If you’re hiring new call center agents, be on the lookout for these.
Call center agents have an incredibly important job. They’re the first place a customer turns to for service, and they’re often dealing with people who are frustrated or unhappy. That means your call center agent can make or break a relationship with your customer. Therefore, whoever’s answering your phones must have well-defined skills to deal with the many people calling in. As the people on the frontline of customer service, they’re important pieces of your organization, and choosing the right people means looking at the proper skills required. Here are three skills that call center agents absolutely must have to be effective at their jobs and continue serving your customers well.
- Flexibility: Things change quickly on customer service calls, and agents need to be able to pivot. While it’s fine to go into a call with a goal, you never know what new information will be presented that needs to be responded to. Call center agents have to be able to think on their feet and go down new routes that haven’t previously been explored. Although there are probably protocols in place, it’s also important for call center agents to view each customer as a unique person with a unique issue. They have to be able to adapt to whatever bumps in the road arise and solve problems without needing someone looking over their shoulders or holding their hands.
- Organization: Call center agents need to be incredibly organized. As they field calls, do follow-ups, and keep information together, a call center agent without an organizational system is a disaster waiting to happen. The last thing you want is someone who forgets to follow up with customers or doesn’t have good follow-through. They must be able to switch between tasks, navigate CRMs, and find solutions quickly. Call center agents need to be some of the most organized people you hire.
- Empathy: Call center agents need to be able to empathize with customers. No, customers aren’t always right, but they always deserve to be heard and empathized with. Even if a customer calls and starts yelling, call center agents should have the skills to diffuse the situation and make the customer feel heard. If someone has a hard time putting himself or herself in someone else’s shoes, he or she probably isn’t a great fit for a call center agent position. Showing consideration for a customer’s time and problems is essential.