With the growing demand for multichannel customer service, more and more contact centers are recognizing the benefits of hiring and training agents to handle multiple service channels simultaneously (i.e. phone, email, chat, and social). These types of agents are being referred to as super-agents. Today, contact centers are striving to meet the demands of connected consumers, who want near-immediate results on their channel of choice. Here is a checklist of skills to look for when on the hunt for an effective super-agent:
Excellent communication skills
It almost goes without saying that written and verbal communication skills are a number one necessity, but to help identify the right communication skills, make sure to test them on different types (i.e. answering a question in 140 characters or less, versus an email, chat or on the phone). Ask for an example of circumstance where they'd be inclined to switch channels, say from Twitter to chat, and how they'd do it. Grammar and the uses of shorthand for channels like Twitter and chat are also a good thing to test.
The ability to problem solve
Problem solving comes in several different forms whether it's addressing a question that's never been asked before, an irate customer who will never be satisfied, or a complex issue that needs solving, try to get a sense of their decision-making skills. Ask for instances when they've been in a professional environment that required them to find a solution to a difficult situation or question. Follow up with a question asking how their approach would change for each specific channel (social, email, chat, phone, etc.). Keep an eye out for answers that involve skills, critical thinking and specific details.
Product and or service expertise
Ask about experience with products and services they've previously supported, and the problems and issues that needed solving; see what level of complexity they've worked at. Also, ask about their knowledge of your product or service to see if they are a fast learner, knowledgeable about the industry or if they did their homework, which could show their dedication to working at your organization.
Having tech savvy agents, in many cases, can mean having higher productivity. Be sure to test their adaptability, technological intuition, and familiarity with the technology they'll be using as well as the channels they'll be communicating on. You'll want them to quickly be able to get up and running on the software you use in addition to having a solid understanding of the communication mediums' differences, similarities and unique facets. If agents will be communicating on social media, check out their social profiles (Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter) to see if they really understand and communicate well on social channels.
Customer service driven
Good customer service agents must be patient, attentive, positive, and have the ability to empathize with customers. For super-agents who will be reaching out on social channels, this is especially important since they'll be representing your organization in a very public way. Look for instances where they turned customer sentiment around, and how they did it. Look to see if they display pride while recalling an example. Providing exceptional customer service can be a true competitive differentiator, and finding great people to represent your organization makes all the difference. Looking for more on super-agents? Read about how leading tool manufacturer, Positec has experienced great success onboarding their super-agents: Hiring Today's Super-Agent in a Multichannel Environment. Or, check out our latest eBook: PRACTICAL/TACTICAL - A Guide to Maximizing Agent Efficiency. Get your free copy: