Why are some phone agents more effective than others?

Are you managing a call center? Im sure youve questioned why some of your call center agents are motivated, top performers while others struggle. Its not an easy, one-size-fits all answer or magic formula. Finding the perfect mix of competency, personality type and motivation is a top priority when it comes to supporting your products through call center agents. You must clearly define these requirements up front before interviewing and extending an offer to a possible new team member. Why? Because your new agent is a touchpoint for your customers. They will represent the face of your company.

Competencies

Soft skills:

Top call center agents have the ability to calm upset customers and steer them toward a solution. They will use empathy to relate to the customers frustration, show respect through word choice and tone of voice. These attributes help the agent calmly walk the customer through the issue and deliver the best solution for their problem.

Hard skills:

Having the ability to multi-task in a stressful situation is the foundation on which all other hard skills are built upon. Not only are basic computer skills required, such as typing a minimum of 20-30 words per minute for taking notes in the customers file, but also the ability to switch between multiple software programs. Top call center agents combine their soft skills to quickly assess the issue while accessing the software programs needed to resolve the issue. Their strength also lies in a thorough knowledge of the companys products and policies.

Personality & Motivation

Top performers are known to have an upbeat personality, the ability to remain calm in stressful situations and for using an even-tempered voice while speaking with a variety of customers over the course of their shift. The difference is often in the agents motivation and desire to listen to the customer and to find the right solution to meet their individual needs. They enjoy the challenge of identifying problems and finding solutions.

Infrastructure & Culture

Top call center agents depend on management to provide training on the software programs they need to resolve customer issues, a detailed understanding of the products they are supporting and regular updates of changes to company policies and procedures. They thrive in a culture that is stimulating and rewarding. Top call center agents are naturally curious, motivated by a challenge, have an innate desire to listen to and solve problems, are patient, offer empathy and use their tone of voice to represent the heart of your company.

Once youve created the foundation for effective phone agents, how to ensure that your top performers maintain their level? And what can you put in place to systematically identify phone agents on the margin?

By automating and improving the quality assurance process with voice analytics software, you can evaluate 100% of your companys call recordings to ensure issues do not slip through the cracks. In the case of RankMiners voice analytics software, by using machine learning, the software represents a majority view across the assessments that your company conducts for its phone agents. This approach uses the QA assessments as supplements to the machine learning model to ensure calibration.

This approach translates into identifying trends in struggling agents dramatically quicker. Identification of those trends early translates into big dollars for your company. By finding quickly identifying which agents are struggling and why your company can get the agent the necessary training to improve their performance.

Access to RankMiner's paper on using Artificial Intelligence to monitor and measure call center agent performance

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