In today’s consumer market, customer service plays a vital role in any company’s success. Providing excellent customer service is highly dependent on the training and professionalism of call centre agents. Unfortunately, a common misconception with call centre agents is that their work is limited to picking up the phone and responding to tickets.
In reality, agents are the backbone of every call centre. Professional, top-tier agents make all the difference in the kind of service a call centre provides. In its years of experience, Select VoiceCom has found the best qualifications for highly effective agents.
This infographic will discuss the essential skills and qualities an ideal call centre agent should have.
What Does a Call Centre Agent Do?
Call centre agents are primarily responsible for ensuring that customers receive solutions for their issues while nurturing a positive relationship between the customer and the brand. Some tasks that call centre agents handle include:
- Responding to customer needs across several channels
Aside from taking calls, agents may need to interact with customers through other channels, including email, live chat, and social media. The agents are trained to provide the same level of customer service across these channels and are familiar with how each channel works.
- Following up on complicated customer issues
A customer may encounter issues that cannot be resolved in one sitting. Call centre agents need to keep track of complicated customer issues— the steps taken, the people involved, and the time it took to resolve the problem. Staying on top of these details makes it easier to update the customer and set their expectations appropriately.
- Taking note of recurring and significant issues for the CRM
Call centre agents are the bridge between a company and its customers. Aside from meeting customer support needs, they need to detect and report patterns in customer issues. This helps the company identify problems in their products or services and address them before customers leave and do business elsewhere.
- Contributing relevant information and solutions for each customer’s needs
In practice, call centre agents can pick up on key details that give them a clue on each customer’s specific needs. From there, they can recall and offer relevant information and solutions that provide long-term answers to these needs.
- Properly documenting and responding to each customer call
Aside from observing proper business phone etiquette, agents should pay attention to the details of every call. Accurate and detailed call reports provide both the call centre and the company with valuable information that can be referenced later on. This usually involves a good understanding of various tools like knowledge bases and ticketing systems.
- Understanding how to prioritise and triage each call
Some customer issues are more urgent than others. Depending on the nature of the product or service and the type of customer base, call centre agents need to make the right judgement when identifying each issue.
Higher-priority calls need to be identified and escalated to management or senior specialists. Meanwhile, lower-priority tickets can be addressed by the agent in a quick and orderly manner.
- Provide a personalised, pleasant customer experience
Call centre agents play a vital role in representing a company to its customers. They should address customers’ issues in a positive and professional way that is reflective of the brand’s image and values. Responding to a call with the proper call centre etiquette and more specific communication can leave a positive and lasting impression on the customer.
6 Desirable Skills of a Pro Call Centre Agent
Call centre agents are the foundation in providing customers with excellent customer service. For an agent to elevate their practice, they need to have the following core skills:
Call centre agents perform many tasks on a regular workday. Multitasking gives pro agents an advantage, as they can get more done in the time they have.
2. Active listening
Customers communicate in different ways, and it’s up to the agent to get to the root of the problem and offer an appropriate solution. A professional agent can pick up on critical details that highlight the real issue and detect specific cues that clue them in on the customer’s mindset and openness to certain solutions.
3. Good memory
Call centre agents need to have a working knowledge of the company they represent and a familiarity with its products and services. They also need to pay attention to details within the call to provide the right solution and document the interaction for the CRM. A good memory allows an agent to respond accurately and promptly to customer issues.
4. Attention to detail
Every customer service interaction is dependent on how much detail is shared by the customer and agent. While active listening allows an agent to pick up on more information and cues in an interaction, attention to detail will enable them to keep track of these bits of information and use them to provide satisfactory solutions and responses.
5. Critical thinking
One of the most vital call centre skills is critical thinking. This skill allows agents to take their knowledge with other information from the call and make the right decisions to satisfy the customer and work towards a solution. They should be able to think clearly and logically, solving problems efficiently.
6. Effective communication
Another essential call centre skill is the ability to communicate effectively. Professional agents can speak clearly, using appropriate yet basic language to keep conversations understandable. Effective communication also includes how well they can listen, parse the information from the call, and explain the solution to the customer.
6 Qualities Successful Call Centre Agents Possess
Successful call centre agents stand out from their peers due to their exceptional qualities. These qualities allow them to perform their jobs effectively.
1. Works well under pressure
It can be challenging for call centre agents to deal with all sorts of frustrating situations—from upset customers to technical issues and miscommunication. Professional agents can keep their cool throughout these emotionally-charged situations and focus on resolving the problems instead.
2. Friendly to others
Call centre agents are some of the first encounters your customer has with your brand. Agents who can project a warm and friendly image set the tone for the call and leave a lasting impression on the customer. This friendly attitude should extend into a “go the extra mile” mentality, making customers feel valued, and their needs prioritised.
At the other end of every support interaction is a frustrated customer who wants answers for their problems. Successful call centre agents demonstrate their empathy for customers by being mindful of how they communicate. The goal is to make the customer feel that their concerns are acknowledged and will be addressed.
Customers are usually irritated or frustrated when contacting customer support, making patience a vital quality for agents. They must remain calm and level-headed when addressing concerns, even if the customer may be acting on emotion.
Proper customer service etiquette also includes carefully explaining more technical details and solutions, as not all customers can immediately grasp these concepts.
5. Adaptable to the situation
While call centre agents are trained to deal with certain situations and concerns, not every call goes according to the script. Technical issues, switching to other support channels, and other customer demands can easily affect the interaction. A professional agent can adapt to the situation and offer solutions while keeping the customer-brand relationship intact.
6. Sense of urgency
Call centre agents take on varying amounts of work each day, making time management and promptness crucial in getting the job done. Aside from this, a sense of urgency allows agents to act on critical issues or concerns on time.
Find Success with Professionals
Call centre agents are the cornerstone of call centre operations. A top-notch agent can keep running knowledge of products and services, identify critical details in each interaction, and make swift decisions that best address customer needs. In turn, effective and professional agents provide excellent support, bringing success to both the brand and its call centre partner.
Select VoiceCom is Australia’s premier call centre partner in the Philippines. With its long years of service in the industry, Select VoiceCom prides itself on its roster of professional agents whom businesses can surely rely on. For more information, contact us today.