Today’s customers are highly informed, which makes their customer service expectations more lofty than ever. In order to meet this demand, contact center agents must be able to provide fantastic customer service. Their skills, namely communication and critical thinking, need to be up to par in order to create a positive customer experience. While training will help refine certain skills, the first step is to recruit the right agents. When you hire agents with appropriate skill sets and characteristics, the training process will be that much more efficient and effective.
There’s not a one-size-fits-all type of agent to look for, but there are key characteristics that will indicate whether or not a job candidate will be a good fit for your team.
- They show interest in every facet of the job.
The best employees are motivated and driven to perform well. Look for agents who have baseline technical knowledge that pertains to the industry; the ability to multi-task in a fast-paced environment; engaging and pleasant communication etiquette; and the ability to stay calm and clear-headed in a stressful situation.
- They pay attention to detail.
Contact centers are busy, hectic places. Agents have to stay present and focused on their task without getting distracted by the next conversation over. Look for agents who understand how important it is to consistently deliver the best customer service possible to the person on the other end of the line.
- They’re solution-oriented.
When faced with a problem, the best agents will go above and beyond their generic job description. They won’t buckle under the pressure of a complex or difficult query. Instead, they’ll be happy to face the challenge. Consider searching for seasoned contact center agents who are confident in their skills and who think outside the box.
- They truly listen to the customer.
Contact center agents should always put the customer first. Instead of repeating what it says on a script, great agents listen to what the customer has to say before deciding on the best course of action. They understand that customer service is a two-way conversation. Contact centers handle the same questions all the time, but standout agents are willing to personally cater to each customer.
Hiring great talent is an excellent first step. To get the most out of your agents, create an incentive program and reward your team members when they go above and beyond their job description. Also, ensure that every agent is equipped with the tools needed to effectively do their job. Excellent agents will continue to perform their best when they feel supported.