Have you ever wondered why certain brands and businesses enjoy dedicated and loyal customers who regularly purchase their products or use their services consistently? It is not just the nature of the brand or the USP of its product/service that makes the difference; it is the quality of customer service delivered by agents that make a huge difference. Yes, the quality of customer experience is heavily influenced by the traits of its call center agents.
A contact center's success is affected by the quality and attributes of its call center agents. Motivated, engaged, and productive agents are the hub of a successful contact center. While the responsibility for creating such a nurturing environment rests on call center management, and effective customer service/contact center agents must possess certain qualities that are vital to the success of the role. These qualities are intrinsic to the profession and particularly to successful customer service. Organizations must lookout for individuals with these traits when carrying out their recruitment. A high-quality call center customer care outsourcing service provider would ensure proper recruitment measures to ensure that they get the best and talented customer service staff.
Here are the top ten call center agent traits that are considered by many organizations and businesses to be vital to the delivery of excellent service:
This is the x-factor, which distinguishes an ordinary and outstanding customer service agent. An agent should be able to stay calm under the different pressures he or she may experience during the course of his work- and that is almost on a daily basis. It is due to the requirement of staying calm under fire and emotionally stable temperaments, that customer service is not everyone's cup of tea. The agent has to respond with patience and tact to an irate customer, who may be screaming their heads off over the phone or shooting off angry e-mails.
Possessing great listening skills is a great asset as it is the right of a customer to be heard and his request/issues attended. Hence, it is essential that contact center agents remain detached while actively participating in the conversation and do not take things personally.
An exceptional contact center agent should have the ability to think critically and come up with creative solutions for the resolution of tricky customer issues. Sticking to a given script has its benefits but it usually falls flat in certain unpredictable situations. Hence, the second top call center agent trait is the ability to examine situations and come up with solutions that best fit them and that may require moving off the beaten path.
An exceptional customer service agent has to reflect genuine interest and empathy when dealing with customers. Customer service agents are the face of the company and hence need to radiate warmth, genuine interest, concern, and understanding of customers and their issues. An empathetic agent is able to establish a strong rapport with the customer, which helps in cementing the relationship. This also helps them in addressing customer concerns in a more effective way.
All top-class contact center agents must possess effective communication skills. Excellent communication skills really make a difference in the quality of customer service. Communication skills include not just good diction and speaking skills but also good listening abilities. An agent, who does not pass on any of the above skills, will assuredly fail in his or her customer service objectives.
A contact center agent must exhibit a combination of patience and a positive attitude when interacting with customers. A positive attitude helps in reassuring customers and keeping them motivated; a patient attitude helps in preventing the escalation of customer hostility and frustration when issues are taking too long to be resolved.
Ability to remember details is an absolute necessity in customer service. A contact center agent has to deal with numerous clients and customers on a daily basis. To provide accurate and effective help, they should have all the relevant information related to the company, their practices, services and products, troubleshooting answers, and other information at their fingertips. Good memory and information retention are essential to the delivery of quality customer service.
Another trait much valued by organizations is organization. An effective contact center agent must be organized in all that he or she does. This includes the ability to multitask and to manage multiple activities like managing conversations while detailing records and carrying out post-call duties.
Speed is of the essence in the customer service world. A good quality contact center agent must demonstrate speed and skill in handling calls and other tasks- prompt responses and follow-up actions, ability to make critical decisions, and knowing when to escalate the issue.
An agent's role may appear to be individualistic in nature but the overall success of a contact center depends on the team spirit of its team of agents. A team player attitude is critical to ensure smooth coordination of management of customer issues. Different members with different skill sets are best suited to certain situations.
A contact center agent should be able to see how their role is tied to the company's brand image and reputation. Seeing the big picture and how they fit into the company's success will drive them to do their best.
Ensuring that their call center agents possess these traits would definitely put an organization on the way to delivering successful and satisfactory customer service.