Research shows that 60% of business problems can be attributed to poor communication. That means that an agent must be able to hear and hear well. It should be the first soft skill your agents work on. Since phone calls are still the preferred method for consumers to contact customer service, the ability to listen will generate valuable benefits for any organization.
If you can't hear the customer on the phone, you'll never solve their problem. Online support staff also need the ability to listen and resolve issues. Listening is about understanding not only the customer's problem, but also how they feel to respond in the right way. Emotional intelligence means understanding and managing your emotions and the emotions of others.
Managing customer “happiness” is exactly what emotional intelligence is all about. Of the five components of emotional intelligence, three of them (self-awareness, self-regulation and empathy) are the direct result of becoming aware of emotions. Training agents in emotional intelligence is crucial for them to understand how the customer may feel. It's also important to help agents manage their own emotions during interactions with customers.
This makes it imperative to hire agents who show empathy with the customer, relate to them and address complex situations over the phone. Active listening makes it easier for the agent to understand the caller's query and to resolve it more effectively. It's more than just waiting your turn to talk. Empathy is about putting yourself in the place of the caller to better understand their feelings and perspective.
This helps build a healthy professional relationship with the caller and increases customer satisfaction. Patience is another vital skill that your call center agents should have. Your advisors should calmly handle all incoming calls, even when the customer is angry. Most call centers provide a script to their agents.
However, there are times when customers have complex issues that aren't programmed. This is where the agent's problem-solving skills can help. Problem solving skills require call center agents to identify the underlying problem and quickly find solutions. You can also improve your advisors' problem-solving skills by teaching them how to access your knowledge base.
In a constantly evolving world, your agents must be able to adapt to frequent changes. Adaptability skills help your advisors to manage different customer demands, to switch to other channels, or even to learn how to use new call center software. Adaptability also comes into play when it comes to adapting to changes that are beyond everyone's control (for example, when dealing with customers over the phone), showing enthusiasm is as important as showing empathy. Enthusiasm helps the customer to see how useful the agent is in solving the problem.
Call center agents require strong communication skills to do their jobs. Agents must channel clarity and professionalism in the way they communicate with customers. In addition, they must be able to transfer their knowledge about products and services to a communication that is understandable and accessible to the customer. Clear communication promotes faster resolution, while professionalism improves customer satisfaction.