Call centers in all industries and trades face many different challenges that go beyond just dealing with frustrated callers and lengthy shifts. Problems that trouble these agencies today are much more technical, and range from the quality of agent responses to ensuring the agency’s disaster recovery capabilities. According to Ameyo, a call center technology company, one thing agencies find to be exceptionally difficult is overcoming call center staffing problems especially when it comes to recruiting or hiring.
Today’s job market is competitive, and while specialized skills are preferred by each industry, employers look for “soft skills” in almost all of their hires. In a survey conducted on 400 U.S. employers, the respondents were asked which skills they deem as “must-haves” for rookie workforce entrants. The top four replies were: work ethic, oral and written communications, teamwork, and problem solving aptitude.
It’s no secret that one of the most challenging facets of call center management is finding and retaining the right people for the job. The industry features one of the highest turnover rates in the country, meaning recruiters often have to filter through a high volume of applications.
Certain factors like a restrictive pool of quality applicants and the specialized job requirements compound the already challenging process of hiring. After all, while academic qualifications and vocational skills are important, excellent communication, resourcefulness and management ability or potential are much more in demand.
While the term “call center management” conjures up a lot of concepts, there manages to be a common denominator behind it all: metrics. Most people immediately think of the job as strictly keeping up with set of expectations and urging everyone to do so. Although metrics play a large role in a call center executive’s performance, it is not the be-all and end-all of the position.
Being a call center executive requires a fair set of core competencies. If you have recently been contacted by recruitment firms, like The Call Center Group A-z, LLC, as part of an executive recruiting spree, here are some of the skills you need to exhibit during your interview(s).
Millions of people around the world work in conventional call center jobs. Try asking them about their trade and you’ll typically receive this reply about nine times out of ten: it’s one of the toughest ones they’ve had. Technically, any paying profession in the world has a certain degree of toughness, so that doesn’t technically make a call center job a bad one. In fact, try pressing an agent further and you’ll learn that there’s actually a good array of both social and professional skills that can be learned from a contact center career.
First, there’s listening. It’s quite self-explanatory that call center agents listen to a lot of people regularly. Call center agents need to be better listeners since every customer’s situation differs in some way, and listening intently enables them to better analyze the issue and come up with an appropriate plan of action.