10 Traits to Prioritize When Filling Call Center Jobs - Talkdesk - ContactCenterWorld.com Blog
As a company grows and expands its user base, it’s inevitable that the support team will need to add new members. Filling those call center jobs with the right people is extremely important in terms of maintaining a positive work environment and improving relationships with new and existing customers.
At Talkdesk, we know our call center agents will often communicate with other call center employees, so we make it a priority to staff the team with the best of the best. We set very high standards and are happy to say that our call center team has achieved a 95% CSAT. We keep that number high by looking for a specific set of traits in our new hires. Here’s a list of characteristics we seek out in new call center agents:
One of the most important questions to ask about a potential hire is if they bring something new to the team. Do they come from a different background than anyone currently on the team? Do they have unique industry experience? Do they speak a language that isn’t already represented?
The goal of your call center is to provide an excellent customer experience to a diverse customer base, so you will need a diverse group of agents to execute on that goal. New call center jobs should be focused on building bridges to new types of customers so it’s vital to bring in agents with unique skill sets and experiences.
There’s a certain percentage of the population that’s wired to help other people and it’s a company’s responsibility to identify those helpers for call center jobs. An easy way to find out what makes a candidate tick is to ask them what they have enjoyed the most about previous jobs. One of the first things on their list should be the satisfaction of helping customers.
3. Problem solvers
Every support issue is solved a different way and the best call center agents see each new incident as an opportunity to find that solution. Good problem solvers are excellent at organizing information and figuring out which pieces need to be put together to get to a desired resolution. This type of person is an instinctive researcher who is excited at an opportunity to put their personal knowledge to use.
4. Technical ability
Call center jobs require constant multitasking and great agents need to be adept at navigating multiple devices, programs, apps and tabs at once. These agents are in front of a computer all day and the better they can navigate the information in front of them, the more beneficial they are to the customer. No one wants to wait on hold while someone else hunts for information, so the easiest way to keep customers happy is to make sure the support team is savvy enough to find things quickly.
This is a quality that’s tough to test in the hiring process, but an interesting way to get a sense of an applicant’s technical skills is to ask them which keyboard shortcuts they use. The response to that question should give you an idea into which processes the agent will incorporate and how quickly they complete those processes.
The best support agents are team players. They don’t really care about who gets credit for a solution, they just want to get problems solved quickly and completely. The most important thing is the customer’s satisfaction, not who gets the credit. Team-first agents aren’t afraid to ask for help and bring a humility to the role that allows the customer’s problem to be at the center of a discussion.
No matter how educated and experienced a call center agent is, they’re inevitably going to run into an issue that they can’t solve immediately. This is the most important test for a call center applicant. Do they take a shortcut and make up an answer or do they put in the work to come up with the best response?
Brilliant support is an skill that is honed over a career of handling different problems for different types of customers. The best agents are open to feedback on their performance and are always looking for advice about how to improve. Odds are that the newest employees in contact center jobs won’t be the most knowledgeable right off the bat. It’s important for these agents to stay receptive to the managers and more senior members of their team in order for them to grow in their role.
8. Skilled writers
Call center jobs are ultimately communications jobs. A lot of the work is in researching a problem and working to find a solution, but if that solution isn’t effectively communicated to the customer, then it’s useless.
At Talkdesk, we have our call center applicants complete a writing test as the first part of their application process. We use real questions from real customers to test how well potential agents can state solutions. Our rationale is that it doesn’t matter how capable an agent is solving problems; if they can’t communicate to the customer, the answer they’ve identified isn’t valuable.
On the same test that we use to evaluate writing ability, we are also looking for an agent’s resourcefulness. All of these support cases can be closed successfully with information found on our website, it just takes a little digging. An agent who has a knack for finding resources and the diligence to hunt down the right answer among those resources is bound to shine in our hiring process.
Call center jobs are ultimately about communication between two people. Good agents don’t sound robotic or apologetic, they sound like a friend who understands you and is trying to help solve your problems. It’s important that agents are able to use their own words and let their personality shine through in support cases. If you’re filling your call center jobs with the right people, you should be thrilled to let their personalities come through in calls.
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Publish Date: February 13, 2017 5:00 AM
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