Customer service is a part of every business that thrives on a strong workforce to deliver a quality experience. Most customers dread the idea of making a call only to be left on hold for what feels like hours, wait for the chance to live chat, or spend days checking email for a support ticket answer.
Having a team in place that is dedicated to providing outstanding customer service that leads to increased customer loyalty is better for both businesses and customers. Explore what a contact center agent does and see what it takes to deliver a great customer experience.
What is a contact center agent?
Contact center agents work in sales and customer service as the main point of contact for a company. They field phone calls, emails, live chats, SMS texts, and support tickets on behalf of companies. Agents handle a large flow of communication traffic daily, taking responsibility for simple bill payments and order inquiries to support issues and customer complaints.
Agents are responsible for identifying customer needs through quality engagement, upselling products and services, building customer relationships, keeping accurate records of customer communications, and building product knowledge to achieve performance and sales goals.
When working for an outsourced call center, agents may be representing more than one company at a time. Managing customer service for multiple companies and industries in the same day means agents need to make customers feel they are working with a knowledgeable and dedicated representative.
Virtual call center agents work from home and may be contracted by either a single company or work on an outsourced call center scheme. All virtual agents need is a quality headset for making and receiving calls in a quiet environment, and a reliable internet connection to run chat interfaces and ticketing applications.
No-voice call center agents, as the name suggests, don’t handle phone calls. Instead, these agents are responsible for live chats, emails, and support tickets. Because they handle multiple communications at once, many of which can come over social media, no-voice call center agents must be quick typists, well-organized, attentive to detail, and have good people skills. Since tone of voice is not as easily conveyed in text as it is in speech, messages take extra care to create.
Giving customers the ability to choose their preferred method of communication is the first step in creating a great customer experience. The Bright Pattern inbound call center solution allows agents to toggle between communication channels to efficiently engage with customers. Agents can seamlessly switch between calls, SMS messages, live chat and email while retaining a full chat history with the customer.
Qualities of a contact center agent
Agents help define the customer experience by being the primary point of contact and face of a company. To this end, several key qualities are needed for any skilled contact center agent. Agents need to be able to retain knowledge and interpret customer issues the first time the message is conveyed. Customers don’t like repeating themselves to every agent and expect to receive timely solutions to problems.
Daily responsibilities may fluctuate, so contact center agents need to be flexible. Being attentive to detail is crucial to delivering customer solutions that fit specific needs and situations. This quality customer support translates to greater customer satisfaction and loyalty.
When no straightforward solution is available for a customer problem, an agent will need some creativity to arrive at one. A creative rep will know how to use their available resources to meet customer needs in an unanticipated manner. To effectively handle the flow of communication and follow-up schedules, a good agent understands the value of being organized.