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What Are Phone Support Agents?

Phone support agents are essential if your business or company services clients and customers. These support agents answer questions and requests from potential or existing customers through the phone.

If someone has questions or concerns regarding your products or services, a customer service representative is their lifeline. Phone support agents are their first point of contact who can:

  • Handle and resolve complaints

  • Process orders

  • Answer questions

  • Provide information about the business’s products and services

Previously, if someone wanted to connect with a customer service representative, they would have to visit the physical storefront to talk to someone. Now, communication with customer service staff is easier than ever! These service agents can work from anywhere with remote phone and chat options.

A support agent can provide services in many ways, including:

  • Email support

  • Live chat support

  • Social media support

  • Customer service phone support

When your customers can contact your business easily and find the information they’re looking for, it can build brand loyalty. Good customer service can improve customer retention and makes your customers feel heard and valued.

Should I Hire Freelance Phone Support Agents or a Customer Service Company?

If your business needs help boosting customer satisfaction, supporting technical issues, and providing customer support, it’s time to hire a freelance phone customer service agent. Freelance customer service representatives are more cost-effective than onboarding a full-time, in-house employee and can provide customer service insights that customer service agencies typically can’t.

While you can find affordable third-party companies to supply your business with customer support, these larger agencies typically rely on automated customer support software and systems. This includes the dreaded chatbot, phone trees, and interactive voice response (IVR) customer service. 

When you use an automated customer support agent, you risk frustrating customers and losing them. According to a recent study, 77% of respondents who used chatbots for customer service inquiries found the bots frustrating, and 88% of respondents reported they would rather speak to a real person. When you find an expert customer support agent, you have a virtual assistant who can meet your customers with empathy and can help them with their exact issues over the phone.

If you’re committed to providing your customers with a premium experience that motivates them to return to your business, then you need to hire freelance customer service representatives.

How Much Does It Cost to Hire Customer Service Chat Agents?

Before you begin the hiring process, it’s important to understand your budget for hiring customer service personnel. Hiring in-house customer service personnel is the most expensive option, given the costs necessary to maintain that staff, including:

  • Overhead costs

  • Insurance

  • Salaries

  • Benefits

  • Training

  • Technology

  • Taxes

All of these factors combined can cause you to spend a minimum of $33,000 per year, plus an additional $5,000 for benefits–and that’s just for one customer service worker. Hiring a full-time team or staff isn’t possible for every business. Luckily, Guru can help.

At Guru, we believe in connecting organizations and businesses with freelance customer service experts from around the world so you don’t have to sacrifice quality to work within your budget. Hiring an in-house customer service specialist can easily cost between $30 and $40 an hour, but at Guru, you can find experts at much more affordable rates. 

What to Look For When Hiring Phone Customer Support Agents

Before you hire a customer support specialist to work for your business, you need to outline the role and responsibilities attached. Will your agent respond to customer phone calls, as well as help customers via email and chat support? With duties and work accurately outlined, it’s time to think about what skills the agent you hire should bring to the table.

Customer support work requires a wide range of soft skills. Soft skills are personal attributes or qualities about someone that allows them to work harmoniously with others. The reality is, when people are calling for customer service, it’s not usually because everything is working as it should.

This line of work requires strong communication skills and patience. It’s easy to find specialists who are familiar with different communication systems and support software, but finding agents who are empathetic, adaptable, and even-tempered will take your customer experience to the next level. 

Also, consider what else your customer service expert can achieve during a call. Yes, they should exercise excellent communication skills and resolve any issues, but the best customer service employees can instigate a sale. This role directly works with your customer base regularly, so it’s important to find employees who can turn those lemons into lemonade, so to speak.

Get in Contact With Phone Support Freelancers on Guru

Whether you are looking to hire a live phone support agent or hire a customer retention specialist to field client inquiries and emails, Guru is the platform to find your customer service personnel. With Guru, it’s easy to hire your ideal freelancer. Our comprehensive search function allows you to refine your search to your specific business and industry. 

Do you need phone support agents that are specific to sales, engineering, translations, or programming? Guru can help. Each industry’s category can be further refined through our search function, connecting you to thousands of available freelancers who can address your specific needs.

Once you’ve defined the role your business needs, use our filters to refine your search. Our filters function allows you to browse freelancers based on their all-time earnings, number of previous employers found through Guru, and more! We recommend you hire a freelancer with previous employers so that you can reference previous employer’s feedback.

Each freelancer for hire has a unique profile page that details their professional history, services offered, their rates, and portfolio. Rather than sift through hundreds of applications, resumes, and cover letters, you can cut to the chase and find exactly what you need. 

Once you’ve narrowed down your pool of candidates, reach out to them via their profile for a quote. We always recommend interviewing candidates before you officially hire them to gauge compatibility.

Ready to get started and take your business to the next level? Find your next freelancer with Guru!

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