10 call center agent skills (and how to interview for them)

A call center agent always stays on the front line to represent your company to meet your customers’ needs. Therefore, you should carefully select the call center representatives who possess a broad range of relevant abilities to handle the rigorous demands of the position. Learn about how to strategically conduct an interview to gain insight into the applicant’s skills.

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Top 10 Telecaller Skills That You Should Look Out for

Your call center serves as the remote representative of your business. Agents in a call center handle personal interaction with customers, leaving a substantial impression. This is why employing qualified customer support representatives with associated skills necessitates an undivided focus. What follows is a list of the 10 telecaller skills that should be apparent in a call center agent you hire, so they can handle challenging scenarios while still reeling in satisfied customers.

Understanding of Products and Services

As representatives at the call center bridge the gap between the customer and the company, they should have a basic idea of the products and services of the company. Although your organisation may occasionally host introductions and ongoing training sessions for agents, an agent should have a fundamental knowledge of the organisation. Only then can they address a customer’s problems efficiently.

High Knowledge Retention Rate

Telecaller agents, as discussed, may go through extensive training during their careers, however, they must have a high knowledge retention rate in order to clearly grasp the details and align with the brand’s vision. Look for applicants who possess strong analytical and memory skills to make prospective training easier and more productive.

Crystal Clear Communication

Undoubtedly, the most necessary skill for a call center is communication. A call center spokesperson must balance being exceptionally professional and personable, which can be a challenging task. Therefore, a representative who can communicate effectively while maintaining a human touch can be best suited for the role. They should additionally be able to use vocabulary that all groups of customers can comprehend. Furthermore, an integral component of communication also includes listening to clients and comprehending their issues. Hence, find an agent who communicates clearly as well as listens intently.

Unwavering Patience

One of the most essential BPO skills is tolerance. No matter how furious the customer is, customer care representatives must always maintain their composure. Call center employees have a responsibility to provide the customer with the necessary attention, without taking any piece of the conversation personally. This is why you should be seeking an agent who will prioritise their work over their own sentiments and remain un-reactive to unpleasant conversations.

Unconditional Empathy

Empathy, defined as the ability to identify with and understand others, is a key skill for top call center agents. The representative must be compassionate in order to put customers at rest. It is well-recognized that when a client feels heard by the agent on the other end of the line, a heated situation can be prevented from escalating. When you are hiring a call center agent, make sure the candidate has empathy to comprehend any situation and handle it accordingly.

Ability to Solve Problems

Customer care representatives may encounter a wide range of issues, and they should be able to resolve them quickly. Depending on the situation, they may need to employ various tools and technologies to solve challenges. Therefore, you should seek a candidate who has the capacity to address a range of issues and identify the best solutions through a variety of channels. The candidate should also be able to rapidly redirect issues to the proper designated department quickly.

Team Management

A call center agent might need to collaborate with others from a different team, as well as have the potential to lead the team if necessary. The right candidate should merge seamlessly into the existing team, and align with the work process of the organisation as a whole. They should also have the skills to efficiently mitigate any unusual situation arising in the team.

Time Management

To meet the demands of the customers and sustain KPIs, the right candidate must be able to manage time to the best of his abilities. A call center agent is obligated to find a solution for any problem as fast as possible to minimise the waiting time for other customers. Therefore, look for agents who are excellent at managing their time, and have organisational skills. It will not only help improve their career graph, but also help you gain a better reputation for your organisation in the area of customer service.

Leveraging New Technology

When you expand your organisation, more modern tools and technology might become available. While looking out for the right candidate, check whether the individual is well aware of new technologies and can implement unique ideas using those technologies. This is not only important to provide excellent customer service, but also to maintain accurate analysis and reporting for the organisation. So, emphasise this skill when hiring a customer service agent.

Going the Extra Mile

Besides having all the above-mentioned skills, a good customer service agent should also consider their work more than just a job. When handling customers, the agent should go beyond the duty to keep the customer satisfied, while doing the same towards the betterment of the organisation. Look for a candidate who is dedicated to providing more than promised.

How To Interview Candidates for Skills for BPO

Finding the right agent for your call center may require you to ask a combination of standard and out-of-the-box questions. You should look for certain elements in their answers to identify suitable candidates. Here are some sample questions you can ask to your applicants to interview for the skills shown above.

Why are you the ideal candidate for this position?

A fantastic way to determine an applicant’s self-awareness as well as confidence is to ask them why they believe they are the ideal candidate for the position. You want someone who can effectively express their response after giving it some thought.

What to look for

The ideal applicant will have done their research on your organisation and the position they are filling for. Hence, look for specific examples of how their qualifications match what is required. Also, look for the adjectives they use for themselves, such as ‘collaborative’, ‘quick learner’ etc.

Tell Me About A Time You Had to Deliver Bad News To A Customer

Asking this question will help you to understand if the candidate can strike a balance between the necessity for honesty and empathy for the client.

What to look for

Find if they were able to clearly deliver the message while understanding the gravity of what was being said. Furthermore, look for non-verbal indications that the applicant was able to speak effectively and patiently without feeling uncomfortable.

How would you respond to an angry or upset customer?

This helps examine the candidate’s capacity for keeping calm under pressure. Ask this question to understand whether the candidate has compassion towards clients and if they can keep their emotions buckled. This question will further reveal whether the candidate has enough tolerance to handle any situation.

What to look for?

Listen to how passionately the candidate talks about handling customers. Observe their facial expressions to understand how they would actually feel in the situation. Their answers should include words like patience, assurance, kindness, etc.

What would you do if an unforeseen circumstance at work occurred?

This is a great way to see how the candidate will handle a situation they cannot control, and how they react when things don’t go as planned.

What to look for

The ability to adapt to different situations and personalities while staying calm and mindful in the face of unpredictable events is known as flexibility. Also, keep a look-out for hints whether the potential candidate did anything to better prepare for the unexpected circumstance to occur again in the future.

How would you ensure effective communication among your team members?

When choosing a candidate for a position, it is crucial to take their compatibility with the rest of your team into account.

What to look for

Examine your candidate’s non-verbal response for crucial communication cues like eye contact and an open body posture.

Retaining and implementing the foundations for interviewing a call center agent, can help you to identify the right candidate, who has not only technical knowledge but also strong interpersonal skills. Look for these aptitudes in a candidate to hire a suitable agent for your organisation.

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