Every call center agent requires many soft skills to persuade their leads to buy a product or service.
While agents can acquire hard skills over time, it's not the same for soft skills. Agents should be able to have some kind of proficiency in these skills if they want to excel as a successful call center agent.
These call center skills differ for customer service agents and sales reps/agents.
Agents should follow certain customer service values to provide high quality customer service.
On the other hand, sales agents require different skills like persuasion and critical thinking.
Let's look at the different kinds of soft skills an agent requires to thrive in the fast-paced call center culture.
How can Call Center Agents Improve Conversion Rates?
The best way an agent can improve their ability to negotiate and deal with leads is by practicing over time. When agents are tested in practical situations, it becomes a memorable experience for the agent.
Similarly, another incredible way to help agents improve their practical skills is by conducting personalized coaching sessions.
While these can help agents improve their conversion rates, what are the call center skills an agent needs?
Let's find out.
What Skills Help a Call Center Agent Increase Revenue?
When it comes to sales and increasing individual revenue, a diverse set of call center skills is required. Agents should be able to replicate these skills in customer interactions.
Here are some of the major skills agents need to have better conversion rates and revenue generation.
1. Effective communication skills
One of the most crucial call center skills is communicating effectively with leads. Agents should be able to convey all product information to the customer without creating any possibility for miscommunication.
Agents should have active listening skills if they need to communicate with a lead clearly. Only then can a lead and an agent be on the same page.
Imagine that you're talking to a health insurance agent before you purchase an insurance plan. How would you feel if the agent responded to your queries with ambiguous and incomplete answers?
Like most people, you would lose your interest in purchasing insurance with that particular company.
This is how agents without clear communication skills lose their leads.
2. Detailed product knowledge
All salespeople in Apple stores have complete knowledge on all their products. This allows every customer to receive the best advice they need in buying their Apple product.
Customers get a clear idea of what differentiates each product, making their purchase with Apple a smooth and comfortable process.
Like how salespeople at Apple receive the right product training, your call center should also focus on training agents. When agents don't have the complete product information, every lead they talk to receives an incomplete sales experience.
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Every sales agent in a call center should be able to weave a compelling narrative that beckons leads’ to buy from them.
Every salesperson is a storyteller that sells their stories to their customers.
If you look at brands like Apple and Nike, they've created a narrative for their brand.
Nike is a brand that helps its customers to reach their fitness goals with their products. Even their slogan, "Just Do It" motivates their customers.
Similarly, Apple has also positioned itself as a leading tech company. This helps salespeople at Apple to create narratives that push customers to buy from Apple.
Creating such a narrative can be difficult for call center agents in a new company. Call center agents in such organizations need to be able to sell their products in a non-aggressive manner.
Narrating the effect of your products and services with storytelling techniques will help agents sell better.
4. Critical thinking
Call center agents come across different leads when making outbound calls. These agents should be able to think on the go during phone calls to increase their chances of conversion.
This is where critical thinking comes into the picture. Agents should be able to identify whether the customer is about to buy the product and negotiate accordingly.
For example, if a customer calls a packing service and enquires the charges for transporting their cargo from one city to another. If the customer feels that the price is higher than expected, they would tell the agent they're not interested and end the call.
The agent should think on their feet and respond with a counteroffer so they don't leave the customer.
These problem-solving skills are crucial and can help call center agents to close deals faster.
5. Strong willpower
The call center environment is highly stressful and can demand a lot from an agent. Every call center agent should be able to handle the pressure and not succumb to it.
Having strong willpower requires agents to be resilient, tenacious, and persevering. While these sound similar, they're different skills required by every call center agent.
Let's look at how these skills are different from each other.
Resilience refers to the ability of a call center agent to bounce back from a setback. Not every lead gets converted, affecting an agent's ability to keep calm.
A tenacious call center agent is able to shrug off the rejections from leads and look to the next call with a positive attitude.
Tenacity is the ability to resist any opposition you face. Combining it with the problem-solving skills needed by every call center agent makes it easier for agents to persuade leads.
Agents should be able to discern a line between giving counter-offers and disturbing a lead.
Perseverance refers to how well a call center agent can stick to a project when the going gets tough.
Perseverant call center agents can focus on improving their performance even in difficult times.
When agents have all these skills, it becomes easier for them to survive in the competitive call center environment.
An agent doesn't restrict to doing outbound sales. Sometimes, they also receive inbound calls from leads who're interested and likely to convert.
If agents aren't organized during these calls, customers tend to lose interest.
Imagine you've called a telecom company to enquire about their plans before changing your telecom provider. The person you're talking to seems confused when you ask them about the different plans offered by them.
Would you still want to switch to a telecom company that provides such responses?
Handling inbound calls requires agents to be highly organized and ready with all the data a lead could want before purchasing.
These are all important call center skills that every call center agent should have. Let's look at how to help call center agents improve these skills.
Results first, payment later.
Pushing Your Agents to Improve Their Soft Skills
To ensure that agents have strong multitasking skills, they should be supported to practice and learn from customer calls. They should also be given the right training to practice their skills.
Take a demo of one of the best agent coaching software out there.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are call center skills needed in a resume?
Anyone applying for a call center job needs to have excellent organizational skills and verbal communication skills. People who also have computer skills are preferred for such roles.
2. What are the qualities of a good call center agent?
Good communication and excellent customer service skills are key for any good call center agent. Certain hard skills like being able to use computer systems proficiently are also strengths.
3. How to improve customer service skills in call center?
Improving technical skills like working with a computer system can be done with practice. Similarly, the right coaching can help with good communication.
4. How to become a great customer service agent?
Effective communication and patience are important skills for a customer service representative.
5. What computer skills are needed for a call center representative?
A call center representative should be able to use a computer without any struggle. They should also be able to quickly grasp new software and work with them.