Hire Remote Customer Support Employees

remote customer support

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Key Takeaways

1. The role of a customer support worker is to assist customers and be their point of contact when they need assistance. This can include undergoing tasks such as receiving incoming communications from customers, helping with accounts and queries, and handling complaints.

2. The job of a remote customer support worker is already challenging with having to work remotely, but employees will also have to deal with sometimes difficult and demanding customers. Companies should therefore ensure that they are hiring people who are cut out to do an already demanding role but remotely.

3. Particular skills are necessary for the role such as good communication skills, patience, sympathy, and problem-solving.

4. An Employer of Record can help facilitate hiring remote foreign workers by taking the pressure off companies in terms of assisting with complying with local rules and regulations.

A customer support employee is someone that a business hires with the purpose of providing customer service care to its customers and clients. The customer support team is fundamental to a business because it represents the company. The team is in place for those customers who require help, support, or who want to complain, therefore it is vital that a company hires good people.

The way in which the customer service team deal with customers can make or break a business as many companies provide similar services and products, sometimes the way in which a company handles its customers gives it a competitive advantage over other businesses.

Small businesses most commonly outsource customer support and as a result of the pandemic, remote working is on the rise. It, therefore, comes as no surprise that many companies are hiring remote customer support employees as part of their global team

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What does the job description of a customer support employee include?

A remote customer support representative’s role is very much dependent on the individual company culture and how they process and systemize the business. Generally, customer support employees will likely have the following responsibilities:

  • Handling customer inquiries
  • Receiving incoming communications from customers
  • Handling customer accounts
  • Processing orders and complaints
  • Responding to customer queries and complaints
  • Updating customer information such as details, data and payment methods
  • Maintaining records of customer interactions.

The core part of the role of a customer support worker is to assist customers and be their point of contact when they need help. Therefore, regardless of how the company works, a customer support team will need particular skills to be able to do the job well and perform effectively.

What are the crucial skills of a customer support employee?

Remote customer support workers need to have certain skills that will help them succeed in their role. It is already challenging having to work remotely, let alone deal with sometimes difficult and demanding customers. Therefore it is important for a remote customer support team to have the skills we set out below.

1. Strong communication skills

Communication skills are potentially the most important skills for a remote customer support representative to have, as the nature of the job is communicating with customers all the time.

Customer support workers will need to be able to answer questions, help solve problems and handle complaints. Communication skills not only cover things like showing sympathy, understanding, and clearly expressing yourself,  but also the tone and language used. People in these roles need to effectively adapt their communication style, whether they’re using a business messaging platform to converse with customers or troubleshooting through the phone. Employees should be professional, polite, and pleasant towards customers in order to demonstrate good customer service skills.

Where problems are raised, remote customer support workers must be able to understand exactly what the problem is, and know exactly how to speak to the customer to be able to fill them with the confidence that their problem will be dealt with. When customers raise inquiries, it is important that customer support workers are able to provide clear instructions and answer questions well in order to be as helpful as possible.

The way in which a customer support team communicates with customers can impact the way in which the public views a company and it creates a lasting impression. As such, it is crucial that customers are treated well by the customer support team, as it may result in them becoming valuable customers and perhaps recommending the company to others.

2. Listening skills

A remote customer support team should be able to listen to customers and understand what they need. When customers feel as though they are being listened to, they tend to experience a better service which will have a lasting positive impact on them.

3. Cross-cultural intelligence

When a company hires workers remotely, it is likely that remote customer service team members are from different places around the world and similarly, customers are from different locations. Sometimes cultural differences can mean that different service standards are expected. Cross-cultural intelligence is about understanding different people’s cultural backgrounds and how this may cause them to act and behave differently in certain situations.

When speaking with customers remotely over the phone or through emails, it is important to ensure that workers are not offending customers of other cultures as this may cause them to have a negative experience. It is important that remote customer support employees are aware of cultural differences and are able to adapt different communication styles to different people.

When employees are communicating with customers over the phone and through email, it is sometimes harder to satisfy their needs as you cannot see their facial expressions or body language. This can be particularly difficult when dealing with people of different cultures. Therefore employees should be aware of how to adapt themselves. So, consider using a phone carrier lookup that can help better understand the geographical context of a call. 

4. Problem-solving

Another vital skill for customer service employees is the ability to resolve conflict and problem solve. It is likely that such employees will receive calls and inquiries from difficult people who are experiencing issues. Customer support employees should be able to logically work through problems and find solutions for customers. This is one of the main reasons that companies have customer support teams in place.

5. Patience

Furthermore, when dealing with conflict, remote customer support representatives should be patient with customers. This can be especially difficult when working remotely as workers will not have the support of a team physically around them to help deal with difficult customers. It is vital that employees can remain calm and help work through situations patiently and not become aggravated with difficult customers.

How can an Employer of Record help when hiring a remote customer support employee?

With the rise of business expansion, outsourcing, and remote working, it makes sense for companies to hire remote customer support workers. In fact, hiring remote foreign employees allows companies to choose from a pool of specialists with varying skills and experience which helps build a stronger team.

An Employer of Record (EOR) solution is where a third party takes on the main compliance responsibilities of the employer, to ensure that the business is in full compliance with local employment and labor laws.

An Employer of Record can help facilitate hiring remote foreign workers as it can take the pressure off companies in terms of having to comply with local laws and regulations that they may not be familiar with. An EOR involves taking over payroll responsibilities, employer obligations, contracts and ensures employees are properly classified.

In short, hiring remote customer support through an Employer of Record solution allows for a faster and more cost-effective international hiring experience.  

Horizons hires your remote customer support team

If you require help hiring remote customer support employees, Horizons has expertise in this area and has the ability to hire such employees anywhere in the world.

Please get in touch if you have any questions for one of our remote hiring experts, or if you would like to hire your remote customer support team without delay. 

Frequently asked questions

In order to recruit a remote customer support employee, it is important to ensure that the job description fully reflects the role and enhances the benefits of working for your company. As it is a remote role, you need to attract the right people and you must be certain that they will be able to take on the role and represent the company well. It is, therefore, a good idea to recruit those who have good experience in customer service support and have the required skills for the role.

A remote customer support team is a team of people who provide customer service care to a business to ensure that customers are sufficiently supported. Customer support staff typically undergo tasks such as answering customer queries, complaints and assisting them with anything they need help with such as their account, providing payment details, or update personal information. The role of the customer support team is vital to a company because how the customers are treated by the support team will have a lasting impact and will give a certain impression of the company to customers.

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