A Handy List of Customer Service Skills Every Agent Needs
Working as a call center agent is very challenging – and there’s no doubt that you’ll need to possess a number of skills in order to achieve success in your job.
It may sound like a piece of cake, but in reality, call center agents have to deal with a lot. And while technical knowledge can be acquired with time, there are certain other skills that are invaluable to any call center agent.
Below we discuss what we feel are the most important abilities any call center agent needs to be successful. So, if you’re looking to start a career in the call center industry, are already employed in the industry and want to know how to improve your skills, then check out this ultimate list of customer service skills. It’s a must read!
It’s no coincidence that we start our list with “patience”.
Customers usually contact call centers when they are confused or frustrated about something. Be it a password recovery, or a complex IT issue, the customer on the other end of the phone is likely to be unhappy, and in addition may struggle to understand your instructions.
If you can’t remain patient during even the most difficult customer interaction, then being a call customer service representative is definitely not for you. You can be pretty sure you’ll talk to plenty of (for whatever reason) annoyed customers, and in such situations staying patient is essential.
Second on our ultimate list of customer service skills is problem solving. At a call center, you never know what tomorrow will bring. What you can be sure about, however, is that whatever day you’re talking about, you’ll face plenty of unexpected issues.
In addition, chances are you’ll get into situations where you simply cannot find the solution at first. In such cases, you’ll need to rely on your problem-solving skills in order to sort out the issue in the shortest time possible.
As well as problem-solving skills, flexibility is equally crucial when dealing with customer problems. Customer service agents typically work based on predefined call center scripts, but sometimes going off the script when necessary to resolve an issue is a vital ability.
In order to be able to provide exceptional customer service, you’ll definitely need to be able to put yourself in your customers’ shoes. And this why empathy is included on our ultimate list of customer service skills.
To develop your empathy skills, simply practice thinking how a customer might feel in a certain situation, then think about how you can make them feel better. Sure, sometimes it will take a lot of effort, but a customer service agent’s performance will always benefit if they try their best to be empathetic.
By demonstrating empathy, you’ll be able to calm down angry customers more easily, and resolve issues to everyone’s mutual satisfaction. As a result, overall customer experience, as well as the call center’s reputation, will improve.
It’s part of every customer service representative’s job to deal with (often angry) complaining customers. And unfortunately, these customers tend to be very rude to customer service agents.
So, whether you like it or not, if you work as a call center agent, you will need to be prepared for such situations, and learn how to handle them with ease. Always remember that you will need to be able to let insults coming from frustrated customers bounce off you, rather than stick to you.
Don’t forget, in such situations the customer is not mad at you, they’re mad at the company you represent. Also, if the customer knows that you’re trying your best to help, chances are that it will help them calm down.
Having the above-mentioned skills is a great start, however, without the appropriate knowledge, you won’t be able to thrive in your agent job.
If you are not up-to-date with the company’s products, services, processes and policies, there’s no way you can answer customer issues efficiently. Furthermore, such knowledge will greatly help you increase your up- and cross-selling closed deal figures.
Last but not least, knowing the ins and outs of your agent job will help you stand out from your team, and may eventually help you get promoted to a call center supervisor.
Understanding the importance of the skills listed above will without doubt help you excel at your call center agent job. So, now that you have the ultimate list of customer service skills, time to make good use of it!