Working in a call center can be demanding, but some expert tips can make things a lot easier. Whether you are a seasoned call agent or are looking for your first job in a call center, these ideas will help you with everything from avoiding common mistakes to communicating more clearly.
1. Patience, Patience, Patience
Patience is key when you work in a call center.
Maybe the line is noisy and you can’t understand what the customer says. Or perhaps an important piece of software stops responding in the middle of a call. In situations like these, keeping your cool can make all the difference.
Whenever you feel you are getting impatient, try this simple exercise:
- Take deep breaths, inhale from the nose and exhale from the mouth.
- Allow yourself to focus on something else for a couple of seconds, for example, an object on your desk or a picture hanging on the wall.
- Relax your body and feel the floor under your feet as you keep breathing deeply.
2. Always Take Notes
Even if you are good at remembering things, committing every detail to memory isn’t an option when you work in a call center. That’s why taking notes is so important.
Taking notes allows you to focus completely on finding solutions to the problem at hand without having to worry about memorizing every single detail. Plus, when you have notes, it’s easier to relay accurate information to other agents or technical staff.
Here are some tips on how to take good notes:
- Use a pen, not a pencil.
- Always date your notes.
- Don’t try to write everything down; take short notes instead.
- Reporters, who make a living by taking notes, use narrow notepads with top spiral binding. You may consider getting one yourself.
3. Don’t Take Things Personally
This is a simple but effective rule that applies to any job that involves direct interactions with customers.
Depending on the type of calls you are assigned to take, you may interact with people who are impatient or feel frustrated.
While these customers may have good reasons to feel the way they do, it’s important that you remember that their irritation is not directed at you. You just happen to be the person who is in a position to help them.
When dealing with an emotionally charged call, let the other person vent, empathize with them, apologize if appropriate, and then shift the focus of the call to finding a solution.
4. Communicate Clearly
Clear communication guides the customer through the call while making them feel that their time is being respected.
Keep in mind that customers may not know what to expect when they contact a call center. That’s why you have to provide clear instructions at every stage of the interaction.
By explaining what’s about to happen during the call ( by saying things like, “I will put you on hold for a moment while I review the information”), you make things feel more predictable, which contributes to lowering the caller’s stress level.
Communicating hold times is particularly important. Let clients know when you are about to put them on hold and check back with them to apologize if you have to keep them waiting.
5. Keep a Positive Attitude
In a call center, a positive attitude is more than a slogan — it can be the difference that helps you thrive as a call agent.
This is not just a feel-good strategy. Science shows that embracing optimism pays off. For example, did you know that studies have demonstrated that insurance agents with an “optimistic explanatory style” sell more insurance than agents with a pessimistic style?
It makes sense: when you are optimistic, you are more resilient because you are confident that you’ll end up succeeding.
When thinking about your job, highlight the positive; when dealing with customers, focus on finding solutions, and you will be one step closer to success.
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