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The Best Way to Hire Customer Service Virtual Assistants

Alice Wong
June 29, 2022
Virtual customer service assistants sound great as a temporary solution, but finding and hiring the right person is where it takes craft.

As a business owner, you can't be everywhere at once, which is why sometimes it helps to have, well, help. If you've been managing your brand's customer service by yourself, then taking off that hat and passing it off to someone else is going to be hard. That's why it's important you do your diligence vetting candidates.

This article helps you set realistic expectations when hiring so you find the right person. We also give you job description templates below and ideas for where to look for talent online.

But first...Why not make it easier for yourself?

With Chatdesk, you can get high-quality, US-based customer support for social, email, and chat starting at $99/month. It's easy to launch and we take care of everything A - Z for you. You prioritize the tickets you want us to address and the coverage hours you need us most, whether it's 24/7, after-hours, or weekend support. Plus, it's risk-free with our 2-week free trial. No credit card required.

If you have a Shopify store, you can also download our app directly from the app store here. (And hear from other customers why they love us.)

See how Chatdesk helped BarkBox reach their highest customer satisfaction scores

7 Things You Need to do Before Hiring a Virtual Assistant

Soon you'll find that recruiting and interviewing takes up a lot of time and energy, so when you finally find the right person, make sure you do your part to help them provide excellent results. (Else you'll be back to the recruiting board).

Here's some prep work you'll need to do:

1. Figure out how many inquiries you're getting on average & how much time you're spending addressing those inquiries. That will help you set the right expectations with them on the estimated scope of work.

2. Prioritize the channels they'll be supporting (e.g. email, chat, social)

3. Also prioritize what kind of tickets you'd want them to work on (e.g. shipping delays, refund statuses, etc)

4. Consider when you need coverage most. Look at your data to see which hours you're getting the most customer inquiries. You want to aim for fast responses to customers so make sure your VA is online during the most popular support hours.

5. Measure current customer sentiment. This helps you gauge if your VA is helping your brand, or the opposite.

6. Have a Standard Response Guide ready and if possible, brand guidelines. A Standard Response Guide gives examples of prewritten responses that help your VA understand the right way to respond.

7. Be prepared to help them ramp up their knowledge about your product and brand. The more knowledge they have about your product and service, the higher quality their responses will be.

When you sign up with Chatdesk, you'll get assigned to a Client Success Manager who will help you figure out all of the above.

Get 24 Free Templates for Responding to Customers

Questions to Ask Candidates

When you're looking for a virtual assistant for customer service, it's important to make sure you're asking the right questions.

1. Do you have customer service experience? In what industry and for what brand?

2. Can you handle multi-platform inquiries? Someone needs to know the sensitivities of responding to negative comments on a public forum like social, for example.

3. What kind of helpdesk and e-commerce platforms are you familiar with? (e.g. Shopify, Gorgias, Zendesk, etc)

4. What will it take for you to meet {insert your goal} SLA response time?

5. Give an example of a difficult customer. Ask them how they would communicate the issue to you.

6. What are your available hours?

7. How will you report back customer feedback? Especially patterns in feedback they're seeing about products/services?

8. How do you take constructive feedback?

9. Can you follow instructions well?

Customer Service Virtual Assistant Job Description Template

We're looking for a customer service virtual assistant to provide excellent customer service to our clients across email, chat, and social. The ideal candidate will be friendly, patient, and efficient. They will be responsible for answering customer inquiries, including pre-sales and post-sales questions. Pre-sales questions can include providing information about our products and services; post-sales questions can include issuing refunds, etc. The ideal candidate must have excellent communication skills and be able to work independently.

Roles & Responsibilities

- Respond to customer inquiries by email, chat or phone in a prompt, professional and courteous manner

- Document all customer interactions in the customer service software.

- Suggest solutions or alternatives to customers when necessary.

- Escalate unresolved customer issues to the appropriate supervisor.

- Provides best-in-class virtual customer service

- Contribute feedback to team to help improve products and services

- Ability to quickly adapt to new technology as volume of inquiries grows

- Ensure responses adhere to brand guidelines


- Excellent customer service skills.

- Strong computer skills, including experience with customer service software.

- Excellent verbal and written communication skills.

- Strong problem solving skills.

- Ability to work independently.

If you're only looking for someone to respond to customer inquiries on email, you can also tailor this for a "Email Support Virtual Assistant". Since many e-commerce brands also address a lot of customer inquiries on social, we’ve included a JD for a social media moderation assistant.

Social Media Moderation Virtual Assistant Job Description

As [insert brand]'s social media moderation virtual assistant, you'll be responsible for elevating our customers' experience on social through:

- Responding to social comments and DM's, positive and negative

- Monitoring and reporting on trending topics and recommending content for posting

- Nurture our community on social

- Help with proactive social engagement. Look for relevant hashtags and conversions our brand can also engage in to grow our visibility

- Ensure all responses are on-brand

- Escalate complaints as necessary


- Excellent customer service skills.

- Excellent social media management skills

- Strong computer skills, including experience with customer service software.

- Excellent verbal and written communication skills.

- Strong problem solving skills.

- Ability to work independently.

Where to Find Virtual Assistants

Most businesses will turn to marketplaces like Upwork to look for their assistant. You can also post to a job listing site like Indeed or Monster. But, if you want a more hands-off solution, you can use a solution like Chatdesk.

Get personalized, customer service support starting at $99/month on email, chat, and social

We help you recruit, train, and manage CX Experts so you don't have to lift a finger. All responses are guaranteed personalized and on-brand. Schedule a free demo with us today.

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