Tips and Tricks for the Call Center Customer Service Representative

Call centers can implement a few strategies and tips to improve their customer service both as a team and as individual agents.

However, before any tips and tricks can work, it's important to have the right team for your organization in place. Hiring the right people for agent positions is essential—find the best team of talented agents, and it's a lot easier for the organization to meet its goals.

To improve your call center's customer service, start by troubleshooting your call center's current customer experience to see if there are any obvious areas for improvement or changes your team can make. Asking your customers to rate their experiences can also help—any information they're willing to provide is vital to solving the puzzle.

What Are the Best Tips for Call Center Agents?

Call center agents need the right skillset and personality for helping customers. To provide the best experience for callers, they must work on mastering the following skills:

  • Empathy: Agents must have the ability to understand where customers, especially the frustrated ones, are coming from to best address their concerns.
  • Positive Attitude: With positivity, it is easier for agents to make it through their shifts, as well as be in a helpful mood when interacting with callers.
  • Attentive: Being a good listener and paying attention to detail allow agents to hear their customers' concerns and be responsive.
  • Adaptability: Flexible agents are better prepared for the unexpected. Working with customers over the phone regularly brings various kinds of surprises that agents will have to manage.
  • Dedication to Customers: Agents who are dedicated to their jobs and to customers are willing to go the extra mile and aren't afraid of trying harder to get the results they need.
  • Understanding the Customer's Journey: Customers come to know brands through a process called the “customer’s journey.” The ability to quickly determine where a customer is in their journey helps agents provide the type of service they specifically need and make the right recommendations.

Improving Agent Skills with Call Center Software

Call center software, such as 8x8’s Virtual Contact Center, collects all types of data, including agent productivity, customer satisfaction ratings, the number of calls received for a certain period, and the average length of time concerns get resolved. These data are instrumental in optimizing call center operations and improving agent skills.

  • Call center software integrate with various tools to maximize agent productivity. No more switching between applications to get all the information your agents need.
  • One-click calls and auto-dialing allow agents to make more calls in less time.
  • The customer’s call history lets agents anticipate what the customer might be calling about.

For feedback and training, in particular, call center software can help you:

  • Pair new or underperforming agents with top performers who can provide training. Call center software tracks individual agent performances and measures them against organizational benchmarks, allowing you to pinpoint with accuracy which among your team of agents need help and who can provide that help.
  • Provide regular feedback by showing agents their performance metrics, where they’re doing great, and where they need improvement. Call center recordings are invaluable training tools for helping your agents understand the big picture.
  • Plan and develop training materials around topics your agents are having the most trouble with. You may also involve agents in deciding what training should be covered based on what helped them the most at work.

How Do Call Center Agents Become Better at Customer Service?

To become better at customer service, practice and preparation are key. Having the right mindset is the first step. Agents should start their shifts prepared mentally with the right mix of positivity, teamwork, and sense of vision. Customers can be difficult to manage over the phone sometimes, and not every caller is in a good mood. Staying on point throughout the call isn't always an easy task even for the most patient agents.

Agents need to understand the importance of staying in control of their emotional response. Being able to take a step back and identify with the customer's concerns, frustrations, and needs can make it easier to offer relevant help. That happens when you intently listen to what your customers are trying to communicate with you.

Training Your Call Center Team in Customer Service

Empathy, listening skills, and great personalities over the phone are characteristics a call center customer service representative must have to thrive in the call center industry. But to provide exceptional customer service, they need to tailor the service to callers’ needs. With the right training, approach, and tools, your call center will become more successful and productive.

Call centers rely on their technology to empower them to be as productive as possible. With 8x8's Virtual Contact Center, you get world-class technology and everything your call center needs in one place. Call 1-866-879-8647 or fill out an online form to request a no-obligation quote from an 8x8 product specialist.

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