Call-center employees have rightfully been heralded as the superheroes of customer experience, working away from the spotlight and rarely receiving the recognition they deserve. As the first human point of contact many customers will have, call center employees must balance a number of skills to bring each contact to a successful resolution.
While experts agree empathy is one of those key skills, they identified five other skills as essential for customer representatives to be effective.
1. Aptitude for Communications
“Contact center agents are the face of the organization,” said Odette de Beer, co-founder of Amplify Business Coaching. Therefore, well-rounded communications skills are a must for agents, including:
- Active listening: Not listening to respond but listening to understand, and making notes so the customer doesn’t have to repeat information. This includes using the information given by the customer to find the most appropriate solution.
- Providing feedback: When necessary, the contact agent should provide feedback to close the loop with the customer — it improves the experience and builds trust in the organization.
“These skills are simple but often not trained,” de Beer added. “Contact center agents often get the least amount of training because it’s a ‘bum in seat’ situation. The skills are not rocket science, but it is what sets one organization apart for another.”
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