Developing your soft skills to be a better call center agent

smiling female call center agent attending to customer
Granted, you’ve landed a job as a call center agent, it follows that you’re armed with the skill set needed to do well in the industry. Landing the job based on your technical aptitudes is one thing, but it takes a different skill range to excel in it. Your knowledge and education need to come with soft skills so you can unbridle your full potential as a customer support agent.

Soft skills, alternatively called people or interpersonal skills, are personal attributes that indicate high emotional intelligence. These are comprised of the general skills for communication, leadership, interpersonal relations, and the like.

To be an effective customer service agent, these are the areas you need to improve on.


1.     Communication

smiling call center rep speaking

You work in an industry that banks on communication, both in the written and verbal forms. These skills might seem like trivial job requirements, since everyone is assumed to possess them to begin with. However, communication skills go beyond the ability to engage in a conversation. Being a good communicator also means listening actively to others and empathizing with them. Through these capabilities, you can build rapport with your clients and colleagues.


2.     Creativity and problem solving

The importance of these two capabilities in call centers is undeniable. As an agent, you’re required to assist clients constantly. This means you must be able to come up with efficient solutions to their issues, a task that requires resourcefulness and critical thinking.


3.     Conflict resolution

distressed woman in deep serious conversation

In the customer support industry, conflicts arise everyday—may it be with clients or workmates. As a support agent, you must always be ready to deal with disagreements in a professional manner. Here, your negotiation abilities can come in handy. When you engage in difficult conversations in a constructive manner, you’ll be able to turn a negative situation into a positive one.


4.     Self-motivation and self-regulation

The ability to motivate yourself and regulate your own behavior, emotions, or thoughts are skills you must develop to become a more effective call center agent and team member. These can help you get yourself out of a productivity slump or job burnout. These would also aid you in sticking to your work plan and schedule. In addition, you need these skills to become more adaptable to any kind of situation, and this is an essential prerequisite to a successful career.


5.     Teamwork skills

coworkers fist bump

Teamwork is significant for most jobs. When a cogwheel gets broken, the whole machine stops. The same goes with customer service teams. If one agent doesn’t know how to get along with the rest of the team, it will cause friction and keep the team from progressing.


How to improve your soft skills

smiling call center rep with customer support team

Knowing which specific interpersonal and communication skills you need to develop takes a lot of reflection and self-awareness. Listen to feedback from your family, friends, and colleagues so you can focus on the areas you need to improve upon the most. You may also ask them for advice and suggestions on how you can enhance your skills further.

Some hire a professional coach, while others turn to self-help books and articles. There are also companies that carry out employee training programs. If these options aren’t available to you, you may look for organizations or institutions that offer vocational courses, say for leadership or communication.