The way call centres work has evolved significantly in recent years, with the technology used becoming more sophisticated than ever.
But despite these advancements, call centre managers and staff still need to be at the top of their game to meet the needs of the customers. As a result, call centre agents have to be unbelievably skilled to deal with the customer care queries encountered on a daily basis.
There are a number of skills you’ll learn in a call centre environment that are incredibly useful, not just during working hours but outside of the office. From everyday uses to helping your career, Gemma Harding, Head of Corporate Services at virtual receptionist providers CALLCARE provides the five essential skills from working in a call centre that will stick with you for the rest of your days.
1. Great organisation
It’s not just the task of answering the phone that call centre staff have to handle. Agents working in busy call centres will have to juggle a variety of responsibilities (often all at once), including taking notes, checking the knowledge base and updating CRM software. As a result, having great organisational skills is a must and has been proven to reduce errors throughout the customer care process.
Both personally and professionally, practicing great organisation ensures you can complete all of the tasks necessary to reach a final goal.
2. Excellent social skills
Social skills are essential to your role as a call centre agent, after all you’ll be speaking to people you don’t know on a daily basis. It’s not just verbal skills that matter though; in everyday life, verbal and non-verbal communication and interactions are important. The calls you take as a call centre worker are certain to prepare you for the former, whilst your interactions with fellow colleagues and managers will ensure both bases are covered.
As humans, we’re very sociable creatures, and social skills are the key to communicating our messages, thoughts and emotions to others. Great social skills are the route to better relationships with others, improved communication, and more effective and efficient interactions.
3. Staying calm under pressure
The phrase “keep calm and carry on” is certainly applicable within the call centre environment. Keeping a cool head when you received a call from a frustrated customer ensures you can remedy problems and turn these negatives into positives, every time. Being able to keep calm under pressure is a skill that will lend itself well to various scenarios in your personal and professional lives.
4. Memorising and retaining information
Having a good memory and a higher level of knowledge retention goes hand-in-hand with providing quality support to customers. As part of your role as a call centre agent or manager, you need to be able to learn and memorise information on how to handle certain callers and the company you are representing.
Memory has a huge part to play in our home lives too. In addition to remembering the skills we’ve learned, memory gives us the power to retrieve information and even precious moments from events that have occurred in the past.
5. Remaining friendly and flexible
The way a call centre works means the agents at its heart must be extremely flexible. From working unsociable hours on a regular basis to handling countless calls, agents have to be flexible and diverse enough to adapt. Interacting with customers with difficult personalities or challenging queries is part and parcel of life as a call centre worker.
Agents must be able to go with the flow whilst upholding the principles and procedures that are important to the company they are representing. As the frontline of a company, agents must also be friendly at all times, whatever each call brings.
Life in general is full of challenging interactions, and your role as a call centre agent will stand you in good stead for the most difficult personal situations.