Qualities of a Good Call Center Agent
Call centers remain central to the success of businesses because they are the nerve center of customer care, an essential requirement for maintaining existing customers while attracting new ones. Based on a study by a customer relations and marketing firm, the impact of call center services on business fortunes indicated that damage to businesses resulting from poor contact center experiences among consumers can be devastating. The study revealed that poor service from a company’s customer service facility negatively affects customers’ willingness to buy from the company, their perception about the company and the possibility of recommending the company to others. As a result of the central role of call centers in the activities of businesses, employers always look for agents with the requisite skills and qualities capable of turning a center into a dynamic sales point, customer care center and a facility for business growth.
Call agents are supposed to be people who possess the requisite customer care skills necessary for meeting the objective of maximizing sales and productivity through excellent customer relations. Having an outgoing and friendly personality is an asset in the field of customer relations contact centers. A good agent must have a people-oriented attitude that enables him or her to handle customers as though they are the most important people in their lives.
Agents need to be always mindful of the fact that no matter how difficult existing customers may be, it is easier to maintain them than attracting new ones. Good agents are those who are able to use their unique customer relations qualities to turn every inbound or outbound call into an opportunity for having another customer. Adequate knowledge of phone etiquette is crucial for excellent customer care. A good agent therefore needs to be a master of phone manners.
Different customers behave differently. Good agents are those capable of demonstrating their understanding of the diversity in customer behavior. Operators have to appreciate the uniqueness of each customer. Some consumers can be difficult to handle, some could be furious over a previous transaction they are not satisfied with, while others could even be abusive while on the phone with an agent. But good call center operators are those who will always appreciate the fact that business success and the survival of their job, depends on consumer satisfaction and will thus do their best to satisfy the consumer.
Contact center jobs mainly involve communicating with consumers. Effective communication skills are therefore an essential attribute that call center agents should possess. A good communicator is also a good listener. Professional agents are those who are good communicators and listeners. Most customers prefer to speak to live agents who communicate with them effectively rather than with an automated system. Effective communication skills are therefore required of every good customer relations person.
Telephone communication between agents and customers involves the use of language. Contact center agents should therefore have good command over the particular language or languages used for transacting business in the geographical areas companies are located.
Computer literary is an important requirement for working with modern customer service facilities. Most centers now use web-based software like predictive dialers. Operators would have to be computer-savvy, particularly in Word processing, and use the internet to be able to work efficiently.
The qualities of a good call center agent therefore include: customer care skills, understanding customer differences, good communication skills, language proficiency and computer literacy.