Customer-centric businesses choose call centers to engage customers, drive sales efforts, and create brand awareness. The call center is a centralized way of handling queries, resolving grievances, and offering add-on services to service users and customers. Call center executives play a significant role in a business by being the first point of contact. Recruitment of call center executives requires scrutiny of their technical and behavioral skills. Call center simulation assessments are a great way to evaluate the skills of call center executives.
Importance of Call Centers for a Business
Establishing strong customer relations is paramount for businesses of all types and sizes. Call centers help businesses build a personal rapport with clients. Spreading awareness among the target group of consumers can be effectively done through call centers. Apart from driving sales efforts and spreading brand awareness, call centers also handle customer queries or complaints. Here is why you need to have call centers for your business:
- Provide easy accessibility for your clients/customers
- Help build customer confidence and loyalty
- Increase sales and avoid lost opportunities
- Help build a professional image
- Provide a competitive edge
It is clear from the above discussion that having a call center to drive sales efforts and improve customer engagement is a must for gaining a competitive edge in the business.
8 Must-have Skills of Call Center Agents
Call center agents to play customer-facing roles. They become the face of the business for customers. Handling customer queries and complaints, communicating the brand story, and driving sales are some of the responsibilities of call center agents. Call center agents play a significant role in being the first point of contact for the business. Call centers offer the first and last impression and demonstrate the level of customer-centricity of the organization.
With call center agents playing a pivotal role in businesses, it mandates a stricter focus on screening job candidates to ensure onboarding the right fit. If any mismatch occurs between the job requirement and the skills of the onboarded candidate it would result in repetitive hiring cycles leading to financial losses. Here are some of the personal qualities and technical skills that recruiters must look for in call center agents.
1. Technical skills: Call center agents must be able to search and evaluate documentation on the product/service. Understanding self-service articles or manuals is an important skill for call center executives. Holistic computer skills are a must for call center executives.
2. Clarity in communication: Resolution of customer issues requires clarity of thought to think through the issues. While addressing customer queries or issues, call center agents need to answer clearly and in understandable language.
3. Patience: Handling irate customers requires patient listening by the agent. Customers must be provided enough time to explain their concerns and agents must actively assist them throughout the call. Patient hearing of upset or confused customers is very important to leave a lasting impression on the customers.
4. Empathy: Genuine empathy exhibited by call center agents builds an authentic and positive rapport with worried or confused customers.
5. Problem-solving capabilities: The ability to reason out and think through customers’ issues is important for a call center agent. Call center agents who can accurately define problems, evaluate them, and solve them are precious to the organization.
6. Listening abilities: Call center agents must possess the ability to listen patiently and attentively to customers as they describe their difficulties. Attentive listening ensures that important details are not missed throughout the exchange.
7. Organization ability: Organizational skills like note-taking, prioritizing tasks, time management, and maintaining a tidy workspace help call center agents handle daily workloads efficiently. Staying organized frees up time for solving more complex issues.
8. Flexibility: Call center agents need to adjust their approach based on changing customer expectations. Flexibility and adaptability are desirable traits in call center agents.
Call center agents need to be tested on several technical and personality traits. Hiring the right fit for the role of call center agent helps organizations improve customer experience, brand awareness, and sales pipeline.
What is a Call Center Simulation Assessment?
Call center simulation assessments are pre-employment screening tests that help assess the personalities, aptitude, and technical and communication skills of candidates. Simulation tests are designed to mimic real-life, on-the-job scenarios that help in evaluating a candidate’s job-related skills, communication skills, and problem-solving capabilities.
BPO companies have relied on call center simulation assessments for a thorough evaluation of candidates’ diverse skills and to ascertain their fitment to the role. Elaborate pre-employment call center simulation assessments evaluate diverse skills like aptitude, voice and accent skills, communication skills, technical skills, cognitive skills, and interpersonal and behavioral attributes, which help ascertain the candidate’s ability to perform tasks at expected levels of proficiency.
Call center simulation tests enable organizations to overcome the limitations of conventional interviews and guesswork. Screening candidates through call center simulation assessments helps build a global standard workforce. These assessments not only measure pre-defined competencies but also assess the capabilities and skill levels of existing employees. The strengths and weaknesses of existing employees can be identified through call center simulation tests so that learning and development training programs can be designed to bridge the skill gap.
Call center simulation assessment tests consist of separate modules for pre-employment communication skills assessment, cognitive skill assessment, interpersonal skill assessment, and technical skill assessment. Pre-employment call center assessment tests like SkillRobo are equipped with a wide array of tools that measure language skills and other industry-specific competencies. With the help of these tests, organizations can identify candidates who are the best fit for working in a BPO or call center environment. Using advanced pre-employment call center simulation tools like SkillRobo organizations can hire candidates that:
- Help optimize customer service operations
- Address client concerns and queries satisfactorily
- Follow up with leads and contribute significantly towards the lead generation
- Enhance telemarketing strategies
Ways to Assess a Call Center Agent
Hiring call center agents requires a more structured approach because call center professionals become the voice of the brand. In addition to having excellent communication, interpersonal, and aptitude skills, candidates must be able to understand and master information about the company’s products and services. Essential skills for call center agents may be classified into 4 categories, namely, interpersonal, cognitive, technical, and communication and voice and accent skills.
1. Interpersonal Skills:
Handling crises or irate or confused customers is an integral part of a call center agent’s job requirements. Candidates having strong interpersonal skills can connect with customers at a personal level. These invaluable social and behavioral skills in call center agents help facilitate smooth conversations and drive maximum value into every customer interaction. Strong interpersonal skills help establish meaningful and confident customer interactions. Confidence, empathy, patience, persuasion, decision-making, conflict resolution capability, adaptability, and openness are markers of strong interpersonal skills.
2. Cognitive Skills:
The ability of a candidate to utilize his/her intellect to internalize, process, and recall information coupled with reasoning and analytical abilities is termed cognitive ability. Intellect-based skills play a vital role in establishing smooth interactions while resolving grievances. Learning ability, visual perception, attention to detail, logical reasoning, and multitasking capabilities are markers of cognitive skills.
3. Communication and Voice and accent Skills:
Consumers form an impression about the company based on their experience and the quality of conversations. The ability to communicate is an important skill that call center agents have to possess. Evaluation of communication and voice and accent skills is an important part of hiring call center agents. Command over English and grammar, voice and accent, written communication, email etiquette, and clarity of speech are some of the markers of communication and voice and accent skills.
4. Technical Skills:
The ability of the candidate to perform computational, scientific, and digital work is termed a technical skill. Technical skills are acquired through work experience. Thorough knowledge of the product/service and the company is a must to create maximum impact on customers and prospects. Basic computer proficiency is also required to key in caller information and optimize call handling time. Typing skills, a good understanding of the company’s offerings, and computer literacy are markers for technical skills in call center agents.
Hiring for senior-level call center personnel also requires evaluation of skills like:
- Intuitive communication and social skills
- Team-first approach
- On-the-go learning ability
- Strong sense of work autonomy
- Multi-tasking ability under pressure situations
- Ability to innovate and improve productivity
Being a customer-facing industry, call center companies need to take agent hiring with utmost seriousness. They need to start hiring right and ensure hiring perfect fits so that the company’s flag is kept flying high.
Choosing the Right Call Center Assessment Test
Comprehensive call center simulation assessments are pivotal in overcoming the seemingly small issues that may create bigger issues in recruitment. These assessments enable a multi-dimensional approach to the hiring process and provide real-time reports for making informed hiring decisions. The overall recruitment time is significantly reduced by using pre-employment screening tests. The intuitive screening abilities that these assessments bring to the recruitment process ensure long-term success in the call center. Critical traits like trainability, ability to handle complex-customer-centric scenarios, and assertiveness, can be effectively identified through call center simulation assessments.
The key to choosing the right call center simulation assessment lies in a clear understanding of the qualities you seek in the prospective applicant. Here are some pointers that help you choose the right call center assessment tool as per the requirements of the role.
- Identify the best-fit applicants: Simulation tests mimic real work situations that help filter individuals who do not see themselves as part of the work environment. These tests expose them to actual work scenarios that involve stressful situations, handling multiple calls within short durations, or upset and confused customers. Candidates who can handle such situations may be chosen for the next level of recruitment.
- Measure aptitude along with language skills: Clarity in communication is paramount in call center roles. The simulation test must evaluate the verbal and written communication of candidates and their voice and accent skills.
- Evaluate cognitive tests: Blended call centers have several roles that require multi-tasking and switching between inbound customer queries, and outbound sales campaigns. Such roles require a higher level of cognitive ability than entry-level jobs. Call center simulation tests must accommodate the evaluation of omnichannel abilities.
- Provide fool-proof security features: Conducting remote simulation tests is a challenge in terms of the detection and prevention of fraud. Other aspects that need to be considered are accidental leakage of data, limited bandwidth and inadequate scalability, cheating, and identity theft, evaluation errors, and the inability to accommodate multiple question formats. The simulation assessment must ensure that all these aspects are taken care of.
- Reporting and analytics: The results of the call center simulation assessment must be instantly communicated to the HR personnel. The simulation tool must provide instant reports and analytics on the candidate’s performance so that the hiring team can make informed decisions.
- Scheduling features: The simulation tool must provide scheduling features that enable the HR team to schedule tests for candidates.
- Audio/Video recording: An audio-video recording of the entire test session helps the hiring team monitor the candidate while he/she takes the test.
SkillRobo is a pre-employment assessment platform that provides a wide array of skill tests across various industries. The fully customizable skill library allows users to create tailor-made tests as per the unique requirements of the role. Call center simulation assessments can be easily done via the customizable skill library in SkillRobo. The hiring team can upload test scores directly onto the HR evaluation system for effective shortlisting of candidates.
Call centers thrive on employees with excellent communication skills, patience, and spontaneity. Call center simulation assessments act as ideal pre-employment screening tools that help hire individuals who add immense value to call center success.
Online pre-employment skill assessment tools provided by SkillRobo for skills across industries help hire highly skilled candidates for low- to high-level job positions. Filter and hire candidates with strong technical and cognitive skills easily and quickly with SkillRobo. The test library is a good mix of engaging and interactive questions for assessing the technical skills and behavioral traits of candidates. We understand the tactical and challenging nature of call center recruitment. SkillRobo simplifies the process of hiring for call center positions. Get in touch with us for more information.
SkillRobo simplifies the process of hiring for call center positions. Get in touch with us for more information.