While most call centers train their agents to use scripts and the various call center solutions they’ve implemented, where many call centers fall down is on soft skills training. Soft skills include things like recognizing when customers are angry or upset (and understanding how best to handle them), what approach to take to pacify an angry customer, how not to lose “cool” when a customer is angry or confrontational, how to follow up effectively on promises, and many other more subtle skills.
There’s a reason, of course. These skills are much more difficult to teach than how to operate the call center’s call recording solution, for example. Effective call centers implement training programs that impart helpful soft skills that can help an agent succeed. These are skills such as assessing callers' service expectations, developing question skills to elicit critical information from callers, moving calls forward to resolution and properly documenting their interactions with customers.
Agents should also understand how to execute follow-up activities, communicate effectively with customers through e-mail and Web chat and diffuse conflict and create a less-stressful, positive experience for the customer.
By implementing a call center workforce with effective soft skills, companies can maximize the productivity and effectiveness of the team.
But where do you even begin when it comes to soft skills training?
The Resource Center for Customer Service Professionals LLC (RCCSP) has developed a Contact Center Professional Training and Certification course designed for call center, help desk, customer service and technical support professionals. The course was crafted to help customer-facing employees learn best practices, skills and techniques for effective, high-quality front-line customer support.
It presents an opportunity to learn and practice skills that build customer relationships and create a positive business image.
After the training, participants will be able to recognize customers' needs, and adapt strategies to meet those needs, according to the RCCSP. The course focuses on relationship building skills and problem resolution techniques that can be applied first and foremost to customer interactions, as well as to everyday communication (and conflicts) within the team and with team leads and supervisors.
For more information, visit the RCCSP’s website here.
Edited by Braden Becker