Have you ever thought about how some businesses and brands attract a large customer base? How do these brands have dedicated and loyal customers who regularly use their products and services?
The right call center software is not the only thing that creates a difference; it is the qualitative customer support provided by the call center agents that sets your business apart from others.
Customer service agents are an essential asset to a company’s customer experience. They represent the company and are the first point of contact that a customer establishes with the company.
Therefore, agent skills and traits make a considerable difference in the smooth functioning of a business. Therefore, it becomes essential to hire the right people for this role.
So, what are some must-have traits that every customer service agent must have?
Let’s look at some key points to understand some important personality traits that are desired in a call center agent –
1. Excellent Communication Skills
When hiring for a customer service agent, communication skills are one of the first things that are looked at by the organization. Any call center agent’s main job is to have clear and effective communication with the customers.
The agents should include all elements of effective communication in their speech, like using proficient and clear language with proper etiquette.
Advice and support should be conveyed in a way that the customer understands it in the first time itself. That is, the customer service agents should have a high First Call Resolution (FCR) rate.
(First Call Resolution refers to addressing the needs of the customer in the first call itself, thereby eliminating the need for successive follow-ups by the customers or the agents.)
Therefore, excellent communication skills are a blend of both speaking and listening skills. An agent should also be an active listener who can absorb customer information quickly and come up with the best possible solution.
Patience is the ability to accept or tolerate delays, problems, and situations without losing calm or becoming anxious. Without patience, customer service can be an unpleasant experience- both for the customers as well as call center agents.
Support agents need to possess an enormous amount of patience while handling customers and their queries. They should be able to maintain their calm under pressurizing situations.
They may have to deal with frustrated customers who could be shouting or just be confused. In such cases, the agents should patiently listen to the customer problem and go about finding the best possible way to assist them.
Also, the agents must keep the interaction both friendly and productive by combining their patience with effective verbal communication. This combination will result in a happy and satisfied customer who will leave better reviews for your organization.
3. Good Product Knowledge
Customers seek support only when they have insufficient knowledge of the company or the product. That’s why it is essential to fill this knowledge gap and provide all the relevant information to the customers. Customer service agents must have sound knowledge about the company and its products to deliver quality services to the customers.
First of all, they must be aware of “what kinds of products and services” the company sells. They should know all the possible questions that a customer can ask along with their best fit responses.
Secondly, the call center agents must also master the call center software technology. They should be trained to use software like CRM, entering and retrieving data from the databases, and other integrated business applications for the smooth functioning of the business operations.
Thus, a thorough knowledge of the products and services makes the customer-agent interaction seamless.
4. Optimistic Approach
Stress is an integral part of the customer service profile due to the degree of variation in this domain. So, it becomes of utmost importance for a customer service agent to manage the stress optimally and show an optimistic approach towards the problem.
In such a case, agents’ positive attitude can pacify the customers and make them look forward to the solution with a peaceful state of mind.
For example, let’s suppose a customer contacts an agent regarding buying a product which is currently out of stock.
Here displaying a positive approach towards the problem can make a huge difference –
- Without a positive approach: “You can’t order the product until next month as it is currently out of stock.”
- With a positive approach: “The product will be available next month; meanwhile, I can record your purchase response and get back to you as soon as the product reaches our warehouse.”
Therefore, an optimistic answer leaves the customers happy and satisfied as they get ensured that their needs will be met soon. Agents must be trained and mentored to develop a positive approach towards handling customer queries.
5. Multitasking Ability
During a conversation with the customers, it is likely that the agents will perform more than one task simultaneously. They need to listen to the customer problem attentively, handle the data in the database, communicate with fellow agents (in case of doubts), and maintain the flow of the communication. Sometimes, the agent may have to deal with multiple queries at once. In such cases, agents should have the ability to deal with various tasks in an efficient manner.
For example, an agent is speaking to a customer who is yelling on the call and asks for some information about the product. Then the agent will have to navigate the customer‘s way through the internal system, retrieve information from the database to provide the solution.
It will test the skills of the agent as they would have to pacify the customer as well as look for the possible solution all at once. Thus, multitasking is a necessary skill that agents should have to handle customers more diligently.
6. Problem Identification and Solving Skills
A customer service representative must be a good listener. That is, he/she must pay attention to the little details in the conversation and be able to read between the lines. The agent must have the ability to identify the “exact problem” that the customer is facing. Once the problem is detected, it is crucial to find an intelligent solution to it.
The above characteristics should be kept in mind when assessing potential customer care representatives. Since agents are the face for your brand, they must have a customer-centric approach and optimistic attitude. By training and monitoring the agents, you can turn them into powerful assets for your business.