Top Eight Call Center Skills for a Successful Agent

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Having the right software is a crucial part of running a call center. However, hiring agents with good call center skills is equally important, if not more so. Exceptional agents deliver a great call center experience to your clients, resulting in happy customers. Your clients should finish the experience with their issues resolved, pleased with the service they received.

But how do you know what requirements to look out for in call center agents? What skills are essential for successful call center agents? This article will explain eight of the most important call center qualifications and why they’re important.

Call Center Agent Job Description

Before considering our top eight call center skills, we should first explain what the job entails.

  • Call center representatives are responsible for dealing with customer queries and concerns. If a customer has any questions about a service or product, a company’s call center will be the first port of call.
  • The main duties of a call center representative involve fielding calls from clients and helping troubleshoot problems. For example, an agent working for an online bank will help customers resolve issues they’re having with their banking app — from difficulties transferring money to logging into their account.

Check out our call center skills list to see what qualities are essential in agents.
Take your call center to the next level with the Selmo call automation software

Skills of a Successful Call Center Agent

Now that we’ve covered the main duties the job entails, what are the most important call center job skills? It involves a lot more than simply knowing how to look up customer details and having an excellent grasp of phone etiquette (though these are important skills for agents, too)!

Below, we’ve listed eight of the most important skills a call center representative should possess. Read on to discover more about these skills and their crucial importance in call center employees.

1. Talk with customers through various platforms

One of the most important call center agent skills is the ability to communicate with clients across a broad range of mediums.
Despite what the name implies, call centers don’t only use phone calls to speak with customers. In recent years, they’ve embraced an omnichannel approach, utilizing email, text, and instant messaging as well as phone calls. This means call center services are a great deal more accessible to customers who might struggle to use the phone for whatever reason.

Because of this, it’s crucial that a call center agent can effortlessly transition between multiple platforms. A successful agent will feel equally comfortable communicating over email and instant messenger as over the phone, and vice versa.
2. Deal with problems efficiently while remaining courteous to customers

Many call centers deal with customer service problems, meaning it’s important for agents to communicate clearly with clients. More than that, representatives should always strive to be as courteous as possible, striving to go that extra mile to be helpful. This isn’t always easy; customers may occasionally be frustrating to deal with, or even rude. Nonetheless, call center agents should endeavor to remain calm.

Considering the significant volume of customers reaching out to call centers, it’s also important that agents deal with issues as efficiently as possible. Representatives should never make a client feel rushed but should keep in mind that there are other people waiting to receive help. Agents must be polite but professional, resolving issues as swiftly as possible.
3. Use creativity to get to solve problems

Creativity is a useful skill to cultivate and can often help agents find solutions to problems that others may have missed. A creative representative is more likely to find success in the industry.

Why is this? Well, simply put, creative individuals find it easier to search outside the box for solutions to problems. Sometimes people get so caught up in procedure and policy that it can be difficult to find good workarounds for difficult problems.

Of course, procedure and policy definitely have their place, and call center employees shouldn’t ignore them. Nonetheless, creativity is an essential skill in representatives that is often overlooked.
4. Know your company inside and out

Agents are only effective when they know their company well and are familiar with their products and services. They should also have a good grasp of their company’s policies; otherwise, they could end up providing confusing or erroneous information to the customer.

Of course, it isn’t expected for agents to know absolutely everything about all the products your company provides. They can’t be expected to resolve every single issue your clients encounter. That’s why it’s also important for agents to know when an issue is outside of their scope and who they should contact to help provide further assistance to the customer.
5. Keep organized to boost efficiency

Out of all the various soft skills, the ability to stay organized is an absolutely crucial qualification for call center work. This doesn’t just refer to keeping a clear workspace. It's important for your agents to organize their time, making sure to keep track of tasks and allow themselves enough time to handle administrative duties as well as calls.

Keeping organized won’t necessarily look the same for everyone. Certain people might find using the calendar on their phones helpful. Others might benefit from making daily to-do lists or writing in a physical diary. Some agents might even find that putting sticky notes around their desks works for them.

Furthermore, your agents should keep organized records on clients. This ensures they won’t have to start back at square one the next time a customer calls with a problem. Not only does this save your agents time and energy, but it will satisfy the customer, too; they’ll feel like they’ve really been listened to.
6. Make sure the customer’s experience is a positive one

A call center agent’s number one priority should be to ensure the customer comes away from the conversation feeling satisfied with their experience. This doesn’t begin and end with helping them resolve their issue. A successful contact center agent will do their utmost to guarantee the interaction sticks in the customer’s mind—for the right reasons!

Your agents should offer customers a warm, friendly greeting to begin, making sure to include a proper introduction. When speaking on the phone, agents should match the customer’s energy, whether they’re calm and reserved or energetic and animated.
These are just a couple of tips that can help call center agents make a good impression on clients.
7. Stay calm under pressure

Many people underestimate how demanding call center work can be. Unfortunately, not every customer your agents speak to will be a joy to deal with; in fact, difficult customers are often one of the more challenging aspects of the job.
It’s likely that many of the people your agents will have to deal with will be feeling considerable stress and may not be in the best mood. They may be short and snappy, and some may even become aggressive.

Other customers might find it difficult to understand your agents’ instructions. This might be because of a language barrier, unfamiliarity with your product, or any other number of reasons. Agents may have to repeat instructions or rephrase them in more simple terms several times before the customer understands.

In short, dealing with customers can be difficult. Successful call center employees will exercise patience during their conversations with clients and will display an ability to stay calm under pressure. Agents won’t let frustrations or irritation hinder them from helping their customers.
8. Stay on top of after-call work and other administrative tasks

Once an agent has concluded a call with a customer, their job doesn’t end there. They will be expected to complete after-call work as well.

This might involve
  • filing a report with a record of the interaction,
  • updating customer records, or
  • discussing the call with management staff.

When completing after-call work and other administrative jobs, your agents should be thorough but efficient. They must include all the requisite details without wasting time on superfluous information. The longer it takes an agent to complete administrative duties, the more strain will be put on the rest of the team, since they won’t be available to take calls.
This article has described some of the most important skills for call center jobs. As we’ve demonstrated, call center employees require a varied assortment of skills and qualifications to truly excel. When you’re considering bringing on board new agents, you should keep in mind the skills and qualities outlined in this article. Most importantly, you should focus on hiring agents who will help build a positive customer experience for your clients.

Employees who are focused on how to become a good call center agent will work on honing these skills. As an employer, you should help guide this development, providing thoughtful constructive criticism and positive reinforcement. This benefits not just the agent but you as well; the more your agents work on cultivating these skills, the more effective agents they will become.

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