Top Qualities of Call Center Agents

Top Qualities of a Call Center Agent
Top Qualities of a Call Center Agent

A call center agent is responsible for handling incoming or outgoing calls that are related to the business. As a part of his/her job description, an agent is required to make sales call, answer customer queries, provide information, handle complaints, troubleshoot, etc., to name a few key tasks. He or she is often the first-line representative of the business and responsible for instilling brand confidence among customers. Whether it is an in-house call center or an outsourced one, it, thus, becomes important for businesses to have representatives who echo their brand philosophy and display superior professional qualities that can enhance customer experience.

Zeroing in on a call center agent is always a difficult task, as it directly affects the customer relation and brand image. However, careful screening and preparation of a checklist can facilitate the process. While the requisites may vary as per the business requirements, below are some of the common top qualities of call center agents (based on skills, personality, business needs etc.) that businesses should look for while hiring.

Essential Characteristics of Best Call Center Agents

  1. Exemplary Communication Skills:

    This is the foremost requisite for a quality call agent. Since the job of an agent is to communicate with customers, it is imperative that he/she displays superior communication skills. However, effective communication skill does not imply merely speaking; it also involves the art of listening, voice modulation, understanding the issues and conveying the solution in the manner best understood by the caller.

  2. Ability to Retain Knowledge:

    A good call center professional should know the ins and outs of the product so that the best customer service can be offered, at any point of time. Thus, he/she needs to be abreast of various facets of the product or service, which involves absorbing information on a continuous basis. To accomplish this, the agent should possess good retention power and ability to grasp information at a fast pace.

  3. Persuasion Skills:

    While this quality is a vital trait for a sales representative who is involved in selling products or services, it is also a desired quality for all levels of call center agents. It is believed that agents who possess the art of convincing customers not only convert opportunities to up-sell or cross-sell, but also help an agitated customer cool down and complete the call successfully.

  4. Ability to Think Quickly:

    Customers want resolutions as soon as possible. In this context, it becomes important that the call center agent should be prompt and agile in dealing with difficult issues. He/she should know the alternatives to offer, whom to escalate to and other best practices, while reassuring the customer. An agent should be able to come up with a workable solution fast, when challenges are thrown his or his way.

  5. Ability to Work Fast:

    Agents should be efficient and have the capability to work fast. This not only reduces the average speed to respond to a call, but also enhances the overall service level, resulting in satisfied customers. Also, this eventually leads to cost-effectiveness for the business as the more callers an agent is able to handle, the fewer the number of agents required. However, care should be taken that the overall quality of call handling should not be compromised in the race of answering more callers.

  6. Ability to Multi-task:

    For a busy call center executive, it is important that he/she displays superior organizational skills with the ability to multi-task. While attending calls, an agent is expected to take useful notes, update CRM, submit request materials and more, so that all requisites are taken care of by the time a call is completed. Agents who can multi-task reduce errors and are able to address customers’ needs in a more effective manner.

  7. Competency with Technology:

    As call center technology improves, a good call center agent should be able to keep pace with the new features. He or she should upgrade their knowledge at every opportunity to ensure each customer interaction is optimized and the business gets the expected ROI.

  8. Familiarity with Best Practices:

    A proficient call center agent is aware and conscious of the best and bad practices prevalent in the customer care industry. As a result, he/she is able to deliver superior level of support to customers, consistently. Some of these practices are listed below:

Good Practices in Call Handling

  • Good rapport with the customer
  • Type whilst talking and listening
  • Listen without interruptions
  • Using the customer’s name
  • Under-promise
  • Summarize what has been done
  • Empathize with customer
  • Successfully close the conversation

Bad Practices in Call Handling

  •     Inconsistency
  •     Stationery or documentation not at hand
  •     Not taking complaints seriously
  •     Putting calls on hold without permission (long periods)
  •     Wasting time during pauses
  •     Using jargon
  •     Interrupting the customer
  •     Forgetting data protection rules
  •  Unenthusiastic attitude

A truly successful call center agent is one who is able to capture the pulse of the business requirement and offers every caller with support that results in improves satisfaction and loyalty. Such an agent is also able to adapt to the changing dynamics of the business and call center environment, while displaying professionalism at all times. Hence, appropriate care should be taken when hiring a call center agent in-house, and if outsourcing, a call center outsourcing services company that offers well-trained and experienced call center professionals should be selected.

Also Read Related Articles:

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1 How to Choose a Call Center Outsourcing Partner
2 6 Ways to Reduce Costs in a Call Center
3 Inbound Call Center Solutions the Answer to Your One Stop Needs

For more information on Invensis Technologies’ call center outsourcing services and the benefits of outsourcing to us, please contact our team on US +1-302-261-9036; UK +44-203-411-0183; AUS +61-3-8820-5183; IND +91-80-4115-5233; or write to us at sales {at} invensis {dot} net.

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