A business can have the most state-of-the-art, hi-tech call center and still fail at customer service. As anyone who as ever called into a customer support line can attest to, it’s the voice on the other end of the line that matters. The ultimate success of a call center lies with its people. But what makes for a great contact center agent?
UNDER PRESSURE: There are days when customer service agents will deal with frustrated, angry, even irate customers. When these calls come in, it is the agent’s job to not only resolve the issue, but to diffuse the situation. The goal of customer service is to end with a positive customer experience. An agent who can handle the pressure and find a resolution is essential.
COMMUNICATION IS KEY: This seems obvious, but cannot be overstated – effective communication is vital. And communication is not just talking. It is listening skills, proficiency with language, the ability to convey directions and explain solutions. Communication is the cornerstone of excellent customer service.
ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING: The call center is the front line of customer support. There will be days when the pressure is intense. Being able to roll with the punches is essential. It is more than just handling pressure, it is empathy, respectfulness, courteousness, patience, and most importantly, a positive attitude. Call center agents are the very real voice of your company. The attitude that your agents project reflects on your organization.
PROBLEM SOLVING: Contact center agents are often trained to stay on script. But there are times when issues will arise that are completely off script. At some point, an agent will come across a problem that training did not cover. It is at these times that agents need to be able to think on their feet, and look beyond the script for a solution. Customer service agents perform minor miracles every day. Failing that, they are savvy enough to identify when they need to ask assistance or escalate the call to the next level.
We don’t want to downplay the importance of a reliable technology or agent training to a successful call center. These are important, even vital, to a successful call center. But none of that will matter if you don’t have great customer service agents. Because, in the end, call center success depends on more than just technology.