Contact Center Trends

9 easy steps to become the best at-home customer support agent

By Shauna Geraghty

0 min read

As a side effect of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, customers are looking for support like never before. Contact centers are handling higher customer demands as call volumes peak and the customer experience (CX) bar continually rises. At the same time, organizations are changing their business operations by quickly shifting to a remote way of working.

As customer demands rise, companies who have adopted a work-from-home (WFH) model must build a team of at-home support agents to provide top-notch customer experience (CX). That’s where you come in — it is up to customer service professionals like you to meet and exceed customer expectations. Follow these nine easy steps to become the best at-home customer support agent for your customers:

1. Start on time

This one may seem fairly obvious, but you’d be surprised at how important it continues to be in a WFH environment. Start early, sit down and get comfortable before your shift starts. Find a quiet, relaxed and bright place to kick start your day. Being prompt will give you a head start and help you avoid playing catch-up for the rest of the day.

2. Ask for help

If you don’t know how to solve a customer’s problem, don’t be afraid to ask someone who does. Conference with someone from tech support, an experienced sales representative or a more seasoned agent in your department. Your caller will thank you for it and your customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores will rise.

3. Smile

It can be tough to stay upbeat on the phone, especially if you have an aggravated customer on the other end, but here’s a trick that works every time: smile. A smile will make you sound pleasant to the caller, even if you’re having a rough day. Smiling makes your voice sound more confident, friendly and approachable.

4. Be empathetic

You’re a customer too, right? You know how troubling it is when a package doesn’t show up on time or a product breaks. Put yourself in the caller’s shoes and remember that you’d likely be upset too if you were in their position. Empathy is all about understanding and connecting to how the other person is feeling. Your conversation will go more smoothly and result in a better experience for both you and your customer.

5. Remain patient

The angry caller on the other line could be screaming, but you’re still tasked with being calm, cool, collected and productive. Remind yourself to be patient and calmly guide the conversation to a resolution. You’ll enjoy your job more and set yourself apart from the rest.

6. Don’t forget to breathe

Breathing is something we all do, but sometimes take for granted. If you’re truly struggling with a customer during a call, focus on your breathing to calm yourself down. Remember that we are all human and you are allowed to feel impatient — you just have to learn how to deal with it in a way that always keeps your customers in mind.

7. Take notes

Impersonal conversations are one of the biggest downfalls of support interactions. If you want to grow within your company, you need to master note-taking during and after calls. That way, you’ll have all of the necessary information to show the customer that you’re actively invested in their past and current issues. After learning something new from your conversation, think about the best way to share this information with your team, such as through a knowledge base or collaboration tools. However your team circulates and consumes information, knowledge should always be shared as widely and transparently as possible.

8. Move fast

The more calls you can effectively handle, the better customer support agent you’ll become. Use your time efficiently and solve as many issues and requests as possible, every day. Go into high gear and tackle as many callers as you possibly can, but don’t go so far as to sacrifice quality for quantity. Save some time to reflect on the calls you made and remember to stay on top of your after-call work.

9. Stay positive at all times

Staying positive sets a great example for your colleagues and shows you’re willing to handle anything. Maintaining this type of attitude shows your manager that no task is too big for you to take on. This will help you stand out and see growth in your career as a support agent.

Working as a customer support agent isn’t always easy, but it’s incredibly rewarding and holds a key position in nearly every organization. You are, in many ways, the face and voice of your company, so wear that role with pride! Increasing your skills as an at-home customer support agent will help your company and your own career in the long run.

Become a customer support grandmaster


Shauna Geraghty

As the first U.S. employee, Shauna helped to scale Talkdesk to over 1,000 employees in 7 offices globally. During her tenure, she has built Talkdesk's Marketing, Talent and HR functions from the ground up. Shauna has a doctorate in clinical psychology and has applied foundational knowledge from the field of psychology to help propel Talkdesk along its hyper-growth trajectory.