team of call center agents at a desk

 

Call centers are some of the most challenging environments in the modern workplace. But with challenge comes great rewards, satisfaction and a sense of fulfillment from a job well done.

 

If you’re considering launching a career as a call center agent, this guide is for you. We’ll cover all the characteristics you’ll be drawing on to get the job done, what you’ll typically be doing, plus some of the benefits you’ll enjoy.

 

6 Qualities of Every Great Call Center Agent

Call centers agents require a unique set of character traits to be successful. Here are six of the most important.

 

1. Patience

Call center agents face tough circumstances every day. In a customer-facing role, many different scenarios are thrown at you, and you need patience and calm to remain in control.

 

In call centers, a high proportion of people might be phoning in unhappy with their service, or reluctant to spend money if it is regarding a sale. Consistent knockbacks and customer complaints can be demoralizing and hard to cope with.

 

The very best call center agents can deal with these situations confidently under intense pressure.

 

2. Excellent verbal communication skills

Speaking to people all day, every day makes one skill especially important: communication. It might seem obvious, but without excellent verbal communication skills, you’ll never be a great call center agent.

 

The most vital part of this skill is the ability to do it under pressure. Like we mentioned above, customers throw problems at call center agents all the time. To ensure they leave satisfied, you need excellent communication skills to get the bottom of the problem and ultimately solve it.

 

3. Organization

As a call center agent, you might be handling 40, 50 or even more calls during your shift. Many of those will require follow up calls and further investigation after the call is over. It can be challenging to juggle these open cases on top of the other calls you have to take. That’s why you must be well organized and able to adapt to a changing workload.

 

4. Flexibility

In a call center, there is no predicting what problem might come your way on the other side of your next phone call. There’s no warning about what it might be, so you need the flexibility to adjust to whatever is next.

 

As a call center agent, you are the first responder to customer complications. Be flexible and spring into action whenever something significant arises.

 

5. Attention to detail

Customers call with their specific set of wants and needs. Offering generic solutions that aren’t tailored to that customer isn’t enough. To be successful in this role, you need an inquisitive mind and an ability to get to the heart of a problem.

 

The very best call center agents listen to their customers and go the extra mile to ensure they are 100% satisfied before moving onto the next customer.

 

6. A friendly nature

Call center agents represent the voice of an organization. Your general manner when dealing with customers over the phone will reflect how that customer feels about the company you work for. So, it’s key that you have a generally friendly, approachable and warm attitude to work every single day.

 

If you consider yourself an introvert and not a “people person”, call centers may not be for you.

 

Typical Call Center Agent Duties

When you head into the office for your first day as a call center agent, what can you expect? Duties cover much more than simply answering calls. Here is what you’ll be doing day-to-day.

 

Answer and respond to customer calls

For any call center agent worth their salt, this is what their day-to-day involves. You might expect to spend most of your day doing a combination of the following:

 

  • Respond to incoming calls and customer emails
  • Ensure serious complications are escalated to supervisor or management
  • Recognize ongoing customer call trends, act upon them and alert management of the situation
  • Route calls to the correct department
  • Complete call logs and reports

 

Follow up with relevant customers

The strongest customer complaint and query processes will see most problems dealt with on the first call. This can help churn through queries much faster and ensure customers aren’t kept waiting for a satisfactory solution. However, sometimes you’ll need some extra time to get the bottom of a problem. Here is what you’ll be doing:

 

  • Researching the required information to solve problematic queries
  • Managing and resolving all customer complaints
  • Using applicable software to fulfill customer needs

 

Generate customer interest in products

In a call center, it’s not all about responding to customer complaints or queries. This is one of the best opportunities to discuss your company’s product or service directly with customers. You have their attention, so draw on your best sales skills to make sales and upsell customers on your products. This might involve:

 

  • Processing orders, and compiling order forms
  • Providing detailed product and service information to interested customers
  • Selling product benefits and processing orders in the computer system
  • Upselling company products and services

 

Represent the organization 

Every minute of every day, you need to embody the principles and ethos of the organization you are representing. In a customer-facing role, the people you speak to associate the way you act and the words you say with the company you work for.

 

Throughout every duty you carry out, make sure you’re giving the best representation of yourself and the company.

 

4 Benefits of Being a Call Center Agent

If you’re willing to put the hard work in, there is plenty to take away from a role as a call center agent. Here are four ways you’ll benefit not only in the immediate term but throughout your career too.

 

1. Hone your communication skills

Communication is at the heart of all your work as a call center agent. The exposure to direct customer service to invaluable experience that can put your communication skills to the test. You won’t always get it right, but careers are all about learning from mistakes and using that experience to grow.

 

In any career, communication skills are one of the most important skills you can have. There is no better place to develop them than in a call center.

 

2. Earn incentives

As a role that doesn’t require a degree for entry, and often provides working from home opportunities, call centers are one of the best ways to get on the career ladder. The hard work it requires is always well compensated, with starting salaries often as high as $30k a year.

 

On top of that, they’re known for fast promotions and added benefits like bonuses and healthcare.

 

3. Develop transferable skills 

Call centers offer a great opportunity for recent graduates or people who are at the beginning of their working life. As initial exposure to the business world, you’ll learn lots of skills that can then be transferred to any workplace environment.

 

Everything from enhanced computer skills, product training, problem-solving, and customer service exposure are all central to good call center agent work. You’ll be drawing on your experience here long after you’ve moved onto another role.

 

4. Work in a camaraderie-based team   

Call centers draw on people from all different kinds of experience and background. Despite what you might think, many companies work hard to build a competitive but harmonious camaraderie between colleagues. With a little effort, you’ll be building positive working relationships that can go a long way in your career.

 

 

Call center careers are a fast-paced challenge that isn’t for everyone. For the right person with the right skills, it can be a rewarding experience. There are few jobs where you can say at the end of each day you’ve helped make someone’s life a little easier – but call center roles often bring this to the table.

 

If we’ve convinced you that call center life is for you, good luck!