Every employment position requires certain skill sets. This includes call center agents. For a job requiring constant customer contact and problem solving, there are specific skills necessary to be successful.
The essential skill set
What are the qualifications?
- Thinking on their feet
Although call center agents may be trained with a script, real life is never quite as straightforward. As Reliance Staffing & Recruiting explains, call center agents have to be prepared for any type of question, concern, or problem and be able to successfully and proficiently respond to the client. From one caller to the next, there will never be two identical conversations.
- Listening to the details
Call center agents must be good problem solvers, but for that to happen, they must also be great listeners. Customers do not want to repeat themselves to an agent to find a solution to the difficulty they are addressing. Reliance Staffing & Recruiting explains the importance of listening, describing how finding a successful solution to a problem relies on the thorough understanding and hearing of the customer’s concern. Follow up questions and restating what the client verbalizes can be helpful to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
- Ability to persuade
Customers are frequently unhappy, angry, or generally upset when they call customer support because something is not working right for them and they are trying to solve a problem. The Houston Chronicle depicts the importance of having good communication and persuasion skills to keep the client on the line and find a resolution that’s the most effective. The call center agents have to be successful at mediating the conversation and sometimes calming the client to fully understand what the problem is and how to find an appropriate solution.
- Being empathetic
In addition to understanding how to answer client questions, relating to the customers and showing that their worries will be addressed is essential. Empathy is what connects us as humans and when people call into call centers, they are searching for that connection and ability to relay their problem to someone who can help (versus a machine or computer that may or may not be of assistance).
These traits combined together are complementary and necessary. For example, being empathetic can be achieved through listening to all of the details of a problem. For a call center agent to be successful at their work, they must have a wide skill set involving these characteristics.