If communication is the backbone of every organization, then we can say that the heart of every organization is their call center. With customers waiting to be pacified and pleased, call center agents must be versatile enough to handle the demanding task and complexity of the job.
Here are the Top 10 Best Qualities of a Call Center Agent
1. Benevolent & Courteous
This one is obvious and is definitely one of the most important qualities of a great call center agent. Usually, customers can immediately sense if you’re being apathetic. Being warm and friendly towards your customers can keep the atmosphere light. When one is having problems with a product, for example, a confrontation with an agent will only aggravate the problem which can lead to future problems like bad reviews. Always wear that smile, maintain a happy tune and positive attitude and always say thank you.
2. Strong and Clear Communication Skills
Communication should always be concise and on point. One must know how to read the customer’s emotional state, actively listen, process the information given and then quickly provide a solution.
A frustrated customer calls in because he’s having a hard time with a product. Use a clear language and proper phone etiquette. Listen attentively, ask questions as needed and provide possible solutions. Be sure to make introductions, be approachable and conversational at all times. Make use of your time wisely.
3. Great Attention to Details
Being a call center agent can be tedious. With the repetitive tasks and taking care of the same questions and complaints every single day, there are times when you’ll feel bored about the monotonous task at hand. With attentive listening, you are not only showing respect for customer’s opinion, you will also be able to provide the best solution. For example, ask minor questions after listening to your customers and provide solutions to each and every issue. Make sure that you check in with customers if all issues are resolved before the call ends.
4. Stellar Memory and Competence
One must be able to memorize a large amount of information to provide great customer service. Product know-how is a must. You won’t be able to assist your customers if you know nothing about your products. Know the ins and outs of your products and services. If one, for example, calls in asking about the return policy of a certain product, make sure you know about this and guide her thoroughly. Customers will trust you more if you can answer quickly and confidently, without having to put them on hold.
5. Patient and Composed
Patience is a true virtue when it comes to customers. You’ll eventually come across frustrated customers so you’ll need to have great patience when dealing with them. You will also meet customers who will need answers to be repeated all throughout the call. For example, an elderly man calls in asking you to guide him on how to operate your product, you have to patiently guide him through until he gets it.
It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve heard the same problem before or if you have to repeat yourself to customers who won’t get it the first or second time. One must listen to the situation in full without negative reaction especially to unhappy customers. Avoid confrontations and explain solutions in a clear and calm manner.
6. Works Well Under Pressure
In the customer support world, employee burnout has a high turnover rate. Agents deals not only with the everyday problems, frustrated customers, flexible schedules and unreachable quotas. They also deal with irate customers which results to them being demotivated and hating their job. A call center agent must be emotionally stable and reliable to be able to deal with the daily stress that comes with a call center environment.
A customer calls in and started screaming at you and called you names. You must not take it personally. Just take a couple of deep breaths and smile your way through the next call.
7. Understanding and Compassionate
Customers need validation, therefore, effective agents must be understanding and compassionate. Some ways to show empathy is by building rapport, listening to their problems, understanding the customer’s point of view, respecting their feelings and solving the problem at hand. Once they feel validated, you will surely have customers who will keep coming back because of the positive experience.
A customer is upset about a product she bought. Listen to her problem attentively, try to understand her situation, say that you understand her frustration and offer a viable solution.
8. Positive Attitude
Positivity and Optimism goes a long way in the call center world. Dealing with different kinds of people is never an easy task. A great call center agent does not take the mean and hurtful things that irate customers usually throw their way. It is important to keep your calm and maintain a positive mindset when dealing with a difficult customer. Use positive language to persuade customers and provide resolutions. Maintain a cheery persona in dealing with each and every client.
To practice optimism, always seek possible solutions first instead of focusing on the negative, show gratitude and focus on goals and expectations.
9. Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
There is never a one-size-fits-all solution to every problem. This is the very reason why call centers are no longer very dependent on canned messages and are adapting to a flexible model. Creative problem solving will resolve the issue efficiently and in a timely manner. Critical thinking doesn’t only mean you try to solve the problem alone. Knowing when you need your manager to step up is an example of critical thinking.
10. Going above and beyond the call of duty
Customers love feeling valued. If for example, a customer asked what mobile phone is your best-seller, you do not simply state a brand. Try to go the extra mile by explaining what makes it a best seller like the features/specs, make recommendations, or even give a free coupon or discount. Taking an extra step will not only satisfy your customers but will also gain their loyalty.
It’s worth remembering that most of these qualities can be learned. These are not the only traits needed for great customer service, but these are some of the best qualities that will truly make you shine as a call center agent.