On Oct, 6 2023
Every call center wants great agents. But what goes into finding and developing agents that can truly make a difference with your customers? Below are some of the top skills, competencies, and qualities of a good call center agent so you can better understand what to look for as you hire and train employees.
Responsible and reliable – This call center competency may seem obvious but it’s also one of the most important call center skills an agent can have. A responsible agent shows they have good judgment when it comes to not only their own decisions but also their customer relationships. A good way to understand responsibility is to monitor agent check in times through workforce management (WFM) software. Does an agent almost always clock in at the same time before their shift starts with rarely an excuse or reason for being late? If so, it’s a good initial indicator that the agent can be counted on by your call center.
A strong multitasker – The world of a call center agent can be hectic. They often need to be able to move between talking on the phone, looking up information, asking a supervisor or colleague for assistance, and more… all while keeping in the mind that a customer is counting on them to solve their problem in real time. This is why multitasking still remains one of the most coveted call center agent skills. If an agent can’t multitask well, they are often stuck in low tier scenarios answering basic questions. It’s a tedious place to be in a call center and has one of the highest areas of agent churn, especially as the employee tenure increases.
An independent thinker – Working in a call center is dynamic because the best agents can sometimes find pretty unique solutions to unusual customer situations. Having agents who are independent thinkers and can devise a solution that may not be in a manual may be the difference in having a happy or frustrated customer. An uncommon way to better understand independent thinking is by taking a step back and observing the time off patterns and trends of an employee. Is an agent coming up with unexpected ways to chain together shifts and time off to create extended PTO opportunities? If so, it can be a sign of someone who is capable of thinking outside the box.
Empathetic and accommodating – This final quality is expected from any good call center agent. A customer calls in annoyed, and it’s up to an agent to empathize with them and feel their pain as they work towards a resolution. But one of the qualities of a good call center agent that is rare relates to an agent extending these skills to their colleagues as well. For example, if an agent knows several coworkers will be out on a specific day, they will opt to take on an extra shift when it comes in through their mobile app instead of declining it. Or maybe they will decide to work a split shift instead of only in the morning to cover for another employee who recently helped them out. Employees with these call center agent qualities are good team players and often boost the morale of everyone they work with.
To summarize, the call center skills listed above are some of the key areas to look for when attempting to find a good agent. While there are other call center competencies to keep an eye on, finding a well-rounded agent who cares about both customers and colleagues remains a good starting point for adding employees.