You can only offer excellent customer service if your employees are expert at it. You can have top of the line equipment and the best virtual contact centre software, but all that means nothing without effective and well trained staff. Your call centre will only ever be as good as its agents. They are the people making your sales and building your company’s name every day. They directly affect your company’s bottom line, so you need to know exactly what to look for when you’re hiring. To ensure you find the right talent, we’ve put together a list of the qualities that every top contact centre worker will need.
In a busy call centre, you need the ability to manage multiple tasks all at once. An agent needs to be able to juggle a conversation with a customer, listen to their needs, check their script, update the CRM and take notes all at the same time. It’s easy for errors to occur with so many tasks to carry out simultaneously. Someone who is hyper organised is a far less likely to make mistakes that can cause more problems down the road. A role play exercise during interview can be an effective tool in observing how the applicant might cope with such a situation.
Ability to Remain Calm
Some customers can prove to be slightly more difficult than others. When people are frustrated they often don’t listen even if several solutions to their problem have been offered. The best call centre workers are able to keep calm in these situations. They don’t get drawn into arguments with customers. They recognize that it’s not a personal attack and that the customer is just displeased. If the call escalates beyond usual frustration the agent also knows at what point to transfer the call to someone more senior.
Outstanding Communication Skills
This might seem obvious, but it’s one of the most important skills for a call centre operative, as communicating is the basis of their role. They must have expert vocabulary to portray the professionalism of the company and to uphold their reputation. Listening attentively to the customer is also of vital importance. They need to really understand the caller’s issue so that they can offer them a solution that they’ll be happy with. Top agents will never interrupt customers, it shows them respect and makes them feel you care about what they’re saying.
Problem Solving
Agents are often tasked with putting all the pieces of the puzzle together to understand the bigger picture when customers don’t provide all the information they might need. Not only do they need to work out the problem but they also need to find the solution as quickly as possible. Customers expect fast results and if they don’t get them it can lead to further frustration. Call centre agents need to figure out the customer’s problem and fix it quickly and efficiently, but things aren’t usually as straightforward as that and they should always expect the unexpected.
There are many more qualities that would benefit a call centre operative, but the above are key to an excellent agent and should be considered the next time you hire somebody. What about your current staff? Do they have these skills? You must keep motivating your employees and provide excellent training for them so that they can continuously develop their skills and deliver excellent customer service.

Author's Bio: 

Becky writes for C3, a Cambridge-based company specializing in computer telephony platforms and associated multichannel applications. Follow @C3stweets .