We know that many call centers are currently finding it difficult retaining customer service representatives (also known as call center agents.) So how should a customer service call center manager go about hiring call center agents so that they will be happy and stay for the long term?
Well, of course all customer service call center managers should be honest from the start about what the call center agent will be doing in that job. The customer service manager must clearly differentiate the duties of an inbound call center agent from the duties of an outbound call center agent. For anyone who is curious about the difference, an inbound call center agent position will require the agent to accept calls from customers who may want information, or have a problem (usually related to the product or service that is offered) that needs a solution. The inbound call center agent will also have to receive customer orders to purchase the product or service, and perhaps even cross sell.
On the other hand, an outbound call center agent position will require the agent to do lead generation, look for prospects who may be interested in the product or service being sold, and then offer to sell that product or service to these prospects.
The customer service manager may then ask the applicants to simulate how they would conduct a telephone conversation with a client. This helps the manager assess the phone personality of the applicant with regards to his/her communication skills and potential to succeed in this type of job.
Once hired, the job of the customer service manager does not stop there. The manager must continuously provide training and feedback to the agents so that they know how they are progressing and whether they actually have long-term potential for their job.