August 3 2015 - Call centers often need a lot of staff, and so can be very busy to recruit for. Sometimes they also use agency staff, for example to cover especially busy periods or to deal with certain product lines. This can mean that there can be a fairly high staff turnover, which also contributes to demand for recruitment services.
While call centers don't usually have particularly high entry criteria (i.e. applicants do not usually require a college degree or years of experience), the kind of people who tend to do well in interviews for these kinds of jobs and go on to actually enjoy doing them, tend to have some specific skills and traits. If you are recruiting for an inbound call center, and want to get people who will thrive in this kind of environment into the jobs, then here are some skills to look out for.
Because by its very nature working in an inbound call center means you have to talk to a lot of people, you will need to find people who not only love to talk, but are also very good at listening and understanding customers' issues. While you may assume an extremely outgoing person may be best placed to handle incoming customer inquiries, this is not always the case. Customer service is as much about concentrating and understanding what the customer really needs, and responding accordingly, as it is about being friendly and cheerful. A person who seems more quiet and thoughtful, if they are confident in talking to people, can therefore be an unexpectedly good asset.
Being a team player can also be important. While a customer service person deals with their customers on their own for the most part, they will often need to coordinate with other departments to get things done, so they will need to be good at understanding where their responsibilities begin and end, and be comfortable delegating.
A good customer service agent will need to update records, often on a custom business system, as well as research products or services, look at customer billing data, and comply with any industry regulations - and all while talking on the phone! This means they will need to be competent and efficient on a computer, and also good at multitasking - they can't lose focus on the customer because they are typing a note on the system.
As well as demonstrable skills in these areas, there are a couple of traits to look out for. A good customer service person will be cool headed. Sometimes customers will be angry and aggressive, and they need to be able to deal with this professionally. Also, they will need to be patient and empathetic - customers may sometimes need things explained very carefully, or may not understand why their issues can't be resolved the way they want them to be.
When recruiting for a call center, look out for people with these skills and traits, as they are the kind who will do very well on this career path!