If you want your company to build and maintain a great relationship with customers, you need to have skilled call center agents on the front lines of your business.
Call center agents represent your brand and embody your company’s values, and as such will need the extensive skill set to consistently deliver favorable outcomes in each customer interaction.
As a business owner, you’d do well to invest in your call center agents, and to make your investment count, you need to put in place processes that take into account the following skills.
The word ‘empathy’ has become such a buzzword in the business world for so many years and rightfully so.
While the concept may sound touchy-feely to some, there’s no denying that empathy is essential to human interactions.
Managers and team leaders need to constantly remind their agents to imagine themselves in the customer’s shoes in every customer interaction.
After all, by ‘owning’ the customer’s problem, agents are putting themselves in the best position to satisfy customers.
Empathetic statements let customers know that you care, and that makes a big difference.
Being a call center agent is a rewarding job, but we have to admit that having to deal with rude or irate customers on a constant basis can make it a little less fun.
That is why patience is a critical skill every call center should have.
When callers are upset about your brand’s products and services, they are likely to treat your agents as a sounding board for the simple fact that they have nothing else to vent their frustrations on.
But agents need to learn not to take it personally and instead be willing to listen and respond calmly in order to diffuse the situation.
That way, the agent (and the company) is able to leave a good impression no matter the outcome.
3. Clear communication
Call center agents need to communicate effectively in order not only to resolve issues quickly but also to ensure that customer interactions are as pleasant as possible.
To deliver on this end, reps have to speak the English language fluently. After all, spotty grammar will always leave customers confused, not to mention that it may take longer to arrive at a resolution and sometimes not at all.
Agents also need to learn how to straddle the line between being conversational and being formal, switching between the two as the situation dictates.
4. Active listening
In a customer interaction, what customers are saying is as important as what they aren’t saying. This is why customer service reps need to give their undivided attention to every call.
Active listening goes beyond just paying attention to the customer’s words. It also involves ‘listening’ with all the senses, meaning they have to respond appropriately, withhold responses when necessary, remember what is being said, and more.
Call center agents are regularly tasked to manage, record, and process various types of information.
To be well-organized means many things: taking down notes when appropriate, saving information under the right category, putting things in their proper order, and more.
Call center agents are entrusted with customer information every day and it is their responsibility (and yours) to handle it with care.
Being a call center agent can be a demanding job, but with the right support and training, they can master all the crucial skills mentioned above with ease.
By training and cultivating these skills in your call center agents, you’re taking the first big step in increasing customer retention and fostering customer loyalty, which will in turn positively impact your business.