You don’t build a business – you build people – and then people build the business.
No matter how good a company’s product or service is, how excellent are the tools they leverage, it all boils down to the people in the end!
With every industry going virtual, your call centers are the most crucial brand touchpoint today. Why do you ask? Because they are responsible for the customer experience beyond the screens – the most intimate experience your customers can have!
Tools and technologies matter, but it is your staff that humanizes the entire process. Here’s a way to look beyond the best call center software – think of empowering your staff with the right skills. By coaching call center agents and assessing them from time to time.
Before we move forward, do you want to assess your call center processes? Learning your strengths and weaknesses and optimizing your business processes is an unending process. It is also the key to leadership.
That said, every industry, every company is highly selective about the qualities their employees possess. While skills are essential, qualities are the tie-breaker. For instance, knowing a specific product might be a skill, but being patient is a quality. There are many challenges faced by call centers and the qualities of an agent are one of them.
Today, we will talk about the qualities a call center agent should have to be successful and to offer good customer service.
Top 8 qualities of a successful call center agent
1. Knowledge retention
The primary goal of every agent is to provide the best possible support to the customer. To do so, it is crucial to remember the product/service details in and out. Furthermore, they also need to remember if they can help the customer solve a particular problem or not, the solutions to the concerns, and the right person to direct the calls to if needed.
Given the fast-paced environment, there isn’t enough time for the agents to look up all the answers, and hence, knowledge retention plays a vital role in providing good support. The candidates should be able to recall the answers and aid in troubleshooting without any hesitation.
2. Communication and Comprehension
Good vocabulary and command of the language are essential, but how you implement it determines your service quality. Not every customer will be fluent in the language you speak. Simplifying your message and helping customers reach the solution is the ultimate goal.
Similarly, everyone has their unique way to communicate, and agents should have the ability to interpret the underlying statement and help the customer.
Simply put, communication and comprehension are the giving and receiving of knowledge. It is fair to say that knowledge hasn’t been communicated by the agent until it has been received by the customer. That said, the soft skills of a call center agent are equally important for being successful.
83% of customers agree that they feel more loyal to brands that respond and resolve their complaints.
3. Attention to detail
This job often requires doing the same thing over and over again. There are chances that most of your customers have the same problem, and you’ll have to re-iterate everything. At the same time, it is equally important to pay attention to what the customer has to say, rather than hastily giving the solution.
Consumers have observed that agents only answer 50% of their queries – this is a recipe for disaster.
The motive of customer support is not only to provide support but also to build trust and make the customer feel heard. Therefore, agents should not offer canned responses without understanding the customer’s problem and getting complete clarification.
4. Creative problem solving
Unpredictability is always involved when you’re dealing with humans. The agent will have to deal with a variety of problems every single day. However, there is never one-size-fits-all. Hence, agents need to move away from the word-to-word scripts and adapt more flexible/ out-of-the-box approaches.
Being able to think on their feet and helping the customers with the unique yet relevant solution enables you to provide better customer service.
When agents resolve an issue effectively, 70 percent of the time, that customer will return and do business with the company again—being good at problem-solving means providing implementable solutions!
There are downsides to being an agent. Customers facing problems can sometimes take it out on you, where precisely an agent needs to be empathetic.
In terms of customer service, empathy means that you can connect with and affirm the customer, even if you fail to solve their problem.
For instance, if a customer faces a particular issue repeatedly and has encountered hurdles in completing their work because of the problem, they will likely be rude.
But, the agent needs to understand the situation from the customer’s point of reference and not act upon the anger portrayed by them. Customers are more likely to have a wholesome and positive experience when they feel validated.
Providing resolution to the customer is essential, but the speed at which you provide it is equally important.
Imagine a customer inquiring about a product they are looking forward to buying, and they have to wait 24 hours to get their answer. This not only frustrates the customer but also drastically affects their decision to buy.
69% of consumers say they judge the quality of a customer experience (CX) based on the speed of their resolution.
Customers detest waiting. Offering them a quick resolution empowers you to raise the bar from your competitors. In addition, this establishes a long-term, positive brand reputation for your business in the market, which is key to dominating your industry.
Being a part of the call center requires excellent organization skills. Multitasking or juggling between tasks efficiently is essential for an agent to perform successfully.
Imagine taking notes, going through the CRM, listening to the customer all at once – and you need to perform all of these tasks accurately. Hence, organizing all the information effectively plays a crucial role. Many call centers arrange special training to help employees multitask better.
The user experience of the call center software you are using can impact the efficiency drastically. Many software provides features with productivity and organization in mind to empower the agents.
8. Emotional Stability
Agents need to keep their emotions in check. They could be dealing with anyone – a friendly caller or someone that is highly agitated.
No matter who, agents need to keep their calm, and angry responses from the agent’s end will only escalate the situation.
They need to diffuse the situation by making the customer feel validated, at least if not by offering a solution. In addition, they must strive to be professional and level-headed, which helps to provide consistent, high-quality customer support.
78% of consumers mentioned that a competent service agent is the most important part of a CX.
Keep these qualities of a call center agent in mind during your next round of interviews to ensure the best hire for your company.
More than 85 percent of companies outperform their competitors by leveraging quality customer service. It is more important now than ever to have the right people serving your various channels.
We know finding the agents with all the qualities can be a hassle, but it will be worth the wait. Also, if some of your agents do not possess the qualities mentioned above doesn’t determine that they will do a lousy job.
It is all about playing by the strengths and empowering your call center agents enough to grow and learn further.
What do you practice to empower your agents? Do let us know in the comments below.