If there is one job that deserves special praise, it’s in the customer care department. For the right reasons, too. The call center agent is the unsung hero behind a company’s success.
The numbers tell us that without great customer service, a company could be in for a bumpy ride.
What does this mean?
It shows that a satisfied customer will to return to a company with outstanding scare.
The opposite is equally true for poor service. Customers who have had a negative experience most likely will give up on the company.
A lot rests on the shoulders of the customer service representative. Here are 7 skills necessary to be a successful call center agent.
1. Practice Effective Communications
Communications does not mean just speaking with a customer. It goes further than that. Effective communications involve focus, stress management and being a good listener.
On the flip side, it also requires assessing your shortcomings. For example, you may notice people dislike you beating around the bush or giving them unwanted advice.
To be effective, you must learn to leave out unnecessary facts and avoid the overly technical jargon.
In the end, you should only have ears for what’s truly important—the customer’s concern.
By absorbing all the information, a good call center agent understands what the customer needs. What’s then required is a calculated and timely reply to solve the problem.
2. Pay Attention to Detail
It pays to notice details. Many issues will often have unknown causes. While a customer description is a valuable, it might be only part of the problem. It’s up to you to figure out how all of the pieces fit together for a bigger-picture solution.
On multiple occasions, customers will encounter similar issues. This means identifying patterns and deciphering root causes of problems that tend to repeat themselves.
Also, each case might come with its own set of discrepancies. Here’s where your observational skills will prove useful.
3. Be Patient
Often, issues you encounter as a call center agent are demanding. And when paired with a customer waiting on the line, level-headedness is a must.
To solve even the most difficult cases, it is important to be patient and hear what the customer has to say. Most of all, this quality helps when dealing with complaints.
Pro tip: never take them personally, it’s just part of the job.
In this case, the only bad thing is losing your cool. That’s why having nerves of steel can help you overcome any hurdle you may encounter at the job.
4. Act Friendly
It is no secret a friendly attitude thaws the heart of anyone calling into customer services. This skill is indispensable in communicating with the customers and it helps release any tension in the interaction.
Moreover, by being friendly, a customer services representative finds it easier to put herself in the shoes of others and comes to better understand the issue.
Some disgruntled callers may urgently require an issue to be solved. For example, customers encountering a problem with the computer would want it fixed as soon as possible.
A bit of empathy helps the agent understand a customer’s perspective.
5. Be Attentive
A skill that sets apart the less experienced agents from the pros is attentiveness.
It’s important to adapt and give individual attention to each customer. For example, a case may seem routine at first—until you do a delve deep and unravel a hidden issue.
Such flexibility serves as a great way to ensure the special attention necessary for each encounter. Customers know if their problems are being addressed one-on-one. They will greatly appreciate you giving them your personal attention.
6. Stay Organized
Organization is a skill for success in every career. In the field of customer care, it goes a step further.
Organizational skills make you a quick study of a company’s policies and products to quickly tackle issues with industry know-how. A good agent is always ready, with the right information at her disposal.
Besides that, organizational skills will help you deal with a wide variety of issues.
For example, depending on the difficulty of the case, a well-organized agent can break down the problem and provide multiple solutions. Such readiness deals with an issue more efficiently.
7. Anticipate Issues
It takes a lot to tackle issues head-on. Yet, with a bit of preparation, you’ll be able to master them.
In simple terms, a great customer care agent is ahead of the curve in terms of processes and technology.
Staying current with the latest tech trends gives you an edge in your job. For example, when your company decides to implement new software, it will be easier for you to adapt to it.
Not only that, but this skill also helps you anticipate issues that may arise. There may be incidents not yet documented that require closer inspection with technical insight. And you’ll have it.