Skills you need to work in a call centre
As a call centre agent, you'll find yourself assuming the roles of company representative, salesperson, problem solver and agony aunt – sometimes all at once.
The challenges aren’t for everyone; it takes a particular set of skills and qualities to create the ideal candidate for a call centre job. Here are a few of the most important ones.
A clear and friendly telephone manner
It's a fact that having a call centre job means you'll be spending a significant amount of time on the phone. The person on the other end of the line can't see your smile or your body language, so it's important that you can convey an outgoing and enthusiastic personality through your voice alone – while still remaining professional and respectful.
And don't save it for the first day on the job. From the very first phone call between you and your potential employer, before any formal interviews, show them that you're confident, friendly and articulate when dealing with people on the telephone.
Excellent interpersonal skills
In many instances, you'll be the first – and perhaps only – point of contact between your employer and their customer. That means you need to quickly build a rapport with that customer: listening without interrupting, showing them compassion and sympathy, and expressing complicated information in concise and clear terms.
One crucial quality – and one that will be apparent to hirers from the early stages of your job application – is confidence. If you're the type of person who starts to get nervous on the phone, or becomes withdrawn when challenged, that's something you'll definitely need to improve if you're planning to get an inbound call centre job.
The chances are that you've dealt with call centres as a customer more than once. Think about a particularly positive experience you had, and the ways that person treated you and interacted with you as a medium between customer and company. You can use this good experience as a model.
Familiarity with computers
You ought to have a decent grasp of the basic and most common systems, such as Excel and Word. It's also likely that you'll spend a lot of time working with databases – entering and retrieving customer details, or taking and processing orders.
And you'll need to be fast – customers don't want to wait on the line while you're searching your keyboard for the F key. You'll be expected to eventually provide a completely fluid experience for the caller – so it's worth brushing up on your computer skills now.
The ability to multi-task
Sometimes, you're going to need to type, listen, refer to your script, and think of an appropriate solution to your customer's needs – all while keeping up a lively verbal exchange.
For a lot of people, this will start to come naturally after some time working in a call centre job. But if you can prove you're comfortable multi-tasking during the selection process, you might significantly improve your chances of securing the role.