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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Call Center Agent 101

Call Center Agent 101

A call center agent is the person who handles incoming or outgoing customer calls for a business. A call center agent might handle account inquiries, customer complaints or support issues. Other names for a call center agent include customer service representative (CSR), telephone sales or service representative (TSR), attendant, associate, operator, account executive or team member.
Responsibilities of an inbound call center agent
A call center agent is a person responsible for answering the quires of the customers in case of customer support call center. they are responsible to satisfy customer and maintain good image for the company

Acting as a sales representative
If a call center agent is responsible for making cold calls to prospective customer than it is acting as a sales representative on the part of the manufacturer or the service provider.
Job Description of a Call Center Agent
• Support and provide superior service via phones, e-mails and faxes as a receiver and caller

• Use questioning and listening skills that support effective telephone communication.

• Use an effective approach to handle special telephone tasks like call transfers, taking messages, call backs, holds, interruptions, and unintentional disconnects.

• Understand the impact of attitude in handling calls professionally

• Effectively deal with job stress, angry callers, and upset customers

• Use the most appropriate way to communicate with different behavior types on the telephone.

• Apply the elements of building positive rapport with different types of customers over the phone.

• Apply the proper telephone etiquette to satisfy various customer situations.

• Apply appropriate actions to effectively control a telephone call.

• Identify voice skills and how to enhance a good telephone presentation.

• Meets commitments to customers

• Other duties as assigned.

• Display Time flexibility towards shifts as per work floor requirements.

Source: wiki.answers.com

Qualities of Call Center Agents

Qualities of Call Center Agents

Call center companies, being in the customer-oriented business, would be needing special qualifications from a prospective call center agent. Although some preferred college graduates, even non-degree holders could be hired if they possess the following specialized skills:
• Demonstrable customer care orientation;
• Good communication and listening skills;
• Proficient in English, working knowledge fo other language like Mandarin, Korean and German would be an advantage;
• Must be computer literate particularly in Word processign and use of internet applications.
There exists call center training institutions like the Call Center Academy and Asia Call Center Link that offers short call center courses ranging from 1-2 weeks duration. This is a special training aimed at preparing a prospective call center agent to the rudiments of the job. Through 20-40 hour modules, this training institutions equip both graduates and undergraduates with competitive and globalized customer service skills.
source: TESDA

Call Center Careers, What’s In-Store for You?

Call Center Careers, What’s In-Store for You?

Say the phrase ‘Call Center Careers’ and sudden images of telemarketers flood the minds of many. This is an unfortunate stigma. The truth is, Call Center Careers are much more and offer a wide range of demands and tasks. It’s not just someone trying to sell you something; it’s an actual job, one you have dealt with on many occasions.
Whenever you call for directory assistance to find a newbookstore or try to schedule an airline reservation for that upcoming vacation, you use a call center. This is where your call is received and responded to. Someone who has a career in this area will help you find whatever information you need or talk through any problem you may have. Their priority is to serve you.
Call center careers are not easy, another unfortunate stigma. Many believe that any one can answer a phone and speak. That is the broadest way of looking at this kind of career. Depending on the type of center you can walk at (whether a small, local company or a national conglomerate), you will have to deal with varying volumes of calls and questions. And the questions never stop. Once you are finished helping one customer, you’re on to the next. Of course, some days will be worse than others. A customer service representative may receive over 100 calls for their shift. These can range from a simple question to lengthy tirade of an angry purchaser. By having a call center career, you will have to deal with all kinds of people, some of them unwilling to listen to reason. It is not an easy job and your “people-skills” must be up to the challenge.
Of course, you need to be able to do more than talk an irate customer down; one of the newer aspects of working in a call center is having proper computer knowledge. People want answers and they want them fast–it’s your job to give them what they need. For example, if you were to work in a medical center, the computer could access any health data you needed. This is anecessity of the job now and computer skills are required.
Still have that telemarketer idea in your idea? Perhaps some examples of what call center careers may offer: Technical Service Representative, Sales Representative Consultant, Bilingual Technical Support Customer Service, Telephony Specialist, And More.
All right, so that “And more” does include telemarketing and outbound calls; however, the call center career is not limited to that. It is an actual job that requires excellent people skills and computer knowledge.
But, you may be wondering what other kinds of knowledge you will need before pursing this kind of career. Unfortunately, there is no definite answer. Each company has their own hiring practices, and each job entails different things. For example, if you work as a sales representative, you would have to do more than simply answer questions. You would be required to have marketing knowledge and to be aware of the latest sales techniques. If your background does not have a strong indicator of this, you would probably be passed on for the job. Some companies, however, look more for your skills with customers, rather than your education. A local travel agency, for instance, would be looking to hire someone with strong speaking and computer skills. Your education would be less of a priority. It depends on where you are and what kind of job you’re looking for.
Call center careers can be rewarding experiences for those who enjoy interacting with people and helping them solve their problems.

About the author: Mark Sturge is the webmaster of www.career-axis.com, a site where you can find information, resources and tips on all areas career. Such as a home business career or call center careers.

What are Inbound and Outbound Call Centers?

What are Inbound and Outbound Call Centers?

Contact centers communicate with customers in a number of ways, but who initiates the contact defines the type of contact center. If the outside world initiates contact, then the contact center is said to be an inbound contact center. Conversely, if the contact center itself is responsible for initiating contact, then the contact center is said to be an outbound contact center.
Customers contact inbound centers to buy things, such as airline tickets; to get technical assistance with their personal computer; to get answers to questions about their utility bill; to get emergency assistance when their car won start; or for any number of other reasons for which they might need to talk to a company representative.
Increasingly, companies are looking to inbound call centers for proactive customer service that could be used for cross-selling and up-selling.
In outbound centers, representatives from the company initiate the call to customers. Companies might call to notify a customer that the product ordered is now available or because the customer hasn’t paid a bill or to follow up on a problem the customer was having.
Outbound contact centers are, most often, very telephone centric because of tradition and perception. It is not unusual for a company representatives to call a customer on the phone, but it is more unusual for them to send an email to a customer. If companies send out email to customers, it is often done through some mass mailing effort, not as one-on-one contact. Perception enters into the picture because people are very quick to categorize unexpected email as spam, but less likely to be upset by unexpected phone calls.
source: www.avaya.com

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