` `;

Why You'll Be Hiring More Customer Support People in 2017

Providing great customer service costs money. And, since most companies want to save money, they're always looking for ways to reduce costs. However, it seems likely that some firms may want to bite the proverbial bullet and staff up their in-house support teams. And, that will mean recruiters and talent managers will need to staff up quickly. Linkedin blog by Geoffrey James

Why? Because for the past two decades, companies have sought to reduce support costs by 1) nudging customers toward online support, 2) outsourcing customer service to third-world countries, and most recently, 3) implementing support bots that attempt to mimic human interaction. The problem is: all three cost-savings strategies suffer from the same thing: customers don't like them.

Indeed, some of the world's best companies have already pursued a more human-intensive customer experience. Apple—with its Apple Stores --is a prime example. On a smaller scale, consider CDN77.com, a content delivery network provider which serves over 19,500 websites. According to the company's blog, "we never even thought of a robotic or an outsourced support [because] robots and some outsourced company don’t seem to know the problems you may face."

While many companies will no doubt continue to outsource customer support or attempt to automate it, companies that truly care about their brand and customer satisfaction (especially in the US) will either be moving their customer support in-house or considering doing so. Recruiters should thus adjust their hiring plans accordingly.

With that in mind, here is what you should be doing to prepare for the renewed demand for customer support personnel:

  1. Share this article with marketing management. Simply as a matter of corporate responsibility, you should provide your colleagues in marketing with a perspective that might prevent them from pursuing a customer support strategy that may alienate the company's customers.
  2. Create a plan for an in-house support capability. Pivoting to a more employee-intensive support strategy could prove difficult and time-consuming. Recruiters should work with HR to and leadership to create a plan for the transition.
  3. Define the ideal customer support candidate. Recruiters should define the type of candidate who would have the technical and personal skills to handle customer requests and questions and who would also fit well within the company's corporate culture.
  4. Build a list of (and interview) potential new-hires. In an ideal world, recruiters should already have candidates in mind for customer support positions, should they become available. Interviewing ahead of time will make ramping up easier. Read full article on Linkedin