When it comes to call center services representatives, there are traits that the star performers tend to have in common.
We’re talking specifically about call center outsourcing agents, who sometimes work on several clients’ customer service call
center programs at once. The great ones are a special breed. Let’s look at their professional characteristics:
- Keep Calm & Carry On: Call center services representatives deal with thousands of people on the phone every week. Among those thousands are a number of people who are unhappy, mad, impatient or in some other way difficult. Some have unreasonable demands, and some are in a crisis caused by the call center’s client. The great call center customer service specialist always remembers that Job One is retaining the customer for the client if at all possible. The great agent studies effective techniques for successfully handling the difficult customer in ways that work toward successfully resolving the situation and satisfies (and retains) the customer. This requires the representative to remain calm, to be able to absorb a certain level of anger and even abuse and to constantly turn the conversation toward a constructive, positive interchange.
- Sales Message Mastery: The call center services star is frequently in a training class learning a client’s unique sales messages, product set, market and brand. This agent can master several clients’ messages and articulate them as need be throughout the course of the work day. This requires mental dexterity and determination to absorb new information on an ongoing basis.
- Computer Literacy: Customer service call center programs can be highly complex. Beyond the details of a client’s sales and product message, each client program has different ways of transacting sales, processing orders, transferring phone calls, accessing customer data, escalating customer issues, notifying clients of hot sales opportunities and recording results. All this requires knowing how to get around a computer. The star call center services performer gets around a computer quickly and accurately.
- An Ethic of Helpfulness: Great customer service outsourcing representatives gain satisfaction from help people find the products they want, the services they would like, the doctor they need, the information they lack and the problem resolution they seek. They get a charge out of helping people, it keeps them motivated and energized.
- Enjoy People: Call center services representatives enjoy the exposure their work gives them to many different people from many different walks of life. The star performers get their personalities into every customer interaction, they bring a personal touch to every customer service phone call.
- Flexibility: Call center customer service managers work hard at training representatives to anticipate myriad customer problems, but they can’t think of everything. The call center services star has the ability to think on his or her feet, to come up with an appropriate solution that keeps the customer happy.
- Attentiveness: It may seem obvious but it’s important nonetheless; the star customer service call center representatives listens attentively to what the customer is saying. Breakdowns in customer service often happen because the agent fails to pick up the details of the customer’s request or problem. This undermines customer service quality and leads to customer dissatisfaction.
Some outsourced call center services providers hire entry-level employees as representatives. But there are very few outstanding inbound call center representatives straight out of high school. It takes experience, proven desire and time to develop the skills required to be a star performer.
Mark Fichera, CEO
Call Center Services