Call Center Duties: Day in the Life of a Call Center Agent
Does your company rank high in customer experience, satisfaction and retention? Well-trained agents with a good grasp of call center duties improve customer service. But listening to and resolving customer issues is only one part of their job.
Call center agents also work with your sales and product development teams. They deliver accurate data and reports on trends. Your reps' communication skills and workplace tools affect outcomes.
A failure to meet benchmarks signals a problem. It lowers your net promoter score (NPS) and customer effort score (CES). Dissatisfied clients express their thoughts via reviews or social media. Plus, a bad experience makes it more likely that they'll switch to your competitor.
In this guide, learn about call center job duties that impact your operations. Then, set up a call center that boosts productivity and supports your clients.
What Is a Call Center Agent?
A call center is a place where you take incoming calls from clients. Your staff may work together on site. Or your company may employ virtual call center agents. Some companies use a combination of on-site and remote workers. For instance, virtual call center representatives may handle off-hour calls. They also support your team during high-volume times.
Yet call center agent job descriptions vary by company. In some cases, reps handle all incoming calls and focus on customer service. But your staff may also be required to meet sales quotas and answer general inquiries.
For top performance, it's vital to look at your business needs.
- Will your call center agents communicate on various channels?
- Does your call center agent job description include inbound and outbound calls?
- How will you define call center duties in your standard operating procedures (SOP)?
Once you’ve reviewed the many tasks of a call center agent, determine which tools assist your reps.
As more companies shift to virtual work, many put their data in the cloud. This gives teams access to customer information from any location and device. Cloud use also supports data entry into customer relationship management (CRM) software from anywhere. Accessibility to data improves customer experience and staff productivity.
Next, define the call center duties for your staff. Create an agent job description that attracts top candidates for the job. Then, review tasks and select tools to assist your reps—pair duties with a robust training program for excellent results.
Top Call Center Agent Duties and Responsibilities
You may think that answering phones is the primary task of call center agents. But your hardworking team tackles a variety of duties on and off the phone. Each task plays an essential role in the success of your company.
Consider how call center duties affect your customers and business—not only the tasks but also the skills and training required. Refine your call center agent job description using details about their daily work.
1. Engage Customers and Build Rapport
You're in a relationship-building business. It does not matter what type of products or services you sell. Securing trust from your clients is crucial to long-term success. Your call center agent begins a relationship, starting with saying hello. Their tone and word choice affect your customer's perception of your company.
Your call center agents are also your gateway to client information. They listen and ask questions. This helps resolve problems and provide insights to other departments. In many ways, your call center is your first line of defense against a reputation problem. Representatives need strong interpersonal skills. To engage customers, your call center agents:
- Practice active listening
- Keep a steady tone of voice
- Ask questions that encourage a two-way conversation
- Respond using familiar terms and language
2. Respond to Questions
Your call center agent receives many questions. These come from current customers, along with those who have not bought your product. Survey data from a Microsoft report finds that:
- 31% of those surveyed list a "knowledgeable customer service representative" as very important
- 36% say an agent that lacks the knowledge or ability to solve an issue is the most frustrating aspect
Tools, like a knowledge base, support call center responsibilities. Access to data in one spot allows teams to answer clients in a fast and accurate manner. Clear responses increase consumer trust and assist reps with relationship-building.
3. Answer Phones
Juggling incoming calls is not simple. Call center duties consist of balancing callers and prioritizing customer needs. Your business phone system routes callers from various departments to your call center. Plus, other departments transfer calls to your call center.
There may be times when your reps do not have an answer. They may pull a manager or sales agent on the call for further clarification. Well-trained representatives with the right tools meet your performance requirements. For example, skilled call center agents deliver:
- Low average wait times in the queue
- High service level
- Short average speed of answer (ASA)
- Low call abandonment rate
4. After-Call Work Tasks
A data-driven workplace and workforce meet the demands of customers. Your call center representative duties include after-call work time. They may update your CRM system, respond to emails and document calls. Adding post-call notes is vital for several reasons, such as:
- Ensures accurate customer history
- Creates a timeline with alerts for follow-up tasks
- Provides accountability
- Gives business leaders data to make decisions
5. Interview and Take Surveys
Deloitte reports that 77% of businesses "rely heavily on customer surveys." Interview data helps your teams assess and create strategies. Managers provide a list of questions or a call center script to aid agents. Your call center agents use their relationship-building skills to gather information during interviews.
Getting this batch information takes some care. Agents ask questions without alienating clients. Then, they ensure accurate data entry. Data collection helps:
- Provide insights for product development
- Identify gaps in information on your website or other touchpoints
- Guide your content marketing strategy
- Highlight trends common on phone calls
- Give sales reps data on benefits customers ask about
6. Make Outbound Calls
Depending on your needs, your call center may complete many different outbound calls. For example, following up is a crucial communications strategy. It helps you assess your call center's effectiveness. Plus, it shows clients that you care enough to make the extra effort to call them back.
During low-volume time, your call center reps may make outbound calls. Your sales team may pass tasks to your call center. Or your agents may use their time to qualify leads and upsell products.
7. Chat With Clients and Team
A telephone call remains the top way that people connect with your call center agents. But clients also want other options. That's why many clients turn to social channels and messaging applications. A CCW market study finds that "31% of organizations think that approximately 8% of customer interactions will be conducted via video." Furthermore, chat and messaging interactions are expected to increase by 16%.
That's why call center job duties include monitoring messaging platforms. Having access to chat helps your team get the support they need. If your agent is on the phone and has a problem they can't solve, with group messaging, they can reach out to a manager. This improves your average speed of answer rate. It also helps your team achieve a satisfactory average handle time (AHT). By meeting these standards, your call center improves outcomes and customer experience.
8. Find Upsell Opportunities
Call center responsibilities include upselling. During a conversation, your agent looks for opportunities to enhance the customer experience. Often, an upgrade provides your client with better options. A well-trained representative understands which services or products fit your client's needs. They also know when to break into the conversation to upsell and when to hold off.
The thing is people facing a problem don't want a hard sell. But if they understand the benefits and see how a product or service can improve their lives, they're more willing to buy. By using active listening, a skilled call center agent upsells at the optimal time.
9. Meet Sales and Call Quotas
For the highest productivity, give your reps goals. Add sales and call quotas in your call center representative duties. To get this number, find your average call volume for a month. Divide it by the total number of call center agents. Then, divide that figure by the number of days in a month. To avoid errors in calculation, consider using call center software to provide data.
With the right system, you can assess a variety of metrics that impact sales and call quotas. Other features, like call recording and monitoring, also help identify problems. Reps that struggle to meet quotas may need extra training or oversight.
10. Attend Regular Training
Regular training benefits all teams. It improves interpersonal skills. Plus, training helps agents use communications systems with ease. Your call center agents may complete:
- Online training, like webinars or interactive tutorials
- Onsite learning with hands-on help for communications systems
- Sessions with mock scenarios
- Agent-specific training to address AHT or ASA
11. Meet Company Standards for Communication
You hold your call center agents to the highest standards. As the first contact for clients, your staff represents your brand. They are uniquely positioned to convey your brand’s key messages and benefits. In your call center agent job description, you list many duties. But there's a good chance that the majority of tasks fall under the realm of communication.
Microsoft says, "66% of consumers use three different communication channels to contact customer service." Standard operating procedures provide guidelines for consistent communications. Your SOP helps call center agents do their job and meet performance metrics.
How a Call Center Improves Efficiency
Customer experience affects current and repeat sales. To generate loyal customers, you need a system that supports your business goals. Since your agents balance many call center duties, it's crucial to have a process in place for each activity. Efficient systems include:
- Scripts and templates to assist call center agents
- Business phone services that support clients and representatives
- Plans for low- and high-volume times
- Skill-based routing gets customers to the best agents for their needs
How Call Center Software Makes Agents More Efficient
The bottom line is that excellent customer service relies on call center software. Great interpersonal skills cannot fix a lack of data. Your agents must flow from one task to the next with ease. With inbound call center software, your agents use one platform for communication. This improves rates for:
- Average call handle time
- Call abandonment
- Average time in the queue
- Percentage of blocked calls
- The average speed of answers
The right tools help call center agents to do their job better. They do not waste time searching for answers. Nor do your customers get frustrated with their experience. Help your team manage call center duties by putting the right systems and software in place.
Add Office Systems That Support Call Center Duties
Today's customer expects fast answers from many channels. According to Salesforce, "75% of consumers look forward to a consistent experience across multiple engagement channels. Platforms include social media, mobile, online, in-person or through the phone." If your call center fails to deliver, 73% will likely change brands.
Avoid dissatisfaction by using a reliable business phone system. It gives your team tools that enhance the customer experience. Plus, your tools increase productivity. Features your modern call center phone system will need include:
- Internal chat function for agents and supervisors
- Hot desking and remote work options
- Unified communications
- Video conferencing capabilities
- Integrations with your existing software
World-Class Technology Supports Call Center Responsibilities
Every time you help a client, you build your brand's reputation. That trust retains customers and boosts loyalty. With training and the right tools, your agents provide the ultimate customer experience. Choose the best cloud partner for your business. Doing so provides access to technology and training for your team.
Call centers rely on their technology to empower them to be as productive as possible. With 8x8's cloud contact center, you get world-class technology and everything your call center needs in one place. Call 1-888-652-6341 or fill out an online form to request a no-obligation quote from an 8x8 product specialist.