No matter how great your product or service is, if your call center is anything but outstanding, your business will suffer. Whether it’s a future customer looking for more information or an existing one seeking a solution to their problem, their interaction with your agents can have a strong impact on their overall satisfaction, and ultimately, on their loyalty to your brand.
Providing excellent customer service starts with hiring the right agents. But what makes the ideal candidate for a call center position? Knowing your business inside out? Speaking foreign languages? Having strong computer skills? Sure, these are important things to master, but they’re also easily trainable. Rather, focus on soft skills that will guarantee customer retention and satisfaction.
Here is how to identify the soft skills you should look for when hiring your next call center agent:
1. They love to help
Find a candidate that gets excited about helping people. Not only will this keep them motivated and therefore productive, but you can also make sure that they will handle your customers with empathy and patience, listen to them and treat them as human beings rather than just problems to be solved. Such a candidate focuses on the solution rather than the issue and is able to soothe your customers even if there’s no quick fix to their problem (and let’s face it, it happens).
2. They are proactive
Who would you rather hire: someone who knows your industry but panics when new challenges arise, or someone who is new to it but eager to learn and grow? While the first option might make onboarding easier, the candidate that goes out of their way to learn is a better long-term investment for your company.
A proactive person knows that every situation is a little unique, and that they often have to figure things out on the fly. They aren’t afraid to think outside the box to find solutions and guarantee customer satisfaction. You can do your own duties and even let them work from home without having to worry that you can’t always supervise their every step.
3. They are organized
Call center agents get overwhelmed and burnt out easily. On busier days, they get flooded with cases rapidly, forcing them to multitask, switch from one problem to the other, keeping in mind who they talked to while remembering the deadlines, the priorities, and so on.
An organized person will be quick to build their own system. Therefore, your clients will get a response faster, and the agent will be able to communicate their thoughts in a clearer, calmer way without losing their kindness and positivity in stressful situations.
Next time you’re hiring a call center agent, focus on these soft skills and you’re guaranteed to improve the quality and reputation of your business.
Looking to improve your contact center in various ways? Be sure to check out these posts as well:
Top Contact Center Efficiency Metrics
How to Handle New and Existing Customers
Better CX With Contact Center Automation