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Two Surprising Skills That Can Help You Excel in a Customer Service Center Role

August 3 2015 - When you think of a role in customer service dealing with calls from different sorts of people, whether you work for a bank, an energy company, a utility firm, a retail brand or in a healthcare call center, what sort of skills do you tend to imagine would be necessary?

You might say that an agent working in one of these environments would need great listening skills, be a good communicator, and be able to think on their feet to solve problems. You may think that they would need a good memory, to remember all of the different products they have to talk to people about, and where to find resolutions to common problems. All of this is true. However, if you are considering a career in a call center, then there are actually a few skills that are not so obvious, but which can really help you to succeed.

Sales and Marketing Skills

Inbound call centers which handle customer service inquiries, such as those operated in house by big businesses or run as a service by third party providers like Ameridial, do not make outgoing sales calls or do any telemarketing - if a company uses these means of gaining new business, they tend to have a dedicated team. However, as it is always easiest to sell products to existing customers, customer service people are often expected to (as a secondary objective), sell or promote things to the people who call in. Customer service teams can also sometimes double as inbound sales teams, so if a customer wants an upgrade to a service or to add additional features to a package, they will call the same number as for other customer care reasons. This means a good customer service person (at least from the employer's perspective) will be able to take opportunities to upsell and make recommendations that lead to revenue for the business.

IT Skills

Most customer service teams use a custom system to keep records of calls and to access things like customer billing information. They receive full training on how to use these. However, because a customer service person needs to navigate through systems and update things rapidly while also talking to their customer, it is very important that they are competent and capable with IT.

Do You Have What It Takes?

As you can see, the obvious skillset relating to speaking and listening to customers and finding ways to help them is not all there is to being a successful call center representative. Those who are good at using the systems given to them will handle calls faster and be more efficient, and those who can sell appropriately can also stand to make good bonuses.

If you, therefore, are considering working in a call center, it can be a good idea to hone up on these skills by learning more about sales techniques and making sure you are confident with a PC, before you begin!

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