[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”]

Image courtesy of Derek Davalos

In our modern world, technology marches to a remarkably fast drumbeat. To stay at the forefront of this rapid progress, business owners can’t just be smart and savvy, they have to keep their customer support staff on top of high-tech trends as well.

With newer services such as live chat offering instant support, Q.R. or Quick Response code scanners connecting customers to websites and support documents in seconds, smart phone banking, and floating feedback forms, representatives need to be able to multitask on a whole new and utterly modern level. They need to be adept at accessing feedback systems, checking tickets while Skyping with customers, and managing customer inquiries via email, perhaps simultaneously.

Modern customer support staff also needs to have a strong background in social media. With comments flooding into your website through media juggernauts like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Yelp, reps need to be comfortable with the nuances of these mass communication platforms.

Fortunately, if your business hires its reps from a younger pool, they likely already have a strong knowledge of social media. Still, this doesn’t mean we should discount older, more experienced support staff. Even if they aren’t as versed in social media applications, they often have a better understanding of how to satisfy customers on many other levels. A little social media training can take them from being a solid, empathic rep to being a high-tech customer service dynamo.

The real trick is keeping our customer service staff at the top of their game.

Of course there are a multitude of software and technology courses available through online universities. The trouble is price. While educating a representative is a good cause, sending even one employee, much less a gaggle of them, through just one course could prove cost-prohibitive.

A less expensive option is online certification courses. Some websites offer free certification courses, though. Sites like Brainbench and universities like MIT offer low-cost and even free certification and moocs (massive open online courses). They might not be the most comprehensive courses, but a lot of them offer testing as well. A little bit of knowledge and a piece of paper can go a long way towards your employee’s evolution in the customer service industry.

As important as it is to keep our employees at the top of their tech game, we can’t forget to emphasize the necessity of empathic skills. The ideal cutting-edge representative offers a perfect balance of technical skills and people skills.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]