How to Build a Contact Center Agent Profile to Wow Your Customers
In a Salesforce survey, 80% of people revealed that the quality of a customer’s experience mattered as much as the quality of products and services they received. That means one customer service agent can drastically alter a customer’s lifetime value, keeping a relationship strong or cutting it prematurely short.
With the quality of customer service on the rise across industries, one weak link sticks out and, to paraphrase Warren Buffett, can ruin a reputation built over 20 years in five minutes. In the hopes of exercising greater quality control, more organizations are realizing the importance of building a reliable contact center agent profile.
An agent profile defines excellence by identifying the specific traits needed to regularly deliver a high-quality customer experience. Though your contact center specialists have big shoes to fill, you can ensure the people you select are capable of doing so by evaluating them on the following criteria.
Frankly, real-world interactions are messy. No matter how well your script answers the common questions and challenges of your field, contact center agents will still regularly encounter new surprises. Effective agents, no matter the industry, don’t let those surprises overwhelm them – they keep calm and adapt to the situation.
Consider retail customer service as an example. New issues with online transactions, rewards redemption, product fulfillment, or even recalls, drop contact center agents into unknown territory. However, an adaptable agent follows their curiosity, takes smart risks, evaluates past solutions, and works with their contact center team to find a new resolution.
The same problem-solving method applies regardless of your industry. Incoming customer service agents need to be measured on their adaptability through assessments and behavioral interview questions. The more you can gauge how they’ll respond outside of routine interactions, the better understanding you’ll have of their adaptability.
When dealing with people, every little detail counts. Even with an effective CRM at their disposal, contact center agents need intuitive perception to identify which details matter most and how they contribute to a satisfactory conclusion. It’s through their attention-to-detail that they can create exceptional experiences for customers.
In addition to picking up the facts of a particular situation, the best contact center agents have strong emotional intelligence. The ability to perceive the emotions of others allows agents to respond in appropriate ways that deescalate situations and result in far more engaging customer experiences.
Identifying these skills through your contact center agent profile relies on your own watchfulness. Of course, checking for mistakes or errors in submission materials is a simple way to filter out weaker candidates. Beyond that, relying on behavioral interview questions that ask them about their problem-solving process and how they check their own work can pick out the most attentive agents from the rest.
Their Fit for Your Business
The effectiveness of your contact center agents depends on one factor most of all: how well they embrace your brand. The best agents hunger for new knowledge and work hard to become the resident experts on your products, services, and processes. And it’s their confidence and the way they buy into your brand that leads to regular improvements in your main customer service metrics.
Additionally, they need to be suited to handle the challenges of your specific industry. If they are contributing to your healthcare customer service solutions, they need to be able to navigate the complexity of HIPAA compliance and HITECH regulations. In retail and BFSI customer service, the best agents master PCI DSS compliance to keep customers’ private information secure. Whatever the unique challenge, they rise to the occasion and build proficiency in the relevant knowledge set.
How do you measure for your business’ unique fit? Focus on identifying their passion and their drive to learn and grow. Intensive training programs can bridge the gap on the rest. For example, when we helped a client in the farming and gardening space by taking over their fulfillment process from a third party, we knew that the ownership our agents take, and the training we provided, would be enough for them to adapt to a new knowledge base and processes. In 60 days, we deployed the program to comprehensively and efficiently fulfill orders and improved CSAT by 400 points.
The right contact center agent can deliver exceptional experiences to your customers. With our Checklist for Choosing the Right Outsourced Contact Center, you can identify a partner that prioritizes agent profiles – and other industry-leading practices!
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