Customer service is the face of most modern businesses. Allowing it to become an afterthought, impacts branding and the ability to corner markets with a high rate of success. On the other hand, if done right, turn the fortune around by improving business outlook and trust among clients. What happens behind the scene in a call center is often hidden out of sight. At least, not to an extent that a concerned customer who picks the phone and dials for help knows what agents do. In today's scenario, customers have expectations from businesses in their time of need and this is when a call center agent becomes a best friend or worst enemy.
To understand qualities that can make a call center representative successful, it's important to understand their roster and routines as part of their commitment towards the organization and customers. In the past, a call center representative waited for cues to begin serving clients. It often began with checking tickets raised by customers, reading the issue, and contacting customers almost immediately afterward. The problem with this method was the inability to correctly diagnose the issue beforehand, the call got transferred from one department to another, upsetting customers who are in a rush, but have no options other than explaining their issue to each agent to whom his or her call is transferred to.
This is not the norm anymore because call center agents are assisted by smarter tools that auto-segment customer issues before a human interaction takes place. Technology adoption has greatly improved the outcome for both customers and agents because the agent is already aware of what the client is facing and can straightaway jump to fixing the problem rather than asking preliminary questions. Now that the functioning of a modern call center is understood in simple words, let us look at the 10 qualities that can make a call center representative successful.
Today, amidst the dynamic and complex business landscapes, expectations from agents have touched new levels. Every call puts agents through paces because each concern is different from the last. They are expected to maintain organizational standards and ensure client satisfaction. The rating measured from calls decides their growth trajectory. That said, the most defining qualities are as follows -
One of the main things that a representative gets judged for is their ability to converse eloquently. Remember, a call center is a busy place and longer calls mount frustration among callers. So before tension flares, an agent must carefully listen to the caller's query and weave friendly and on-point responses so the caller parts on a happy note.
Simple errors like pronouncing names and salutation incorrectly can upset customers. So successful agent trains extensively to avoid errors in each step. They are cautious when engaging customers and note down every piece of information derived from the conversation to ensure the response is precise. Nothing screams perfection than getting each piece of customer concern recorded correctly.
The ability to recall information in seconds can go a long way to establish trust among callers. It could be a piece of vital business information or excerpts from a previous engagement. The recalled matter must be communicated with conviction. If the response is partial or inaccurate, it can cause disharmony in further interactions. On some occasions, the caller might prefer another agent or become disgruntled. Therefore, the ability to think instantly is a crucial quality that must be recognized in an agent.
Most call centers are intense work environments where burnouts and turnover are results when the pressure goes undermanaged. It only takes a few minutes for a calm, but frustrated caller to become entirely aggrieved so agents are always expected to be prepared for intense flare offs and be polite and focussed amidst ongoing calls. One of the best ways that companies are already employing is requesting a callback if the caller isn't in a rush. In doing so, it helps them avoid placing customers on hold. Several automated callback tools tend to ease the job of an agent by helping them manage callers based on call center conditions.
A successful agent must be able to cope with call volumes and close each ticket with agility but not at the expense of caller satisfaction. They must ensure quality before disconnecting calls because it becomes a trait that an organization gets associated with. A good agent always fields more callers and service requests without intimidating callers by keeping them on hold.
Most call center agents are supplied with scripts to address typical queries from clients. It is effective in most scenarios until usual requests are encountered. This is where a call center agent's intelligence is put to test. He or she is expected to act impromptu and field questions professionally without unusual waiting times. The agent must demonstrate creativity by arriving at a solution that is acceptable by callers while adhering to the organization's policy.
Having an exceptional ability to remain calm and restraint even if customers are unruly is a big plus because not callers are the same. Some might be greatly affected by the service disruption while other times it could be a trivial matter. Therefore, emotional stability allows quicker problem resolution and might cause the caller to feel assured. In all circumstances responding with aggression makes an agent unprofessional and in need of training to instil confidence in customers.
It is in the very term “customer care”. An agent is responsible for providing the best care to callers who are left facing an uncertain situation or a minor issue. To those who come in need of help, the best approach is to be empathetic and expert agents know this best. Customers always take a liking to agents who are empathetic and concerned about their situation. Expressing solidarity and eagerness to understand their concerns helps the agent develop a strong bond and a firm rapport. At all costs, it is important to refrain from being disinterested and callous while the caller is explaining the issue.
Call centers have a fast-paced environment where there is only a small window between calls on a busy day. Therefore, a crucial skill that separates a professional from a beginner is the ability to stay organized. That includes multitasking and juggling between CRMs, phone calls, and notes. The ability to stay organized without erring in a stressful scenario defines an experienced agent because a small error in the logs can complicate the team's effort in helping a client.
With virtualization and Cloud taking the center stage across the world, collaboration has become the industry buzzword. Connected environments allow agents to come together whenever necessary and provide a helping hand to each other. Sharing the load is what empowers an organization's growth in a complex environment where a manager cannot tend to each agent during busy hours. So rather than working as a lone contributor, teamwork helps organizations to operate without friction because it prevents silos from forming within departments.
Having the qualities described above helps a representative have a successful career and the organization to exceed the client's expectations. Expert agents welcome ideas with both hands wide open and aren't afraid to ask for help to prioritize customer benefit. They also bring their immeasurable skills to play whenever teamwork is called for. They always are aware that flouting the ethics that define an agent can impact the organization's image and might leave a trail of challenges that is uncalled for. So if you are choosing a call center agent based on their merits, make sure to check these traits and measure their ability to meet the organizational standards.
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