What Makes a Great Customer Service Agent?

James Purcell/ July 4, 2016/ blog

The Key Skills Every Call Centre Agent Should Possess

Every time a customer service representative answers a call he or she is representing one of our client companies and the caller expects first-rate customer support. Each customer service representative should have certain qualities which ensure that each client is represented in a professional and friendly manner. Each representative must be well versed in the application of soft skills because satisfied customers bring repeat business and in some cases, they also become brand advocates.

Being friendly is the obvious one so here are some other skills that make up a great customer service agent:

Listening Skills

Good communication starts with listening. Each call will require some time to identify the exact nature of the issue, some more so than others. Good listening skills also help determine the right questions to ask customers. This leads to an improved customer experience and potentially more sales. Active listening is another key aspect of quality customer service. “Dead air” comes across as disrespectful and it implies that you are not listening.

Product Knowledge

A customer service representative mission is to fully understand the product or service they are representing. This is achieved by in-house training carried out by certified trainers. Informative documentation should also be readily available to the customer service representative during calls. By having in-depth knowledge of the product or service the customer service representative can provide a world class professional service whilst also increasing first call resolutions.

Composure

Being able to stay calm under pressure is a very important trait for any customer service representative. There will be difficult calls on occasions and there will be particularly busy periods so maintaining control is essential. By asking the appropriate questions you can determine that an issue which seemed to be complicated can be simplified and acted upon.

Irate callers can be difficult to handle, but as the old adage goes “put yourself in their shoes”. These callers can be justifiably disgruntled or possibly just having a bad day, by staying calm and not raising your voice a customer service representative can take the necessary steps to resolve the issue.

Attention to Detail

Clarifying the details of the call is vital. It relates back to active listening but the next step is confirmation, repeat the main points to the customer to make sure that nothing has been left out. This demonstrates to the customer that you are genuinely listening and will act upon the issue. Re-confirming contact details, if the call does need to be escalated, ensures that the customer will be contacted in a timely manner. It is important that a customer support representative never becomes complacent when answering similar questions for customers.