10 Customer Service Skills Every Call Center Agent Should Have

Call center agents are on the front lines of customer service, entrusted with the demanding task of pleasing and appeasing customers. With a myriad number of situations that may arise in a customer service exchange, agents need to be versatile and equipped with a strong skill set to handle the complexity of the job. Here are ten customer service skills agents should master to deliver the very best service.

Patience. Customers may be frustrated when they make contact, so patience is certainly a virtue every agent needs to have. Agents should give customers a chance to explain their situation in full and never react negatively to an unhappy customer. When customers are in need of a technical explanation for an issue, agents should also put customers at ease by explaining a solution calmly and patiently while remembering that customers do not always possess the technical knowledge needed to resolve an issue.

Timeliness. Timeliness is critical in customer service. Agents should be swift in responding to inquiries and prepared to switch to another channel if a case needs more attention. Deliveries and additional tasks should be handled promptly, while brands should provide customers options such as callbacks to further ensure efficiency.

Clear communication. Agents need to strike a balance between giving thorough answers, using a professional vocabulary, and being conversational and approachable all at the same time. It’s no easy task, but agents should aim to keep their exchanges concise and relevant and resist the urge to overdo small talk. Customers do need that human touch, and it’s always important to make introductions at the outset. However, always remember that they value their time, so communication should be to the point.

Empathy. It may seem dramatic, but empathy is among the most important customer service skills. A frustrated customer definitely needs attention and reassurance, but even satisfied customers need attention. For example, simply acknowledging concern for timeliness (quick delivery) and relevant promotional offers (not sending too many or unwanted marketing messages) shows consideration and respect for customers.

Knowledge about products and services. Among the essential customer service skills is simply possessing the knowledge to discuss products and services. Agents need to receive thorough training to better understand what the company offers, and they should be updated regularly on important events such as recalls and promotional sales. In addition, agents need to be trained to use call center technology properly (such as a CRM database) to deliver service with full confidence.

Positive attitude. No matter how upset a customer might be, agents must keep a positive attitude. Using positive language that reflects confidence in finding a solution will reassure a customer and encourage sustained loyalty in the brand.

Attentive listening. If a customer wishes to explain a situation in detail, agents need to be willing to listen. In addition, customers may not necessarily accept the solutions an agent has to offer or have questions about them, so attentive listening is critical to showing respect for customer opinions and offering them the best eventual solution.

Organization. During customer service exchanges, agents must be organized at all times to deliver timely service. This means being able to navigate efficiently between different windows in a CRM database as well as switching channels when necessary. Organization is vital to taking notes in a timely manner and delivering great service.

Adaptability. Of the most essential customer service skills, adaptability to changing situations is crucial. Agents need to be ready to handle varying customer demands, possible technical issues, switching to other channels, and the like. One service interaction may completely differ from another, so a readiness to go with the flow and adapt as needed is an important skill to master.

Willingness to go the extra mile. Customers appreciate great service, but they love a gesture that shows real appreciation for their business. Agents who go the extra mile often win over customers. Such gestures might include expediting a delivery free of charge to rectify a billing error, connecting to another department or channel for better service, offering a courtesy voucher for an issue, or simply asking all the right questions to give a customer a thorough, exceptional experience.

Customer service skills should be continuously learned and refined in order to deliver the best customer experiences. A combination of training and motivation to learn such skills enables agents to deliver the best service for long-term brand loyalty.

How to Choose the Best BPO Company

Business Process Outsourcing Companies have emerged because of the onshore and offshore needs of foreign businessmen. These businessmen have learned to expand their team by seeking clerks out of their country. Aside from that, hiring and outsourcing clerks provide them with lower cost and higher profits in return. Hence, an aspiring BPO agent must know which company caters her experience and talents. He must determine which company works best for him. An applicant must do a little research about the company he wishes to work with. Here are some tips in choosing the right company.

Determine which country the BPO Company originated. Is it based in United States or in Australia? Once you know their origin, it will be easier for you to adjust to their demands and challenges. You already know how they will work.

After knowing the origin of the business, you can see their mission and vision in order to know where the company is going. You can easily identify if there is a promised future once you work in there. Most definitely, these are anchored to their goals as they journey as a business.

Choosing the right company includes the working environment in the business. Do a little research about the company’s nature at work. Are the administrators good manager enough or not? Are the employees well-trained or not? Make sure to answer these questions.

You may also look for the benefits that the company offers. Do they offer medical and dental allowances? Is there any health card or not? You may also do a little research whether the company values some vacation leaves for their employees, too.

Lastly, you should try to know whether the company offers training for their employees. Training and other professional development activities help you increase your knowledge about your chosen career. Therefore, you may consider this part.

These are some of these things are certainly hard to find. But then, it should be noted that one must really strive hard in order to succeed in his or her application. An applicant must always know how certain job application works. One must be prepared with the interviews, tests, and various examinations as well. An applicant should also know how to deal with all the requirements that the company will be asking. Hence, good luck on your application! Get your dream job!

Background Check in Call Center

In the call center industry, background check is an employer’s way of assessing personal history and past work experience of the prospect employee before getting hired by the company. It also verifies that all your data in the resume is accurate and correct. If the prospect employee is found to be lying based on his/her resume, the job offer maybe rescinded by the company.

Here are the common requirements for background check:

– NBI & Police clearance – to verify that the employee doesn’t have any criminal liability
– Sketch of address & photo of house – some employers will actually verify the location using the provided sketch
– Thumbprint samples
– References from my previous companies – the employer may call the character reference. They will also ask for various offenses done by the employee.
– Reference from a family member

All these requirements will make sure that the company will only hire the right person. No one wants to hire a bad person. If the applicant has nothing to hide, then he/she has nothing to fear. The applicants can’t chastice the company. It’s their business and will do anything to protect it.

How to Rock that Call Center Interview

You might be fretting about that call you just received, saying that you are asked to appear to that call center company where you applied, because you are listed for the final interview. This is one of the most crucial parts of your employment because this would determine if you are in or out for training (there will be the same situation after the training days). Of course, you would want to prepare for this big day, since this will make or break your career in the call center industry. Don’t know where to start? Here are some tips.

Choose your outfit carefully. Although you might have seen a lot of people working in call centers sporting t-shirt-and-jeans attire, keep in mind that you are not yet part of the family. Therefore, you are still recommended to wear smart casual attire. It may not be required, but everyone knows what impression you could give to people through power dressing.

Be yourself. This is the most basic tip, yet the most effective. You don’t have to project an image like you’re super smart and can do anything (although, sometimes that also works). Admit it, it will be much easier to carry on if you are just being yourself.

Listen carefully to the questions and answer in a straightforward and honest manner. You don’t want your interviewer get annoyed because you keep on asking him to repeat his question. You might also want to avoid the use of word “honestly”, “actually” and other related words, and also, minimize your “uhhmm” and “ahhh”. Go directly to speak what is on your mind and don’t make it seem like you are still thinking about your answer.

Be confident. Again, one of the basics, but extremely effective. Being confident defines the entirety of you, and your interviewer should be able to feel it. Not so confident about your English and grammar? Don’t worry about it. The technicalities would not be counted against you in this stage, what counts this early is what you’re saying and the way you said them.

These are just simple tips, and you might have already encountered all of them. However, these are tips that actually work, and they can help you in nailing that interview. Again, you don’t have to be someone else just to pass. All you have to do is keep calm and believe that the job is already yours.

Keeping Your Health while Working in a Call Center

Apart from being challenging at times, call center job can also jeopardize your health big time. Being in the graveyard shift, for one, is very hazardous, not to mention the dangers that you might encounter as you go to or from work. Thus, keeping yourself healthy while on this job is very essential. In fact, being healthy is very important, whatever nature of work you might have. Here are a few tips on how to keep your health at bay.

Have enough rest and sleep. This might be difficult to achieve if you are on the graveyard shift, but you can certainly attain it with proper discipline. Set a definite time for you to sleep in the morning, and make sure that you will have at least seven (7) hours of sleep.

Drink plenty of water. Since you have to sit for almost eight hours, water intake is important as an aid in your blood circulation. In addition to this, water also lubricates you throat and soothes it from hours of speaking.

Bring your own food. Bringing your own food is highly recommended, as most stores that offer real meal are closed during the night. As much as possible, avoid getting your meals from fast foods and convenience stores (though once in a while night okay). By bring your own food to work, you can be sure that you are getting the right nutrients you need, plus you are also guaranteed of food quality.

Avoid the smoking areas. If you are not a smoker, by all means, do not step into the smoking areas, even if it is in the name of friendship. Chances are, you will be encouraged to smoke. Furthermore, second hand smoke is worse, so keep away from there.

Take food supplements. Some companies provide multivitamin packages to their employees, to somehow support their health. Being a call center agent can be a tough job, not only because of the challenges in each call that can leave the agents emotionally stressed, but also the setting in which they have to work – too much exposure in artificial light, cold environment and such. It is therefore very important to support the body with essential nutrients that would somehow keep you from getting sick.

Always keep in mind that your health is one of the vitalities that you need in order to function to work. Take care of it.

How to be a Healthy Call Center Agent

There are a lot of unhealthy practices that you might acquire as you work in a call center, and these practices can be potential habit. Although, most of your colleagues are doing those so-called “unhealthy” habits and lifestyle, if you want to keep your health at bay (which will keep you fit to work always), then you might consider following these simple tips.

Get enough and proper sleep. If you are assigned on the graveyard shift, it is really best if you go straight home after work to get some sleep. Small talks for an hour with colleagues over with cups of coffee is not entirely a bad idea, though. Just make sure that you get enough sleep so that you have the required energy for the next shift’s work. Remember what the professionals always say: people should get 7-8 hours of regular sleep.

Bring packed food. Eating out once in a while is good, but if you are on the graveyard shift, your food choices are fairly limited. Most of the time, you have to settle down for fast foods and convenience stores which offer foods that are unhealthy as can be. So to avoid acquiring lifestyle diseases, it is highly recommended to bring packed lunch with you. That way, you can be sure that the food you’re eating is safe and healthy.

Increase your water intake. Increased water intake would not only keep you hydrated during work, but it will also help your blood to circulate properly during the eight hours that you are just sitting and taking calls. Furthermore, drinking water would lubricate your throat and soothe it for the long hours of talking. Just be careful not drink cold water to avoid sore throat. Always keep in mind that your job relies on your voice so take care of it.

Avoid smoking areas. Even if all of your colleagues are in the smoking area, avoid going with them, especially if you are a non-smoker. This will keep you from trying to smoke. Studies say second hand smoke is actually worse.

Take vitamins and supplements. Although this is not essential, this is something that can help you boost your health and immune system. Call center job attracts a lot of diseases if you’re not careful, so better have you body equipped with certain protections against them.

Perks & Benefits in Call Center Companies

You might have been wondering if there is more that call centers can offer to their employees. Aside from the impressive compensation and benefits package, there are also some other perks that call center employees can get, that a person with a regular job may not get from a regular company.
So what are these perks? Let’s take a look at them.

HMO package. This can be offered to some other private companies and sectors, but this is definitely famous in call centers. Aside from the mandated PhilHealth, you are also entitled to an HMO card membership, which is supposed to cover your hospitalization if in any case something happens to you health-wise. This HMO package includes medical and dental benefits and is extended to eligible family members.

Health supplements. Some companies provide sustenance health supplements on a monthly basis to their employees. Working in the call center can jeopardize your health so this is something extra from the company to keep your health at bay.

Company outings and team outings/buildings. Again, this might be something that other regular private companies could offer, but this is also very common in call centers. Company paid trips and holiday getaways are the companies’ one way of giving back their employees all the hard work and dedication they did for the companies’ growth and profit.

Once a month spa treatment. Yes, there are call center companies that give out this perk. All you have to do is present your company ID to be able to take advantage of a relaxing day at a day spa. Your company might have a particular branch of day spa preferred, though, so be sure to check your company’s manual of perks.

Car loan. Who doesn’t not want to own a car these days, when monster traffic in Manila is just so unbearable? Most call center companies offer car loans to their employees, although it might be depending on some employee factors like tenure, position in the company or how much you are earning every month.

School loan. Yes, there are also call center companies that offer loans their employees who are didn’t have the opportunity to finish schooling, and give them the opportunity to go back to school.

These are just some of the that you get to enjoy once you start working as a call center agent. Some companies may not offer this, but there might also be some that offers all of them.

Tips for Chat Support Representatives

A company’s chat support system serves as the backbone of its services. Chat Support representatives are the mouthpiece of your company for every concern or issue that will arise. Also, Chat Support act as a gateway for customers to have a semblance of connection to the companies that provide them their needs.

That being said, having competent chat support is a must for growing and established companies. As they say in the business, customers come first. That’s true in every sense, especially for chat support agents. The importance of a formidable Chat Support should never be understated. It can be a determining factor for the success of your companies moving forward. Which makes sense for companies have gone out of their way to training Chat Support Representatives with regards on how they should approach each situation at hand.

For Chat Support Representatives, it’s a must that they handle every situation with professionalism. Personal problems and other baggage must be left and dealt with at home. Chat Support Representative must keep in mind that their job is to assist the customer regardless of the issue that’s discussed.

Approachability is priceless for Chat Support Representatives. A friendly rapport has to be established with the customer so that they won’t be afraid to ask questions or explain the situation coherently. Chat Support Representatives need not be overly intimidating so that the customers may have the freedom to blurt out their concerns.

Courtesy goes hand in hand with approachability. Chat Support Representatives shall always keep the “sir” and “ma’am” when addressing the customers as it makes them feel respected and prioritized at the same time. With enough courtesy, every transaction will surely end on a positive note for both parties whether a resolution is reached or not.

Of course, knowledge of the situation should be carried by Chat Support Representatives at all time. Customers demand answers and resolution. That’s why they contacted you. Chat Support Representatives must be ready with their bag of knowledge against any tricky situation that can stymie progress.
Chat Support is more than just interpersonal communication between two parties. In most cases, it becomes a vital part of losing or keeping a client/ customer.