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Top 11 Qualities of a Call Center Agent

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Hiba Ali
Senior Writer:
green tickDate: May 14, 2024

You don’t build a business – you build people – and then people build the business.

-Zig Ziglar

No matter how good a company’s product or service is, or how excellent are the tools they leverage, it all boils down to the people in the end.

With every industry going virtual, your call centers are today’s most crucial brand touchpoint. You might be wondering why we emphasize the importance or qualities of a good call center agent. Well, a study revealed that 40% of American customers discontinue their business with a company following a negative customer service encounter. This statistic highlights the significant impact that customer service has on customer loyalty and the need for competent and effective agents to ensure positive experiences.

So if you are curious to know the best qualities of a call center agent to increase your bottom-line results, this blog can help you. Dive in to know the best qualities a call center agent should possess to increase customer loyalty and satisfaction.

11 Qualities of a Call Center Agents

Call centers are essential to many businesses, providing a direct line of customer communication. That’s why during the hiring process of a great call center agent, evaluate the candidates on different factors, such as how well they work with others, how skilled they are, how much they fit your culture, and how driven they are.

But what are the qualities of a good call center agent? The best qualities of a call center agent include the following. Keep on reading to find the top qualities!

11. Technical Skills

Call center agents rely heavily on various technologies to do their jobs effectively. Strong technical skills, including proficiency with different software and systems, are essential for any agent. They must quickly access customer accounts, order histories, product details, and company resources.

Agents should be adept at navigating multiple computer systems, databases, and web-based platforms. They require knowledge of customer relationship management systems, call center management tools and telephony equipment. Many agents also regularly use knowledge bases, business applications, and chat services. Technical issues will inevitably arise, so agents must be able to troubleshoot basic problems and outages to avoid lengthy disruptions in customer service.

Continual learning is necessary to keep up with the call center’s technology changes and system upgrades. Strong technology skills allow agents to focus on customer interactions rather than struggling with the various platforms required to assist them.

You May Also Read : Check out the best business phone system for your call center

10. Patience

Practice Patience

Patience is one of the most critical characteristics of a call center agent. Call center work requires patience and composure to handle difficult circumstances. In customer service roles, agents encounter many challenging situations and need the patience to remain in control.

Call centers often deal with unhappy or reluctant customers. Frequent complaints and rejections can be discouraging and difficult to manage.

Staff turnover in call centers is frequently high due to burnout. A good agent stays composed when customers yell at them or talk excessively without allowing the agent to respond. Maintaining composure during stressful interactions and not taking angry customers to the heart leads to success as a call center agent. Patience and a calm demeanor are essential.

When hiring, ask candidates how they handle pressure and verify their responses with previous employers. Check that their claims match their actual performance. Look for people with patience, composure, and a customer service orientation.

9. Ability to Perform Under Pressure

Agents struggle to cope with the constant stream of frustrated customers and end up feeling unmotivated and disliking their jobs while working at a busy call center. Call center agents handle many calls daily and interact with challenging customers. A high-quality agent remains calm under pressure. Call center work is demanding due to the high volume of frustrated callers.

A good agent stays composed when customers yell at them or talk excessively without allowing the agent to respond. Maintaining composure during stressful interactions and not taking angry customers leads to success as a call center agent.

The key reasons for the high turnover are the demanding nature of the work, the difficulty in dealing with frustrated customers, the high call volume, and the challenge of staying professional under pressure. Screening for these traits of a call center agent during hiring and verifying candidates’ responses can help reduce churn.

8. Emotional Stability

being emotionally available

Agents need to keep their emotions in check. They could deal with anyone – a friendly caller or a highly agitated person.

No matter who, agents need to keep calm, and angry responses from the agent’s end will only escalate the situation. 78% of consumers mentioned that a competent service agent is the most important part of a CX.

They need to diffuse the situation by making the customer feel validated, if not by offering a solution. In addition, they must strive to be professional and level-headed, which helps to provide consistent, high-quality customer support. Ensure to include emotional availability when looking for traits of a call center agent.

7. Organizational Skills

Being a part of the call center requires excellent organizational skills. An agent must multitask or juggle tasks efficiently to perform successfully.

Imagine taking notes, going through the CRM, and listening to the customer all at once – and you must perform all these tasks accurately. Hence, organizing all the information effectively plays a crucial role. Many call centers arrange special training to help employees multitask better.

The user experience of the call center software you use can drastically impact efficiency. Many software provides features with productivity and organization in mind to empower the agents.

You May Also Read : 10 Best Call Center Phone Systems in 2023

6. Speed

Providing resolution to the customer is essential, but the speed at which you provide it is equally important.

Imagine a customer inquiring about a product they are looking forward to buying, and they have to wait 24 hours for their answer. This frustrates the customer and drastically affects their decision to buy.

69% of consumers say they judge the quality of a customer experience (CX) based on the speed of their resolution.

Customers detest waiting. Hire great quality agents, and offering customers a quick resolution empowers you to raise the bar from your competitors. In addition, this establishes a long-term, positive brand reputation for your business in the market, which is key to dominating your industry.

5. Empathy

There are downsides to being an agent. Customers facing problems can sometimes take it out on you, where precisely an agent needs to be empathetic.Being empathetic should be regarded as one of the most critical characteristics of a call center agent.

In terms of customer service, empathy means that you can connect with and affirm the customer, even if you fail to solve their problem.

For instance, if a customer faces a particular issue repeatedly and has encountered hurdles in completing their work because of the problem, they will likely be rude.

But, the agent needs to understand the situation from the customer’s point of reference and not act upon the anger portrayed by them. Customers are more likely to have a wholesome and positive experience when they feel validated.

4. Creative Problem Solving

problem solving

Unpredictability is always involved when you’re dealing with humans. The agent will have to deal with a variety of problems every single day. However, there is never a one-size-fits-all. Hence, agents must move away from word-to-word scripts and adopt more flexible/ out-of-the-box approaches.

Thinking on their feet and helping customers with unique yet relevant solutions enables you to provide better customer service.

When agents resolve an issue effectively, 78% of the time the customer will return and do business with the company again—being good at problem-solving means providing implementable solutions!

3. Attention To Detail

This job often requires doing the same thing over and over again. There are chances that most of your customers have the same problem, and you’ll have to re-iterate everything. At the same time, paying attention to what the customer says is equally important, rather than hastily giving the solution.

The motive of customer support is to provide support and build trust and make the customer feel heard. Therefore, one of the qualities of a call center agent  should not8+ offer canned responses without understanding the customer’s problem and getting complete clarification.

2. Effective Communication & Comprehension

Good vocabulary and command of the language are essential, but how you implement it determines your service quality. Not every customer will be fluent in the language you speak. Simplifying your message and helping customers reach the solution is the ultimate goal.

Effective Communication

Similarly, everyone has their unique way of communicating, and a great call center agent should be able to interpret the underlying statement and help the customer. 83% of customers agree they feel more loyal to brands that respond to and resolve their complaints.

Simply put, communication and comprehension are the giving and receiving of knowledge. It is fair to say that the agent hasn’t communicated knowledge until the customer has received it. That said, the soft skills of a call center agent are equally important for being successful

1. Knowledge Retention

The primary goal of every agent is to provide the best possible support to the customer. To do so, it is crucial to remember the product/service details in and out. Furthermore, they also need to remember if they can help the customer solve a particular problem, the solutions to the concerns, and the right person to direct the customer calls to if needed.

Given the fast-paced call center environment, there isn’t enough time for the agents to look up all the answers, and hence, knowledge retention plays a vital role in providing good support. The candidates should be able to recall the answers and aid in troubleshooting without any hesitation.

Taking Customer Support to New Heights

Keep these qualities of a contact center agent in mind during your next round of interviews to ensure the best hire for your company.

More than 85 percent of companies outperform their competitors by leveraging quality customer service. Having the right people serving your channels is more important now than ever.

Finding the agents with all the qualities can be a hassle, but it will be worth the wait. Also, if some of your agents do not possess the qualities mentioned above doesn’t determine that they will do a lousy job.

It is all about playing by the strengths and empowering your call center agents enough to grow and learn further.

What do you practice to empower your agents? Do let us know in the comments below.

FAQ-

How can a call center agent improve their communication skills?

Communication skills are essential for call center agents as they interact with customers daily. To improve their communication skills, agents can:

  1. Practice active listening, which means paying full attention to what the customer is saying, showing interest in the conversation, and asking clarifying questions as needed.
  2. Use clear, concise, and positive language. Speak in a friendly yet professional tone using simple words and short sentences.
  3. Adapt to different communication styles. Customers have various preferences, personalities, and moods that impact their communication.
  4. The best call center agents continuously work to improve communication skills. They ask for constructive feedback from customers, supervisors, and peers.

What does it mean to have empathy as a call center agent?

To be empathetic as a call center agent means to feel and show care for the customer’s emotions. It requires imagining oneself in the customer’s situation, recognizing their feelings, and reacting with kindness and respect. Empathy enables agents to establish trust, deliver tailored solutions, and generate a favorable customer impression.

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