5 customer support job descriptions to build an all-star team

As a field and as a department, customer support is no longer relegated to the kids’ table. Customers are afforded more options than ever, and as a result, their expectations in terms of service and support are soaring. In order to satisfy them, your business requires a crack support team. Here are five customer support job descriptions to man every station and delight your customers.

Customer support job descriptions are more varied than you think

This article aims to describe different ways in which employees and managers can add their stone to the customer support edifice.

The importance of customer support

The days of waiting on hold for hours to talk to unqualified and disenfranchised support reps are over. For the most part, at least. Nowadays, customer service as a whole and customer support especially are important differentiators for companies wishing to succeed.

customer support job descriptions

Exemplary customer support will encourage product adoption, decrease customer churn, improve customer satisfaction, and lower employee turnover. However, finding the right rhythm for your support department is something of a balancing act.

Customer support job descriptions are varied and complementary. We’ve put together cheat sheets for each of these positions, in order to present a holistic model of a successful support team.

Customer support manager

The customer support manager is the spearhead of the support team. Their position involves many responsibilities and various skills, but without the right manager, the department cannot function nor hope to grow.

What do they do?

The responsibilities of a customer support manager include:

  • Overseeing the customer support team and its individual agents.
  • Improving the customer experience, encouraging organic growth, and creating engaged customers.
  • Defining goals for the support team, and devising a strategy to attain them.
  • Keeping track of the team’s performance, and improving it.
  • Handling the recruitment process, vetting and interviewing potential new support hires.

What to look for in a customer support manager

  • Experience

As the representative of the team as a whole, the manager is accountable for its success, or lack thereof. Therefore, someone with prior experience of both management and customer support is a plus. Even better if they’ve also got experience with your industry or your product.

  • Leadership

A successful manager requires a specific set of skills in order to get the best out of their team. This includes being transparent and generous with their time and involvement. They should also be decisive and demonstrate good judgement. This is a tall order, but these qualities make the difference between a lackluster leader and one whom the team will trust and follow voluntarily.

  • Accountability

The manager is at the helm of the ship, and makes the executive decisions pertaining to its command. It is daunting to be responsible for the direction and outcome of everyone’s efforts, but passing the buck and refusing responsibility are sure-fire signs of poor management.

customer support job descriptions

  • Strategic thinking

Managers are expected to take into account the support team’s performance metrics and implement change accordingly. Making informed and data-driven decisions requires a sound understanding of their team’s dynamic and objectives.

  • Communication

A large part of a manager’s duties involves communication, problem-solving, and conflict resolution. They’re the support team’s last line of defense in a tight spot, and require emotional intelligence and interpersonal skills in order to find a solution which benefits customers and teammates alike.

How to ace it

  1. Lead by example. Inspire your team to put their best foot forward by embodying what you expect. Be fair, consistent, and foster accountability and open communication within your team.
  2. Trust the data. Making gut-decisions might work in a pinch, but your operational plan for the support team should be based on the hard numbers of your performance and customer satisfaction metrics.
  3. Empower your team. Give your team the tools they need to succeed, and encourage their performance. Be present and ready to step in with help and advice, but don’t micro-manage.
  4. Incentivize performance. Share your plan of action with your team. This boosts collaboration, and agents perform better when their objectives and the link between success and payoff are clearly outlined.
  5. Simplify. This is true both for your team and for customers. Try to make your whole operation (processes, automation efforts, self-service ressources, feedback collection, etc.) straightforward and easy to understand. This saves both agents and customers effort, frustration, and time.

Customer support agent

Representatives are the backbone of a support team. Their customer support job descriptions can be as varied as the product they support and the service channels they man. But no matter what, they’re in the field, facing customers, and representing your company in the eyes of the outside world.

What do they do?

Customer support agents are expected to:

  • Handle customer requests, questions, and complaints on a variety of support channels.
  • Generate leads and identify potential up-sell or cross-sell opportunities with existing customers.
  • Keep track of customer expectations and recurring issues.
  • Build a sustainable and mutually beneficial relationship between customers and your brand.

What to look for

A prized customer support agent will demonstrate the following qualities:

  • Patient

When tackling a difficult service issue or facing an angry customer, remaining unflappable is crucial to ending a conversation on a high note. Remaining calm and even-keeled will soothe even the most agitated customer. Patience is also sorely needed to handle repetitive customer support issues day after day.

  • Organized

Knowing to prioritize and differentiate important tasks from urgent ones is necessary to an agent’s success and productivity. They should also know how to maximize their own productivity.

  • Empathetic

Empathy makes the difference between utilitarian customer support and a true positive experience. Indeed, agents need the emotional intelligence and empathetic propensity to read between the lines and understand what the customer is saying, and what they mean.

  • Good communicator

Communication goes both ways. Agents should be articulate and able to get their point across in a way that is straightforward and intelligible to every customer. They should also be able to navigate each support channel with consistent ease. Alternative support channels like social media are more important than ever, and should not be neglected.

customer support job descriptions

  • Adaptable

Customer support tends to throw curveballs. A good agent will follow the rules, but know when to go off-script to meet a customers’ needs.

  • Positive

No matter the outcome of an interaction, an agent should always stay positive for the sake of the customer’s overall impression.

How to ace it

  1. Know your product. No matter how skilful, an agent cannot provide the quality of support customers need if they don’t have a solid grasp on the product and its usage.
  2. Know your processes. Customer support agents might be asked to work on a variety of channels. The method of customer interaction should be clear, and consistent across all those channels.
  3. Don’t lecture, teach. Agents should strive to make a connection with a customer and involve them in the support process. This way, the customer truly understands and adopt the product, and might avoid another issue in the future.
  4. Be willing to learn. Working customer support means always learning more and improving. The product will evolve, and so will customer expectations. Success doesn’t stagnate.
  5. Go the extra mile. Taking extra steps to delight a customer will leave them with a lasting positive impression of your service’s quality and your brand’s image.

Tech support agent

A tech support agent fields the more technologically demanding customer queries.

What do they do?

As part of their customer support job descriptions, tech representatives can expect to:

  • Troubleshoot software and hardware issues for end-users.
  • Interact with customers to resolve tech-related questions and queries.
  • Follow up with customers after resolving their issues.
  • Keep records of tech issues and report back to management, development, or product departments.

What to look for

  • Technological knowledge

This is a no-brainer. A tech-support rep should know the intricacies of the software and hardware they’ll need to troubleshoot.

  • Experience

Prior experience of customer support in a related field shows that a given rep will be able to handle their responsibilities.

  • Attention to detail

All the customer support job descriptions involve keeping track of every customer interaction, and tech support is no exception. Tech agents also need to be attentive to customer demands, and be able to strategically solve their issues.

  • Communication skills

Good communication skills, both verbal and written, are important for tech support. When interacting with customers, reps need to express themselves clearly and succinctly. The same is true when it comes to speaking with management or product development in order to report on what customers expect or struggle with.

How to ace it

  1. Be knowledgeable. The level of expertise expected out of a tech support rep is considerable. It’s crucial to stay up to date on the product and the industry.
  2. Be understanding. Tech support gets its fair share of misunderstandings with customers, especially when the latter is misinformed or confused about something tech-related. In these cases, the rep must be especially patient and sympathetic. Accurately gauging a customer’s technological proficiency is just as important as correctly diagnosing their issue.
  3. Be a teacher. Every tech support call is an opportunity to educate. Training customers on their use of technology during a support call might prevent the same customer from falling prey to the same problem further down the line.
  4. Know when to escalate and report. Sometimes, a tricky customer demand will need to be escalated to management, and a rep should know when to call it quits and avoir making it worse. Conversely, tech support will often glean valuable information from witnessing a customer’s struggle and should pass it on to management for the potential benefit of a wider customer base.

Virtual support agent

A virtual support agent can perform every kind of task, work on every kind of channel, but their specificity is that they work remotely rather than in an onsite capacity.

What do they do?

A virtual agent could be tasked with customer support, tech support, even management. What makes their job description stand out is that they work remotely. As a result, they are able to assist customers in any time zone, in any language, according to their employer’s (and their employer’s customers’) needs.

customer support job descriptions

Virtual agents often report higher productivity and engagement, despite being physically removed from the center of operations. However, their success requires a special set of skills.

What to look for

  • A good fit

Hiring an employee halfway across the world requires careful selection. The applicant should be able to satisfy customer expectations in terms of availability and language skills. But in order to mesh well with the rest of the team, they should be a cultural fit as well.

  • Dependable

Day to day, a virtual worker will work with reduced managerial supervision. Consequently, they should be reliable and be able to perform well with minimal supervision, with a set of clear and judicious guidelines, of course.

  • Autonomous

Likewise, virtual customer support reps should be able to function without needing too much help. Part of this depends on their temperament, but they’ll also need a useful knowledge base and rigorous training in order to become self-sufficient when assisting customers.

  • Communicative

Frequent and transparent communication is crucial when it comes to managing a virtual customer support rep. Managers need to check in at regular intervals and take care to make the most out of their meeting time.

How to ace it

  • Practice discipline. As a virtual worker, you’ll need to manage your own time, in order to be productive and prioritize tasks accordingly. A careful and dedicated routine can help maintain a high level of engagement.
  • Practice self-care. Without coworkers and a normal office routine, it can be easy to let work eat up your time, especially if you work from home. It’s crucial to your productivity and sanity to maintain a work-life balance in order to avoid burning out, and to practice regular self-care.
  • Spruce up your environment. If you work from a home office especially, it is worthwhile to invest in a comfortable environment and to delimitate your work from your home life physically as well as mentally.

Customer support trainer

The customer support trainer might not perform support duties themselves, but they’re responsible for assisting the team. Everyone performs better with some guidance, and that’s what customer support trainers are here to do.

What do they do?

Trainers might find the following responsibilities in their customer support job descriptions:

  • Devising initial training programs for new hires (support, tech, HR, etc.)
  • Scheduling and carrying out regular coaching sessions for existing support representatives.
  • Assessing and identifying the training needs for the team and for individual team members.
  • Updating the knowledge base and employee records.

What to look for

  • A good teacher

A customer support trainer is responsible for giving future and current representatives the tools to succeed at their position. In order to present the material in the most engaging way possible, trainers need to be patient, organized, and knowledgeable.

  • Attentive

After their initial onboarding, representatives and managers will require additional training to keep up with the evolution of the product and the industry. These regular coaching sessions are key to keeping the team in shape, and customers satisfied.

  • Passionate

Trainers cannot hope to engage their trainees if they aren’t engaged themselves. A teacher as enthusiastic as they are knowledgeable can make any subject interesting, and helps students succeed.

  • Thorough

The support trainer’s duties include keeping records of individual agent’s progression in their training, and of the team’s needs as a whole, acting as a liaison with management. This requires good record-keeping and the ability to multi-task.

How to ace it

  1. Follow the data. The content and frequency of training sessions shouldn’t be decided by whim. Actionable performance data should be the indicator of the areas needing improvement within the support team. This should include quantitative (number of missed calls, average waiting time, etc.) and qualitative data (net promoter score, customer satisfaction score, etc.).
  2. See both the big picture and the details. It can be difficult to pinpoint bottlenecks and problem areas on the scale of a whole team, nevertheless, that’s what the trainer must do. This ranges from coaching an entire department on a process or noticing that an individual agent is struggling. Finding the problem and knowing how to fix it involves strategic thinking on both large and small scales.
  3. Change it up. Keep the training actionable and precise, but make sure it’s engaging. Otherwise, it won’t leave a lasting and worthwhile impact on the team, to everyone’s detriment.

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