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The Five Most Important Characteristics for a Call Center Rep to Have

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Customer service representatives in a call center are an important part of any business. As a call center employee, you speak with more customers directly in a single day than the company president may in a year. You are the voice of the company you represent, and the customer’s experience with you can mean the difference between a lost customer and a lifetime patron. Several characteristics ensure you deliver the best service possible.


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Arrive on time at the beginning of your shift and return from your breaks at the scheduled times. Punctuality is an overlooked characteristic at times but is vital to the customer’s overall experience. Call centers use software to determine when customers are more likely to call based on historical data. Workers analyze this information to determine when to schedule employees to ensure agents answer calls in a timely manner. Failure to follow this schedule leads to a longer hold time for the customer.

Good Communication Skills

The ability to communicate in an effective manner is a crucial characteristic in a call center environment. Customers want to know the person they are speaking with has the ability and competence to resolve their concerns. These skills include the tone and rate of your speech, proper grammar, strong vocabulary and the ability to communicate a thought or idea in a clear, concise manner.


Empathy is the ability to see a situation from another person’s perspective. When you put yourself in the customer’s shoes, you take ownership of her issue. You can express empathy to the customer by saying something like “I understand your frustration with your Internet connection. I hate when my computer will not connect. Let’s see what we need to do to resolve this for you today.” The fact the customer knows you understand her issue will assure her that you have the ability to address it.


Patience with the customer is essential. You receive calls from customers who have accents, dialects and native languages different from your own, which can create a communication barrier. If you work for a company that manufactures cellphones, computers, or gaming devices, you speak with people who may not be as tech-savvy as you are. Your patience with them and their situations lets them know you care about their concerns and will take the time necessary to resolve them.


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Customers prefer to speak with a representative who sounds happy to help them. This does not mean you have to scream or shout into your phone. Having a smile on your face will reflect in the tone of your voice. Your pleasant demeanor will let the callers know they are not a number and that speaking with them is not drudgery. They will be more likely to be return customers. Return customers mean job security for you and the satisfaction of knowing you did your best to make a difference.


Christy Tarner has been writing professionally since 2002, including articles, marketing materials, press releases and several ghostwriting projects. She is currently working on an Associate of Arts in English and creative writing, moving towards a bachelor's degree and eventually a Master of Fine Arts.