What call center skills do you need to master to become a call center agent?
Communication skills (including active listening)
The most important call center skill is effective communication as it is the key to successfully taking on most agent responsibilities. Effective communication can be defined as the verbal ability to explain complex topics in a simple, easy-to-understand, and efficient way. To do this, your call center agents will need to think analytically and know the ins and outs of your product, call center software, and company procedures.
However, to propose effective solutions, call center agents must understand the problem at hand. To understand what the customer wants from them and what the end goal is, the call center agent needs to have excellent active listening skills. Active listening is “the conscious effort to hear not only the words that another person is saying but, more importantly, the complete message being communicated.”
Workplace etiquette and professionalism
More importantly, you need to be mindful of the fact that you’re representing a company, especially during conversations with angry or disgruntled customers. You cannot be petty, rude, or unempathetic because it reflects poorly on the business you’re representing, and can lead to negative consequences like churn, or even a cancel/boycott trend. The key is to remain professional, calm, and vigilant in every situation thrown your way.
This will automatically relieve their stress, and make them feel valued.
Effective stress management
Call center teamwork
- Take a short break/pause after each call to collect your thoughts
- Take your time with after-call work and data entry
- Create reminders to follow up
- Reflect on your call — could you do anything differently next time?
- Ask for help when needed — teamwork is dreamwork!
- Destress with your colleagues by sharing your experiences with one another
- After a long day of answering calls, get some exercise/walk around/stretch to release endorphins
- Smile while you talk with your customers — they’ll feel it!
- Ask the extra questions such as: “Is there anything else I can help you with?” or “When do you need this resolved by the latest?”
- Don’t take things personally — most customers are frustrated and need to let off some steam. It’s nothing personal
The call center industry is booming
虽然实时聊天和社交媒体等沟通渠道越来越受欢迎，但是呼叫中心的主导地位依然难以撼动。根据Critical Channels of Choice 报告，2000名受访顾客中，65%认为电话依然是他们联系客服的首选。
It’s important for agents to stay on top of their game
A call center duties are often repetitive, and even stressful. Agents that apply for these types of jobs have to be able to push themselves through unpleasant scenarios and remain positive at all times. As such, resilience and thick skin is a key call center skill that you should look for in potential call center agents.
A great way to determine whether they’re a good fit for the job is to ask them how they would handle certain scenarios (stressful, angry customer), etc. Their responses to these types of questions will shed light on their personalities and way of thinking.
Agents need to be able to master their communication skills to be successful
- Active listening
- Being able to explain things in a simple and easy to understand way
- Knowing what type of tone/intonation to use in different situations
- Confirming whether they’ve understood the customer’s problem by repeating it back to him
- Knowing when is a good time to upsell or cross-sell
- Knowing how to respond to unpleasant or offensive comments in a professional manner
Frequently Asked Questions
What call center skills are important for call center agents?
Excellent verbal communication, stress management, empathy, ability to multitask, active listening, and more.
How can I perfect my call center skills?
The best way to fine tune your call center skills is to practice. Focus on answering questions in an easy to understand manner, and practice active listening in all conversations -- even outside of work.
How should I deal with angry customers?
Dealing with angry or disgruntled customers is an art form. It's important to remain calm, empathetic, and take the high road. Don't be petty or insulting, as it can have a negative impact on your job and your company.