Virtual Phone AssistantGive your customers 24/7 phone support & help desk support with a virtual assistant.
What is a Phone Answering Service or Phone Support?
Phone support is a branch of customer support that focuses on answering customer questions and responding to any type of customer feedback or concern over the phone. As the entire world shifts to an online setting, many businesses have been foregoing phone support in favor of chat or email support. While growing customer expectations means expanding customer support across a variety of platforms, this doesn’t mean cutting out phone support altogether.
Phone support offers the advantage of providing swift, personal responses to your customers. Moreover, 48% of customers still prefer phones over chat or email when it comes to customer service. That’s why businesses are still highly encouraged to get toll free numbers and provide a live answering service. When it comes to reducing churn rate and retaining customer loyalty and satisfaction, a telephone answering service is still one of the most reliable support channels around.
To augment your phone answering service, you can also add help desk support. Help desk refers to a software or technology that allows a company to manage customer concerns and address them from within a single platform. Help desk support staff can respond to emails, texts, chats, and any other support tickets. Help desk support can be maintained from within a company or outsourced to external support service providers including virtual assistants.
What is a Virtual Phone Assistant?
A phone support virtual assistant (VA), or virtual phone assistant, specializes in answering phone calls from customers and resolving their issues and concerns. Phone support VAs usually have scripts when responding to calls, but as the nature of support calls are dynamic and unpredictable, phone support VAs are trained to respond to unforeseeable situations.
Many companies prefer to outsource phone support as a cost-effective way to meet the ever growing demand for speedy customer service. A VA providing virtual phone answering services is an even more economical alternative to typical business process outsourcing (BPO) models.
As mentioned above, your small business will benefit from a help desk system too. Just as you can implement a virtual phone system and delegate your call answering services to a VA, so can you assign a VA to provide help desk support.
What Skills Do Phone Support Virtual Assistants Need to Have?
Phone support virtual assistants should first and foremost be able to communicate clearly and effectively. A good command of the English language, a neutral accent, and a clear and crisp speaking voice are some of the most common requirements for a phone support VA. Excellent oral communication skills are a must, and good writing skills are definitely a plus.
Phone support VAs should also be able to learn new concepts and grasp new tools quickly, since phone support virtual assistants should have a very thorough understanding of how their client’s business works.
Another important thing to consider when looking for a phone support VA is their personality. Since these people will be dealing with the most important aspects of your business, your customers, they have to be able to represent you in a positive light. Top phone support VAs are charismatic, enthusiastic, and empathetic. A healthy response to stress on the job is also a great trait for phone support VAs to have because handling customer complaints can be very stressful.
If you’re also hiring a help desk support VA, excellent oral and written communication skills are again essential. Help desk support VAs should also be very patient and be able de-escalate tenuous situations gracefully. Another key soft skill to look for is organization and time management. Help desk support VAs are expected to be able to manage multiple tickets simultaneously, so it’s important to find someone who can multitask well.
How Do I Hire a Phone Support Virtual Assistant?
A phone or video interview is definitely necessary when hiring a phone support virtual assistant. You have to be able to hear them speak and respond to unexpected questions. Of course, the first step is to check the relevant experience they have in their resume. Be on the lookout for soft skills when checking their resume as these are arguably more important than technical skills which can be learned more easily.
Here are some questions that you might consider asking a phone support VA candidate during their interview:
- How do you define and measure success in your previous roles?
- What was your most memorable call where the customer left a stellar feedback for you?
- What was the toughest customer service call you’ve handled? How did you deal with it?
- How do you deal with irate customers?
- For you, what are the most important traits of a phone support VA?
- How do you define good customer service?
By asking these questions, you get a better understanding of how the candidate deals with the usual pressures of the job based on their past experience. During your interview, you might also want to do a mock customer service call with them so you can hear them in action.
20four7VA has dozens of phone support VAs and help desk VAs who are ready to help businesses anytime. Learn more about administrative VA services like phone support or schedule a free consultation call and let us help you find the perfect VA for you.