“I’ve heard that a local employer is increasing its call center staff. What kind of skills do I need to be successful there?” – Tom from Des Moines, IA
Thanks so much for your question and I’m thrilled to hear that you are interested in call center work. Your interest may lead you to a very rewarding and challenging career.
The basic skills typically required in call center careers are as follows:
- Computer skills
- Ability to type at least 20 words per minute
- Verbal and written communication abilities
- Time management skills
- Problem solving capabilities
These skills typically equip a person for answering or making calls in the usual fast paced, high stress call center environment.
Depending on the type of call center department you may be seeking, customer service skills are vital in boosting performance. In customer service, these skills can be broken down within four basic principles that sum up what customers expect. These principles are:
- Courtesy (tone of voice and politeness – such as saying please and thank you)
- Concern (expressing empathy, taking ownership and showing a readiness to help)
- Knowledge (being an expert and using resources to resolve customer issues)
- Timely resolution (resolving customer issues in a fast, convenient manner)
In order to meet and exceed the goals of these different principles, a person must possess certain skills of the mind and attitude, such as being:
- Driven and motivated
- Flexible and adaptable
- Team oriented
- Accepting of feedback
Even the top ranked call center professional will receive feedback on a very regular basis. So it is important to keep in mind that feedback is meant to either build an employee’s skill (or competence) or build an employee’s will (or confidence). Accepting feedback and applying it immediately is vital in boosting performance in a call center environment.
Having great computer and customer service skills are definitely important. At the same time, almost anyone can be taught how to do a job; it is much more difficult to teach someone to have the right attitude and frame of mind for a job. So having a positive attitude, being upbeat and personable, being ready to learn and accepting of feedback are key elements of success in a call center.
I hope you’ve found this information to be helpful in preparing for the many possibilities available from a career in call center environments. Best of luck to you!