The corporate world has now become fully aware of the importance of customer service.
Hence, nowadays, you will find almost all the companies, big or small either hiring skilled customer service agents to take care of their customer care department or outsource the job to a reputed call center company.
One of the most important factors that make a contact center company highly successful is the contact center software it uses.
However, you can never get the desired results if the front-line employees do not have the expertise and the qualities to fulfill the job with perfection.
That makes hiring skilled and quality staff for the job highly important.
So what should you look for in an employee when you are hiring him/her for your front-line office task?
Here are the top personality traits that are essential to make a successful customer service representative:
1. Patience Is Must
No doubt, patience is a virtue. Many times the problem is self-induced by the customers themselves.
And they keep on repeating it. Also, the answers to such common queries are already explained in detail on the prominent page of your official website.
Moreover, you have listened a lot many times the comprehensive backstory from the customer regarding the same issue and you are ready right from the start to give a solution the moment the conversation gets started.
But if the same thing happens again and again then there are chances that a person might lose his patience.
It is indeed a virtue to keep quiet in professional as well as in personal lives despite conflicting constantly with multiple and complex issues.
However, when it comes to customer care service, it is one of the most critical elements that make a good customer service agent.
Patience means you should not cut the question of the client in between because you already know what he or she is leading to or you have already answered it many times before.
You must listen quietly and patiently to the customers so that they feel heard and important and of course supported which is the basic task of a customer care agent.
It is the job of a customer service rep to make the customers comfortable so that they feel confident and do not hesitate while approaching the customer service staff.
They must feel confident that the customer service agent will do everything possible to help them sort out the issues and the customer service agent must do it patiently with a smile.
2. Be A Friend
If it is a stressful day an agent might struggle to keep an enthusiastic and happy tone during the call.
That is certainly understandable. But even then the agent must try hard to keep the friendly tone in his voice.
If the agent sounds bored or irritated, the customers will see right through you and think that either the agent is not interested in the company or do not care about their satisfaction and happiness.
A friendly customer service agent puts the customer at ease.
He ensures that the customers feel welcome to talk to him, discuss their issues and ask questions, consider options and alternatives while making a purchasing decision.
What happens if the customer service agent appears annoyed?
Chances are that the company will not only lose that particular customer but few more who come in his contact.
3. Being Optimistic
Always seeing the bright side is optimism.
When a call center agent says, “Have a great day!” with a smile on his/her face despite having a tough time with the customer, it is being optimistic.
So what are the qualities of a genuinely optimistic person?
• He is interested in making your company grow and has a strong belief in its growth potential
• The agent does care about the experience of the customer and believes that apart from the offers from the company what he can personally provide can result in a positive experience.
• Such people never jump to negative conclusions and always believe that all problems have a solution.
• Their optimism is supported and balanced by unique virtues such as honesty, faith, and hard work.
Such optimistic customer care service providers can really provide great service and always try harder to improve their performance.
4. Problem-Solving Expertise
It indeed is a big virtue because what is the importance of making a complaint if it cannot be solved.
But for solving problems a customer care service agent should have a few important strengths:
Deep understanding of the service/product:
The customer service representative must have a strong and deep understanding of the service or product the company is offering and how it benefits the particular or various segments of the audiences.
It helps the agent to identify the ways to satisfy the customers quickly and solve their complaints.
Confidence To Handle Things Intelligently:
The front-line employees must be able to evoke confidence that they can handle the situation and that they have solved such issues before. It puts the customer at ease.
The customer service rep must have the ability and intelligence to convey this sense of control over the situation through his ways of communication, irrespective of whether he is interacting on phone or online medium.
Efficiency In Work:
Working with extreme urgency is a sign of efficiency and the customers expect the agents to come up with a solution to their query in this way.
The customers want their support-executive to help them quickly.
However, the agent must have a good understanding of efficient working and should not compromise quality for speed.
Reading Between The Lines:
Many times customers call the customer care service when they are confused and more often do not have the right information.
It is at this time, the agent must be able to read between the lines and understand and analyze quickly what exactly is the issue.
So the best representatives are those who know when and how to ask the right questions and can also quickly evaluate what the customers are saying and can fill up the communication gap with their own intelligence, and knowledge.
So, if you as a call center company is desirous of expanding your business and attracting new clients, hiring the right kind of people who have most of the above-mentioned personality traits is a must.
The leading contact center companies of today are well aware that they need to use the latest call center software to ensure that they retain and increase the business.
However, having skilled employees who can not only handle such advanced software well but also have the special qualities that influence the purchase decisions of the customers is highly important.
To understand the significance of hiring customer care reps with positive personality traits we will discuss the case study of a call center company that has been in the business for just last two years.
This particular call center company was established by few young people and the directors included few talented people from the IT world whereas few were experts in the marketing and sales.
The company management knew that to succeed in this business they needed high-quality infrastructure and setup.
Accordingly, they invested in the best call center software that offered all the exceptional features like integrated CRM, live call recordings & reports, 24 X7 services, and pay as you go.
Since at the start, the company had a small budget they hired new people from the industry who did not have much experience of the customer service world.
Initially, on their goodwill, the company managed to get a few clients and keep them happy.
Since the software ensured that all the customer data was regularly available for analysis including the purchase history, the contact center company employees provided all such statistics to their clients.
The problem started when one of the clients dealing in computer parts and hardware complained that its customers were straightaway returning its newly launched product.
The client was pretty hopeful to get a good response to this new product and had launched it with a lot of fanfare.
Even the initial response to the advertisements and promotions were good and the customers purchased the products.
However, since the client was offering the money back guarantee period of 1 month when the customers started finding fault with the product they started returning it, which was a great loss for the company.
The client complained that it was not receiving adequate support from the customer service department due to which it was losing the customers.
The call center company decided to look into the matter seriously and for that, it held a group discussion with the staff. Similarly, the company also checked the recordings and discussions of its agents with the customers.
After the overall discussions and evaluations, the call center company found out the following few weaknesses in its working:
1. Since there was a minute fault in the product of the client, the call volume had increased hugely.
However, the company was falling short of the staff at hand and hence there was a long waiting queue which discouraged the customers to continue with the product.
2. The agents were not much aware of the product details expect about its price or general features.
Since they were not aware of its technical nuances, they could not provide an appropriate answer to the customer and convince them.
3. The agents were not skilled enough to handle the online platforms that were a part of the call center solutions the company was using due to which the overall customer support service was restricted to only telephonic communication.
4. The call recordings revealed that the agents were not able to handle the customers well and at times even sounded irritated and frustrated while answering to the customers.
The above evaluations revealed that the things could be turned in the favor of the client if the customer service department worked efficiently.
That is when the company decided to introduce few things in its working.
The first thing the call center company did was to arrange a training session for its agents.
It hired experts from the call center industry and arranged discussions and brain-storming sessions of its front-line staff with them.
It also hired few technical people who knew how to use the best call center software solutions efficiently.
These people ensured that the staff understood how to use the various platforms of communications such as social media network, live chats, mobile apps and emails for communicating with the customers.
The call center company found out that it needed few front-line employees who were expert at dealing all types of customers and hence it hired few expert and skilled customer service representatives.
The company also ensured that the agents had few informative sessions with the marketing team of the client so that they understood details about the discounts, features of the newly launched product and the problem that was making the customers return the product.
It was important that the customer service rep understood what exactly the issue was.
According to the client’s technical expert, the customers were having a problem with the assembling of the wiring and since they could not get adequate support from the customer care they were irritated and returning the product.
The agents learned the nuances of the product and also discussed the common issues regarding the product that was prominently making the customers call.
They understood in details, the solutions to the most common queries.
After the vigorous training and brain storming sessions and the recruitment of experts in the customer service, the company started getting good results.
The reps were trained to talk politely, and since now they had all the first-hand information regarding the product with them, they could quickly and easily answer all the queries.
The availability of the agent across all the channels of communication ensured that the call waiting dropped and the issues were addressed immediately.
The tricky and irritating customers and issues were diverted towards the expert call center reps who handled them with patience and great confidence thereby making the customers retain the product and use it as per the instructions.