Hiring an efficient employee for your call center is not an easy job. Screening potential candidates based on skill, personality, and motivation are just a few criteria that have to be considered during the entire hiring process. It is essential to know what exactly makes an agent successful in a call center. Following are some of the top qualities required for a call center agent.
#1. Quick to learn and memorize
An agent’s primary task is to provide top quality customer service. In order to do that, the agent should be able to learn and memorize a lot of information about your company, as well as the product you are selling, or the service you are offering, in a short amount of time. An agent should be able to grasp as much information as he/she could during the training period. By the time an agent start taking calls, he/she should be able to talk to the customer fluently about the company and the product, and able to answer all customer queries in a timely manner. If, for any reason, the agent is unable to resolve the customer issue, then he/she should know to whom, or which department the call should be transferred. If the candidate is slow in learning, or unable to memorize a lot of information, then hiring him / her would impact the quality of customer service.
#2. Attention to detail
A call center job can be monotonous, answering the same questions, troubleshooting the same issue, and so on. As a result, the agents may become complacent. They automatically assume that a customer is calling with the same issue, and provide a canned response quickly, without actually understanding the problem. This will result in the issue getting escalated. So, it is important for a call center agent to give attention to details. A candidate who’s resume has errors or is not well groomed, or who appears sloppy are the one’s who usually do not pay attention to detail. You can identify them, and avoid them.
An agent has to be extremely organized in a busy call center to be productive. Multitasking is a skill that is a must for every call center employee. An agent usually will have to juggle multiple calls at once. Staying organized will help to reduce errors, as well as provide the appropriate resolution to the customer issue. You can identify a potential candidate who is organized by observing his / her behavior. See whether the candidate comes on time during the interviews, and submits all the requested documents on time.
A call center agent has to be flexible to handle all kind of customers. He/she should be able to handle a happy customer on one call, an angry one on the next immediate call. An agent should be able to let the bad stuff slide, and concentrate on providing resolutions. He/she should have the ability not to take anything personally. An irate customer should be handled with grace and dignity. At the end of the call, the customer should become a happy customer. Also, a call center usually works 24/7, as well as on holidays and weekends. An agent should be flexible to work all shifts, as well as on holidays, and weekends.
An agent has to be extremely friendly. Nobody wants to speak to a grouchy call center agent. This is essential if you are selling something to the customer. If the agent is not friendly, most of the time, he/she will not be able to make a sale. Also, some troubleshooting may take a lot of time. Instead of long gaps in the conversation, a friendly agent can actively engage the customer in an interesting conversation, which will take the monotony out of the call for both the parties. The customer will be happy with the agent as well. It is very easy to find out whether a candidate is friendly or not in an interview.
#6. Effective communication skills
This is perhaps the most important skill a call center agent should have. An agent’s primary job is to communicate with the customers/callers. Top-notch communication skills will definitely result in improved customer satisfaction. Effective communication does not mean just speaking. It also means listening. Active listening is very important to understand the customer issue and to provide a suitable resolution. If an agent is not able to understand the customer, and the customer is not able to understand the agent, it will result not only in customer dissatisfaction but also an unresolved issue.
An essential quality, especially in a busy call center. An agent usually will have to juggle multiple calls. It is very important to log all the information appropriately. If an agent is not able to find a resolution, and log it in quickly, that means more waiting time for the customers in queue. Customers do not like to wait in the queue to reach a live agent. A fast working agent will resolve the customer issues quickly, and move on to the next call. This means improved productivity for your company.