What are Agent Soft Skills in the Call Center

What are agent Soft Skills in the Call Center

The call center is a customer-oriented industry. Hence every call center aims to deliver a high-quality experience to every customer  Agents aka customer service representatives play a crucial role in this process.

What are agent soft skills in Call Center

Agents or experts are the representatives of a brand and agents must understand their roles and responsibilities as brand representatives. Therefore it becomes very imperative that every expert is fully skilled and must understand the customer's requirements.

To develop skills in agents either a call center can hire the right people with the right skills or can coach them as per the client's expectation.

One of the major skills which are related to agent behavior is soft skills.

In our today's post, we are going to discover "What are soft skills, and How it impacts customer service?"

What are soft skills?

Call center Soft skills can be defined as ''a characteristic or attribute that can be developed in an agent by training, which is helpful to deliver a high-quality customer experience''.

The importance of soft skills can be understood by the fact that despite the rapid growth of chatbots and other artificial intelligence customer service mediums in recent years, 50% of customers prefer to be connected with a live agent.

Now let's understand 5 common soft skills in a call center which is required to attain high-quality assurance and customer satisfaction.

These soft skills must be developed in every agent if you are looking to improve the quality score.

1. Empathy :

Empathy simply means to keep yourself in someone's shoes. While handling an irate customer an expert must imagine how much trouble a customer is experiencing, or if they were in the place of the customer and were facing the same problem then what help would they need from a company.

Keeping in mind all this when an expert attends to the customer with the approach of empathy he/she acknowledges the customer's feelings and the customer also feels connected with the expert.

Likewise, if the customer is suffering from a loss of a beloved one or any personal problem, before handling the issue the agent should sympathize (console) the customer.

While Sympathy is a bit different attribute than empathy but in call centers, empathy and sympathy can be used interchangeably. 

2. Active Listening:

Active listening is one common soft skill that must be developed in agents. Because if the expert is asking the customer to repeat the issue again, it means that the expert did not listen to the customer care which can sometimes lead to customer irritation and can cause customer dissatisfaction.

By active listening, an agent can easily get into the root cause of the problem which will help the agent to provide a quick and effective resolution.

This is the responsibility of the quality and training team that all agents must be coached on the importance of active listening. Roleplay guides and coaching cards can play an important role in making an expert understand the importance of active listening and how this skill can be developed.

3. Accountability:

Accountability means the responsibility taken by an individual to complete the work. While handling a customer many a time due to shift completion or hurry to go to break agents leave the customer midway and either disconnect or route the call to other channels without notifying the customer which comes under unethical and non-compliance activity.

Hence every agent must be coached that they should not leave the call in between and even if the shift has been over the agent should entrust the work to another teammate or supervisor with the self-accountability of taking regular follow-up for the case update.

4. Effective Communication:

In the call center industry, effective communication plays an important role. Effective communication means how well an expert is able to make the customer understand the root cause and resolution.

As an expert, you may have to handle many irate customers. In such scenarios, effective communication skill is the key to success.

An agent must be coached on how to handle an angry customer with effective communication so that customer's anger turns into happiness.

5. Problem Solving:

A customer service representative must have problem-solving skills. An expert must follow below given easy five steps to resolve a problem effectively

1. Identifying the root cause with effective probing.
2. Determine the impact of the problem on the customer.
3. Possible solutions to the problem.
4. Troubleshooting steps.
5. Recap and reconfirm the issue resolution with the customer.

Besides having technical and computer skills one agent must be proficient in soft skills to attend to the customer. The training process plays an important role in this by training and coaching agents on soft skills before they are onboarded on the floor. While the role of quality becomes imperative after agents hit the floor and need to polish their soft skills.

Learn more: Importance of Training process in the call center

Do share your views about agents' soft skills in the comment box below.

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