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To an outsider, it’s easy to assume that to work as an agent for a business process outsourcing (BPO) company is an easy job. Somehow, the sheer volume of agents can be simply perceived that it’s a job that everybody can do. Outsiders see a throng of young professionals proudly wearing their bright lanyards and jackets that scream their company’s name, holding a steaming cup of coffee during breaks, and sharing a laugh over a joke or two before going back to the floor.
While this may be hackneyed image of a call center agent, their team leaders and managers see much more than what meets the outsiders’ eyes. Once all the agents are seated in their cubicles and the phones start ringing, these same agents turn into well-oiled machines hell-bent to provide a satisfactory service to every single customer. They are also these fun-loving individuals whose idea for a team building event is more fascinating than the last, making everyone in the team want to push through all the ideas pitched right there and then. But then again, not all call center agents were created equal. While there are those who apparently do an outstanding job, there are those who are either simply not fit for the job.
It then begs the question: what are the factors that truly make a call center agent? To shed light on what sets a good agent apart, I compiled some of the most fundamental skills and qualities that makes for an efficient agent.
Let’s begin with the basic competencies. With “basic” being the operative word, it already implies that these skills are a must-have. While variations may be allowed in certain areas, it is highly recommended that agents are armed with these abilities.
Another important factor under this category is the agents’ attitude towards learning. Agents who are adept at absorbing information especially when they are undergoing sessions of coaching and training can be expected to do their tasks more efficiently and to require minimal supervision.
Keeping the Right Attitude
Aside from having a wide berth for intellectual capacity, here are some character traits any agent must have.
To say that a call center agent is someone who slaves in a contact center answering calls and e-mails all day would not only be lacking; it is also unfair. From the eyes of someone who is able to manage and work with a lot of them, call center agents are those who are motivated by their compassion to deliver matchless customer service and stay graceful in the face of potentially grouchy customers. If, by any chance, you are in the call center business and are asked to look for agents, make sure that they possess these skills. Trust me, you won’t regret it.