What are the skills of a call center agent ?

As customers continue to demand authentic, "humanized" experiences, every company needs to ensure that their call center agents have the skills necessary to deliver quality service. Here are a few skills that every agent, through proper training, should master for an optimal customer experience.

A customer-centric attitude

First, every company must develop a customer-centric mindset. This is the customer service call center. This means that agents should always approach a service interaction from the customer's perspective, and take the necessary steps to do what's right for the customer, not just what's most convenient for the company.

For example, offering a customer a better delivery option, making a goodwill gesture after a negative experience, and generally adopting a tone that validates the customer's feelings are excellent ways to convey a customer-centric attitude.

Strong communication skills

Agents should be trained to address customers in a gentle and confident manner, balancing friendliness with professionalism. Working on call scripts can be very helpful in finding a common approach to talking to customers, establishing rules for the type of language used (e.g., avoiding slang or abbreviations), and giving the agent freedom on how to add their personal touch to these scripts.

There is also patience. Being patient is essential to ensuring high quality service. Taking the time to properly explain a solution is crucial. Agents should never rush to complete an interaction in order to reduce processing time. Spending a little extra time to find the best solution actually increases the chances of a first contact resolution.

In addition, critical thinking is required. Agents usually do not know in advance how each interaction will play out. For example, a case may be complex or a customer may be unhappy when they call. For this reason, companies need to train agents in critical thinking skills to help them handle tense situations, while also allowing them to make gestures to appease customers. Role-playing during training sessions can help agents develop critical thinking skills that can guide decision-making.