Call centers are essential to customer service, and nearly every business has one to handle their customer needs. At the frontline of call centers are agents who play a critical role in customer support. Despite the availability of chatbots, messaging systems, and email, 74 percent of U.S. customers still choose to contact customer service on the phone. 

Although quality voip call center software is essential to the job, an agent must also rely on natural or acquired skills to deliver solid customer service. In fact, 55 percent of consumers are willing to shell out more money for a guaranteed positive experience. Here are four core skills contact center agents need in order to deliver these repeat positive interactions, plus advice on how to improve your weaknesses. 

Clear communication skills

The most vital skill for a customer service representative is communication. Effective communication means understanding what the caller is trying to express and then responding in a way that makes sense to the customer. This task can be difficult, especially when troubleshooting technology, but a good representative will be able to overcome most communication challenges. 

Although some people seem gifted with clear expression, communication is actually a skill that comes with practice. Working with a diverse customer base helps agents quickly build strength in communication. Good call center managers prioritize training and include role playing as a part of learning before agents interact with live customers. 

The ability to remain positive

An unfortunate reality is that customer service reps encounter a lot of negativity. They often deal with callers when they’re feeling frustrated, upset, or even tearful. Remaining positive with a difficult customer can be challenging, but it’s non negotiable for good contact center representatives. It’s even more important when you factor in that it takes 12 positive customer experiences to makeup for a negative one in a customer’s eyes. 

Positivity during rough times has much to do with personality, but if you’re not a natural positive person, it’s possible to change with a mindset shift and effort. To begin, smile, even if you’re speaking on the phone. The tone of a smile can be heard in voices, so even if you don’t feel peppy, smile to liven your tone. 

Patience under pressure

Patience ties in with positivity. Remaining calm can seem impossible when interacting with an angry or confused customer, but what distinguishes superb call agents from the average ones is the ability to treat even the most taxing callers with respect. Companies lose millions from customers switching to competitors after a bad call, so stay diligent with this skill. 

Perhaps one of the most important skills to have, patience can be hard to train if it doesn’t come naturally. Although, it requires effort, it can be done with various strategies including deep breathing. 

While dealing with an angry caller, focus on slowing down breathing and reminding yourself that the customer isn’t attacking you personally. If the situation gets particularly bad and you’re at risk of losing control, place the customer on a brief hold while you cool down. 

Creativity in thought

Stellar contact center agents create viable solutions to tough problems. They have a creative fix in their back pocket for grumpy customers, sluggish troubleshooting, and missing products.

Gaining knowledge and expanding creativity synergize with one another. The more you learn, the easier it becomes to envision a wide range of solutions to tackle a problem. As you are given different problems, you’ll start to get familiar with common ones and ways to solve them. After mastering the basics, you can then progress to thinking outside the box when the situation calls for it. 

While not all of these skills come naturally to everyone, it is possible to learn and grow. Taking the time to refine these skills helps you become a stronger call center representative and an overall better communicator.

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Antivirus Software Can Make Your Computer More Vulnerable

The core purpose of an antivirus software is to protect your device and the data from malicious programs such as viruses and malware. Using a computer or a smartphone without an antivirus program is considered a crime. Users feel protected and safe.

The beginning of the post-antivirus age

Recently, a team of internet security experts has warned that the antivirus programs are not doing a great job in protecting the data of the users. In fact, in most of the cases, an antivirus program can make your device and data more vulnerable.

The Project Zero team at Google found some major issues in the Symantec and the Norton antivirus programs. The CERT has already issued a warning to the users, and the antivirus companies have been informed of these vulnerabilities but the damage has been done.

No Antivirus Security

Is it safe to use antivirus software?

The question that the users are asking if it is safe to use malware programs?

Apparently, having an antivirus program installed on your machine feels good and protected. This is a general perception but some of the experts don’t use any antivirus software.

Mannan, a professor in Concordia University doesn’t use any antivirus. He hasn’t used any for ages because he doesn’t see any value in them.
The CEO of KnowBe4 is of the view that antiviruses are useless and don’t help in protecting the data anymore.

The best thing you can do is stop using antivirus software. This is what the security experts are doing and this is what they call ‘the post-antivirus age’. Having an antivirus installed on your machine that doesn’t do anything is of no use. Not just that antivirus programs don’t have the capacity to detect and remove viruses but they create loopholes and make your machine insecure.

How to protect your data and device

In today’s post-antivirus age, the best way to protect your machines and data from security breaches is to take precautionary measures. Here is what you should do.

1. Refrain from downloading files and attachments from unknown persons. This is the most common and the primary source of infecting your machine with a virus.
2. Update the operating system regularly. Keep it updated. You should be the first to install the updates from the operating system as these updates keep the machine current and protected.
3. Do not use external storage devices from unknown people. The best practice is to refrain from attaching any storage device with your primary work machine. Ask people to share files via cloud or email as this is a safer route.
4. Do not connect with public Wi-Fi and networks. It is an awesome feeling when your device catches an open network but let this feeling not dominate your senses.
5. Backup your data regularly. This includes everything ranging from photos to videos to important files. Either use cloud storage or an external storage device for the backup.

The best you can do to protect your computer, smartphone and other devices from viruses is to refrain from using antivirus software. This is what the experts do and recommend.

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