Career Development

What Does a Call Center Agent Do?

Find out what a call center agent does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a call center agent.

Call center agents are the face of many companies. They answer incoming calls, handle customer inquiries and complaints, and provide general information about products or services. Call center agents may also be responsible for handling outbound calls to customers who have questions about their account or need assistance with a product or service.

Call center agents must be able to multitask effectively while maintaining strong attention to detail. They often deal with frustrated customers who are calling in with problems or concerns, so they must be able to remain calm under pressure and treat each caller with respect and professionalism.

Call Center Agent Job Duties

A call center agent typically has a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Providing information about products or services over the phone, including answering questions about pricing, ordering processes, delivery schedules, and return policies
  • Providing excellent customer service to clients by offering friendly, courteous, knowledgeable assistance to solve problems or address issues
  • Maintaining knowledge of product lines, company policies, and industry trends to provide excellent customer service
  • Scheduling appointments or meetings using a computerized calendar system
  • Taking notes during conversations to ensure that all details are accurately recorded
  • Processing orders or transactions using a computer terminal or point of sale system
  • Verifying personal information such as names, addresses, Social Security numbers, birth dates, etc. to ensure the accuracy of records in computer databases
  • Answering incoming calls and responding to inquiries from customers regarding products or services offered by their company
  • Recording details about customer interactions to ensure that each call is handled correctly and efficiently

Call Center Agent Salary & Outlook

Call center agents’ salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the company they work for.

  • Median Annual Salary: $38,000 ($18.27/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $57,500 ($27.64/hour)

The employment of call center agents is expected to decline over the next decade.

Employment growth for call center agents has slowed because many companies have already centralized their customer service operations, which means that fewer workers are needed. In addition, some companies are moving customer service operations overseas, which will result in the loss of some jobs for call center agents in the United States.

Call Center Agent Job Requirements

A call center agent typically needs to have the following:

Education: Entry-level call center agents are typically required to have a high school diploma or equivalent and some post-secondary education is preferred. Some call center agents choose to earn a certificate or associate degree in a related field, such as business, communications or computer science.

Training & Experience: Call center agents typically receive on-the-job training. This training may last for a few weeks or a few months, depending on the company and the role. During training, agents learn about the company’s products and services, the computer system they will use and the processes they will follow to handle customer calls. They also receive instruction on the company’s policies and procedures, including how to interact with customers and how to handle calls.

Call center agents may also receive additional training to learn about specific products or services the company offers. For example, a call center agent working for a bank may receive additional training to learn about the bank’s mortgage products.

Certifications & Licenses: Certifications can prove an individual’s qualifications to current and prospective employers. Call center agents generally do not need any certifications but may pursue a customer service certification to assess their abilities and methodologies.

Call Center Agent Skills

Call center agents need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication skills: Communication skills are essential for call center agents. You’ll need to be able to communicate effectively with customers, supervisors and other call center agents. You’ll also need to be able to communicate with customers in a way that is friendly and helpful. This means you’ll need to be able to listen to customers and understand their needs and concerns. You’ll also need to be able to explain company policies and procedures to customers and answer their questions.

Empathy: Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. As a call center agent, empathy is an important skill to have when interacting with customers. You should be able to understand the customer’s needs and feelings and respond to them accordingly.

Problem-solving: Problem-solving skills allow you to identify the source of a problem and develop a solution to fix it. As a call center agent, you’ll likely encounter a variety of customer issues, so it’s important to be able to identify the problem and find a solution to help the customer. For example, if a customer is having trouble with their internet connection, you can help them troubleshoot the issue to find a solution.

Organizational skills: Organization skills can help you be more efficient in your call center job. You may be responsible for scheduling appointments, taking notes and recording information. Having strong organizational skills can help you be more efficient in your role and complete your tasks in a timely manner.

Computer skills: Computer skills are essential for call center agents, as they use computers to take calls, enter data, send emails and complete other tasks. You should have basic computer skills, including typing and data entry, as well as advanced computer skills, such as knowledge of computer programs and software.

Call Center Agent Work Environment

The work environment for call center agents is typically fast-paced and high-pressure. Agents are often required to work long hours, including evenings and weekends. They may also be required to work on holidays. The job can be stressful, and agents must be able to handle difficult customer service inquiries and complaints. They must be able to stay calm and professional at all times. Call center agents typically work in a cubicle or small office, and they may be required to wear a headset. Some call centers may be open 24 hours a day, and agents may be required to work shifts that include overnight and early morning hours.

Call Center Agent Trends

Here are three trends influencing how call center agents work. Call center agents will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Growth of Self-Service

The growth of self-service is a trend that is quickly changing the way businesses operate. This is especially true for call centers, where customers can now often find the information they need without having to speak with a representative.

As more and more customers use self-service options, call center agents will need to learn how to provide excellent customer service through other channels, such as chatbots or social media. They will also need to be able to handle difficult situations on their own, such as dealing with angry customers.

Customer Experience Is King

The customer experience is king in today’s economy. Customers are looking for businesses that offer great customer service and a positive overall experience.

Call center agents can capitalize on this trend by developing skills that make them excellent at customer service. They should also focus on creating a positive environment for customers, which can include things like playing music in the background or offering refreshments.

More Focus on Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is becoming an increasingly important topic for businesses across all industries. As call center agents are in contact with customers on a daily basis, they have the opportunity to play a key role in improving employee engagement.

By providing excellent customer service and helping employees feel valued, call center agents can help create a positive work environment that encourages productivity and loyalty.

How to Become a Call Center Agent

A call center agent career can be a great way to get your foot in the door of the customer service industry. As a call center agent, you’ll be responsible for handling calls from customers who have questions or issues with products or services they’ve purchased.

To be successful in this role, you need to be able to listen carefully and respond professionally. You should also be able to handle difficult conversations calmly and tactfully. Additionally, it’s important that you have strong communication skills and are able to stay calm under pressure.

Related: How to Write a Call Center Agent Resume

Advancement Prospects

Call center agents can advance their careers in a number of ways. One is to move into a supervisory or management position, where they would be responsible for a team of agents. Another is to move into a training or quality assurance role, where they would help new agents learn the ropes and make sure that existing agents are meeting quality standards.

Some call center agents may also move into other customer service roles, such as working in a retail store or as a customer service representative for another type of company. And finally, some call center agents may use their experience to start their own call center businesses.

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