The Hard and Soft Skills Your Next Tech Support Hire Needs

When you’re hiring for tech support, you have a delicate balance in front of you. Support agents need to have the right mix of hard and soft skills – they must know what they are talking about from a technical standpoint, but they must also be able to communicate well and empathize with people who may not have an intimate knowledge of technology. It is important to identify the top skills your next tech support hire needs to have in order to succeed.

Communication Skills

Tech support agents must have strong verbal and written skills. They may be asked regularly to communicate verbally or in writing with colleagues, peers, and customers who come from a variety of backgrounds. They must also often communicate highly technical information to people who do not come from a technical background.

The ability to listen is an important part of communication, but it’s easy to overlook during the hiring process. Agents must have the ability to listen to what customers and users are telling them without jumping to conclusions, without making assumptions and without cutting people off.

Patience and Empathy

Tech support engineers often deal with people who are angry, frustrated or just plain confused. As an agent, it is difficult to deal with people who are yelling at you, blaming you for their problems, or who just don’t seem to understand what you’re telling them no matter how many times you try. When searching for candidates, never overlook patience and the ability to remain calm no matter how stressful or frustrating the situation may be.

Part of patience is the ability to empathize. Agents who can put themselves in a user’s shoes and who can feel what they are feeling can help de-escalate a caller’s frustration. Often times, people just want to know they are being heard, and empathetic agents can improve customer satisfaction rates.

Problem Solving

There will often be a clearly defined set of steps that technical support agents must follow to solve an issue. However, there will be times when support engineers need to solve a problem they haven’t seen before. It is important to find candidates who have excellent problem-solving abilities and who can think quickly on their feet without a lot of hand-holding by their managers.

Technical Acumen

The technical skills that you should look for in a support engineer will vary from job to job. However, it is important to sit down with team leaders and managers to clearly define the skills needed for each job, at each level. There should be a set of minimum basic skills that candidates must possess, but also a list of skills that can be taught on the job, if the candidate meets all other requirements.

It is important to remember that some technical skills can be learned on the job. Soft skills are much more difficult to teach because they are heavily connected to an individual’s personality.

If you are looking for talented tech support engineers to help improve resolution rates and customer satisfaction levels, reach out to the award-winning recruiting experts at Talon today. Together, we can help you build a best-in-class support team.


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