A call center agent is a person who handles incoming or outgoing customer calls for a business. A call center agent might handle account inquiries, customer complaints or support issues. A call center agent who manages both incoming and outgoing customer calls is also referred to as a blended agent. Other names for a call center agent include customer service representative (CSR), contact center agent, telephone sales or service representative (TSR), attendant, associate, operator, account executive or team member.
Role and responsibilities of a call center agent
The job of a call center agent involves a variety of responsibilities that ultimately help lead to greater customer satisfaction. Some responsibilities include:
- managing inbound and/or outbound calls;
- following various communication scripts when speaking to a caller;
- customer engagement;
- identifying customer needs, answering questions and providing solutions/alternatives to issues;
- up-selling products and services when possible;
- building sustainable customer relationships;
- keeping records of all conversations organized;
- building product knowledge; and
- improving performance and hit goals.
Call center agent skills and qualities
To provide the best customer experience at a call center or contact center, an agent needs to be equipped with specialized skills. Here are some qualities all call center agents should possess:
- Knowledgeable: Agents need knowledge of the inner workings of the company and products that they represent.
- Detail-oriented: Agents must listen carefully to customers and be able to pick up on small details to provide accurate responses to customers.
- Organized: Agents need to be able to take quick notes, access CRM systems and track recorded conversations while speaking to customers.
- Flexible: Agents have to be able to adapt to unique customer queries and situations.
- Friendly/empathetic: Customer service representatives need to be able to understand a situation from a customer's perspective and have a positive attitude toward people, even when dealing with difficult problems.
- Calm under pressure: Agents may have to handle hundreds of customer calls each day. They should be able to maintain composure in stressful situations.
- Effective communicator: Call center agents need great verbal and written skills to effectively communicate with customers.
- Efficient: Agents should be able to respond to customers in a timely manner and be proactive in anticipating customer needs.
- Creative: Call center agents must be able to apply professional, yet unorthodox solutions to customer problems to quickly and effectively resolve issues and improve customer satisfaction.