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Over 57 million Americans do freelance work. That number is steadily growing with more people working from home or finding a freelance side hustle.
When it comes to your business, hiring someone to do freelance work benefits you. There are more capable freelancers now and they understand the work and how to adjust to the job at home.
One reason businesses hire freelancers is to work as customer service representatives. These workers are critical when it comes to customer service and marketing your product.
Here’s everything you need to know including the best traits an applicant should have, before hiring a freelance customer service representative.
All customer service representatives need to understand the value of communication.
You can find out about an applicant’s communication skills when you interview them. See how they handle pressure when you ask them different questions or give them a customer service skills test.
Communication is often the most essential part of their job. It’s important they stay cool and figure out how to address your customers and their concerns.
They also need to be well-versed in defusing situations in which the customer is frustrated or mad while over the phone. If your customer representative is working remotely, they will mostly be talking to customers this way.
Your customer service representative should also understand company policy. It’s important to be friendly and professional.
Lastly, a customer service representative needs to listen to the customer. They need to listen to their complaints without getting defensive and offer a solution.
Customer service representatives should also understand your business.
They should understand the refund policy and if a customer deserves to have a refund. It requires discretion or they would be refunding everyone who complained.
This is especially true for freelancers, who may work miles away. They need to know the model of the business. They also need to know how to improve the customer experience without losing money for the business.
Customer service representatives also need to know the customer. They need to understand the persona of the customer. The more they know, the better they can help.
The more they understand a customer’s problems, the better they can offer solutions.
To be more specific, customer service representatives need to know the age, the behavior, and why the customer shops at a business. It will ultimately help improve the customer experience.
Being a freelance customer service representative means taking independent action for the business.
If the business receives a complaint, it’s the job of the customer service representative to make that customer happy.
Customer service representatives might also have to do some independent investigation. If a customer lost a product in the mail, that customer service representative needs to know what happened to it.
They need to find out if it was lost or stolen.
As a business, you need to figure out how adept potential customer service representatives are at their job. You can need to know if you must hold their hand for a while or if they can start being an independent decision-maker for your business.
Another quality a customer service representative should have is being empathetic.
They should talk to customers and feel their pain. It’s a critical skill for customer service representatives because customers want to feel that you are listening to them.
Even if you don’t agree with the customer, you have to listen to them and see their side of the story.
As a business, you have to consider the empathy of the customer service representative. Ask them how they handle these situations and what they would do.
It can offer some insight on who you should hire as a customer service representative.
Before you hire a customer service representative, you should evaluate their freelance skills.
That means asking them about deadlines and projects. While they may only handle a few of these tasks because they will be on the customer service side, it’s still important to know how they do with deadlines and projects, especially as they will be working remotely.
Another thing to ask a freelance customer service representative is how available they are, especially if they are freelancing and they may have more than one gig.
When you find out their availability, you can decide if it works well with what your customers need and handling complaints.
Their availability is critical if you need your customer service representatives to respond in email, in chat, and other forms of communication. They need to prioritize your customers and be efficient in all forms of communication.
If you need to know more about testing their skills, check out our hiring resources that provide valuable information on hiring freelancers.
Lastly, it’s critical that the customer service representative you hire has a positive attitude. If they seem like a naturally warm person, it will be better for your business.
They will most likely enjoy talking to people and helping them figure out their problems.
Having customer service representatives helps you manage your business. It helps you focus on bigger projects besides customer service.
When you have someone who understands your business and how to speak to customers, you can understand their problems more. You can empathize with them.
If you want to learn more about how we can help you find freelance customer service representatives, contact us here.
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