Gemma HardingGemma HardingDecember 7, 2017
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6min303

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.


Gemma HardingGemma HardingFebruary 17, 2017
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6min276

The way that customers interact with businesses is far different than it used to be, largely due to rising competition. If people aren’t happy with the way that you speak to them or handle their queries, then they have absolutely no qualms about taking their money elsewhere.

To help you out, Gemma Harding, Head of Corporate Services at telephone answering services provider CALLCARE brings you their top four predictions for what the future of customer service holds:

The Working Day Is Changing and Will Continue to Do So

 Over the two years at CALLCARE, we have gathered data that shows a dramatic change in the way that people interact with customer service departments during their normal working day.

7am has now become the new 8am; people are starting their days earlier. Customer service centres have reportedly been seeing an increase in the number of calls from 7 in the morning onwards; undoubtedly as people attempt to get their admin out of the way before getting to the office.

People are taking their lunches earlier and are spending less time away from their desks dealing with phone calls. Whereas previously the most popular lunch time calls were made between 1pm and 2:30pm, they are now taking place from 12:45pm and 1:30pm.

Once the working day is over, it appears that people are using that free time to organise themselves, as there has been a 45% increase in the number of calls made between 6pm and 8pm from 2014 to 2016. Customer service calls aren’t dropping off till 8 in the evening.

Artificial Intelligence Will Grow

 Speaking to a robot over the phone isn’t everyone’s favourite part of calling a customer service centre.

One in 10 people from our survey stated that their biggest customer service frustration was having to deal with too many options in order to be directed to the correct department. Having to press a dozen different buttons just to be able to speak to a real person is a real life pain point that businesses shouldn’t ignore.

But this could actually be the path to a more efficient and cost-effective future, with just a few amendments to the way the system works.

 However, here at CALLCARE we believe that too heavy of a reliance on artificial intelligence would start to detract from the effectiveness of customer service. What we would like to see moving forwards is support from this level of advanced technology that works hand-in-hand with humans on the other end of the phone.

Data-Driven Customer Service

 Some companies may not realise it, but they actually have a tremendous amount of information at their fingertips. All the data they collect, sometimes without being aware of it, from their existing customers can help provide all sorts of insights into improvements that they can be making.

Don’t be afraid to start digging into the data that you have at your disposal. Everything from the times that your calls spike to the most popular queries tells you something different about how you can improve your service.

And certainly don’t be afraid of sharing; it isn’t just your direct customer service advisers who can use it to their advantage.

Saturday Will Become the Sixth Weekday

For most people, the weekends are made for relaxing, but CALLCARE’s data appear to show that Saturday has become an extension of the working week. Compared to 2014, CALLCARE has seen a 60% increase in the number of customer care calls being made on a Saturday between the hours of 9am and 6pm. This makes it almost as busy as a standard working day.

Again, this is all down to convenience. Companies should be making their customers work hard to get in touch with them; it should be as quick, easy and painless as possible. The weekend isn’t treated the same as it used to be, just the same as Bank Holidays and evenings, so businesses should be doing whatever it takes to ensure that their customers’ requirements are catered for.

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