If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a hundred times: a call center agent’s job is not for the faint of heart.
Agents are expected to be energetic, empathetic, and friendly, while still maintaining an air of professionalism and knowledge. It can be a tough line to walk, and that’s before you add in the occasional angry caller and potentially stressful work environment.
That being said, some agents simply excel at their jobs. What do they all have in common? They possess these 10 skills.
10 Skills of the Best Call Center Agents
1. Strong Communication Skills
When the main function of your job is to communicate with customers, it’s important that you’re an effective communicator. In addition to possessing excellent phone and speaking skills, with the heavy reliance on social media, texting, and email, it’s also important to have good written communication skills.
2. Willingness to Learn
It’s great when call center agents are knowledgeable about the products or services they’re representing, but it’s equally important that they have a willingness to continue learning. There will always be new things to learn, whether it be new technology, new products, or new practices. Agents who are eager to learn will always come out on top.
There’s no way to sugar-coat it: dealing with angry customers can be difficult. Patience is one of the key virtues of any stand-out call center agent.
Anyone can show up and do a job, but agents who show true commitment are the real MVPs. Call center agents who are willing to go the extra mile to make sure their customers are happy are worth their weight in gold.
Life in a call center moves pretty quickly. Agents should make sure they’re ready to handle whatever comes their way for the day. Adaptability and flexibility are two components that not only make for great call center agents, they also can be sanity-savers.
6. Active Listening
Active listening means more than simply sitting in silence while the customer speaks. Active listening means hearing what is said, asking pertinent questions, and occasionally repeating back what the customer has said, just for clarity’s sake. When call center agents use active listening, the customer on the other end feels heard and understood. Strong listening skills can diffuse a tense situation and ensure that the right procedure is followed.
When you’re dealing with customers, time is always of the essence. Being quick to respond and offer solutions along with prioritizing issues can help the call center run more smoothly, and ensure that you’re not wasting the customer’s time.
Every successful call center agent knows that empathy is a skill they need to draw upon heavily. Being able to put themselves in the caller’s shoes and understand the way the caller is feeling can create a sense of camaraderie between the agent and the caller. A sense of empathy and understanding can help customers feel validated.
9. Positive Attitude
Nobody wants to deal with a Debbie Downer- as a caller or a co-worker. Call center agents with positive attitudes can efficiently handle conversations with customers and elevate the working atmosphere. A simple smile and a little bit of kindness can go a long way here.
10. Desire to Improve
The best call center agents are always looking for ways to improve their performance. Whether they’re learning new technology or bettering their communication skills, they’re hungry for progress.
To learn more about EMS, Inc. and the services we provide, please visit www.emscrm.com.