The outsourcing world is divided into different service sectors, and two of these sectors are the most crucial to success: call center services and virtual assistant services.
We’re going to talk about call center representatives, their duties, and the skills that they need to be successful.
What is a Call Center Representative?
Whether they know it or not, most people have spoken to a call center representative at some point.
If you’ve called your phone, internet, or cable provider with questions, the first person you spoke to was likely one of the company’s call center representatives.
First and foremost, they’re responsible for maintaining customer relations and aim for customer satisfaction. They resolve customer issues in whatever way they can, and they aim to do so as quickly and as efficiently as possible.
Call Center Representatives vs. Virtual Assistants
Call center representatives and virtual assistants are often confused as interchangeable. However, the two positions are more different than most people realize.
The general confusion is understandable, as both are required to be experts in the field of customer relations. However, virtual assistants and these representatives basically operate in two different sectors.
Both virtual assistants and call center representatives are extremely important, but each job title comes with its list of duties and necessary skills.
Typically, virtual assistants work remotely, and they usually assist in a wide variety of day to day tasks. Virtual assistants typically take care of the more time-consuming tasks such as social media management, bookkeeping, taking care of travel accommodations, making cold calls, etc.
A virtual assistant’s responsibilities can also include a variety of creative tasks such as graphic design, video editing, and content writing.
If asked to do so, a virtual assistant will sometimes act as a call center representative, but their responsibilities typically include a much broader range of tasks that a growing company no longer has the time to do.
Call Center Representatives
Comparatively, these representatives handle tasks that tend to be more tedious and repetitive. Like virtual assistants, they work within the customer service and customer relations sector. However, their responsibilities tend to be more consistent.
In a general sense, they are responsible for helping customers with whatever they happen to need when they call.
They need to have a thorough understanding of their company’s inner workings to resolve customer issues as quickly and effectively as possible.
If you want to learn more about the differences between call center representatives and virtual assistants, you can check out this article that expands further on the topic.
What are their Duties?
These representatives usually answer customer phone calls, maintain customer satisfaction to the extent that they can, keep customer records up to date, and resolve customer issues if they’re able to do so.
If a call center representative can’t deal with a customer’s issue directly, they’ll direct the customer to the appropriate team. If they do this correctly, the team should be able to resolve the issue.
A call center representative must understand the logistics that make their company run smoothly.
If a call center representative can’t direct the customer to the appropriate team, that customer has to endure being redirected over and over again, which never looks good for a company.
They have to deal with a very fast-paced work environment. Whether or not they succeed at rising through the ranks depends entirely on how many calls they can handle in a given period.
For this reason, speed is key when it comes to being a successful call center representative.
Necessary Skills for a Call Center Representative
One of the most important skills for a call center representative is simply people skills. On any given day, they usually interact with more people than most ever will within such a short period.
For some people, this can be somewhat exhausting. A seasoned call center representative can handle the workload without bending under the pressure.
As previously mentioned:
A call center representative must understand the minutiae of their company’s inner workings.
After all, they’re the first line of defense when it comes to customer calls. With any given call, they either need to be able to resolve the problem, or they need to know which team to direct the customer to.
Additionally, because their jobs are so speed-oriented, they must remain focused and sharp to do their jobs well. Furthermore, being well-organized certainly doesn’t hurt, as this will help contribute to their overall speed.
A Business’ Unsung Heroes
A call center representative’s job can be challenging. However, like any new employee, a new call center representative will typically adapt and become proficient within their line of work.
That isn’t to say that this job can be done by anyone. For some people, especially those that are introverted, dealing with many different people on a daily basis can be exhausting.
It’s a difficult job at times, but it’s a position that’s essential to the functionality, efficiency, and success of any company.
So, the next time you become frustrated during a call with your cable provider, remember that you might just be the two hundredth person the representative has talked to and they’re just trying to help.