5 Key Qualities to Look For in a Social Customer Service Agent

By: Sofie De Beule

January 26, 2015

What’s the key thing you can do to improve the relationship with your customers? The answer is easy: improve customer service.

Nowadays, the quality of service on social media has never been more important for the success or failure of a business, and the quality and competence of your social customer service agents is equally as important.

There are some customer service skills that every new addition to your team should master. Here are some key qualities you should look for to find your true social customer service hero:

1. Flexibility

In the world of social media, everything happens at a fast pace. As there’s still a lot of unexplored territory, social media is pretty much constantly subject to change. Customer service agents should be able to keep up with this hectic pace which is why flexibility is a key attribute.

In any customer service environment, flexibility is a crucial characteristic for employees. They are, after all, only human and should be able to rely on each other. If small changes need to be made in people’s shifts, employees need to be flexible enough to step in and take over the shift.

Flexibility is also a key motivational factor: the more flexibility you grant employees, the more they will be motivated to do a great job and be flexible in return.

2. Speak Human Language

It’s as obvious as it’s overlooked, but real, genuine conversations are key in giving your company a human face and building stronger customer relationships. Conversations with companies on Twitter can easily feel distant and impersonal. People don’t like to be talked to with robot-like language: it makes the people behind the brand look inhuman or out of touch with the brand’s story. Real interactions are considered rare which is why personalized interactions are so valuable in boosting brand credibility.

Why not let job candidates engage in a little test to make sure they are fit for the job? Present them with some specific cases or questions which they can answer within a limited time frame. This will not only test their ability to handle real life cases, but also adds an additional level of stress as well. Once you made sure only the best candidates remain, you can easily coach them on how to engage in real, genuine conversations with customers in a way that aligns with your brand.

3. Strong Listening & Team Skills

Above all, customer service agents should be able to really listen to customers.

One of the best ways to make sure your company keeps on innovating is by continuously incorporating customer feedback. Each individual customer interaction will tell you something more about how you can help your business grow. Leave nothing up to your customer’s imagination: just like agents need to be strong listeners, make sure you communicate clearly and transparently so there isn’t any room left for misunderstandings.

Moreover, beyond listening to customers, social media truly is a team effort. Messages need to be passed on quickly to the right person to deliver a smooth and speedy reply. If a person doesn’t have strong people and team skills in the first place, the decision is easily made. The sooner you realize the person is a good fit for your company, the easier you can move forward and expand your team with the right people.

4. Customer-Oriented

Ordinary customer service isn’t what’s going to keep your customers coming back to you every time. Customer service agents should be able to ‘wow’ customers. Their endless work ethic and powerful drive to make customers happy is a skill they need to keep delivering outstanding work.

Important Note: Set clear goals for your social customer service agents to follow up on. Without goals, they will easily feel lost and demotivated.

5. Brand Affinity

Social customer service agents are the voice of the brand and should be able to think and act like a customer. That’s why brand affinity is important to make sure you are in touch with your customers’ needs and requirements. If customers ask questions on social media, you can’t keep them waiting. Customer service agents don’t need to be as tech savvy as your product development team, but they should know the in’s and out’s of how your product actually works.