You can’t build a high-performing customer support team if you don’t hire the right agents. All candidates must go through rigorous screening and assessments to ensure that your team has the skills needed to meet customers’ expectations.
However, bilingual call centers must use a different set of criteria when looking for agents. This is because they cater to diverse markets that are often made up of various cultures.
As a business owner, it’s helpful to get involved with your contact center’s recruitment process. Although most outsourcing companies have their own hiring procedures, you can still let them know about the customer service skills you want your agents to have.
Here are the top 5 skills of highly productive call center agents.
1. Effective communication
Excellent communication skills are a must-have for every support agent, but it’s even more critical for a bilingual call center. Reps must be able to bridge not just differences in language but also in contexts. The ideal agents must therefore be able to listen well, digest information quickly and accurately, and respond effectively. All these would require them to be open-minded and empathic.
2. Cultural sensitivity
For professionals working in a multicultural environment, being able to speak a certain language isn’t enough. They must also be familiar with the unique practices, communication nuances, and etiquettes of other cultures. Being aware of these differences would let agents communicate with customers in a culturally sensitive manner. This lets them avoid possible conflicts and enhance the quality of every customer support interaction.
3. Knowledge retention
To provide high-quality responses to customers, agents must be able to learn, memorize, and understand everything about the company, especially its products, services, and active promos. Having an updated product knowledge will allow them to bring customers accurate information or instructions.
Aside from this, agents must be knowledgeable about the protocols and procedures that the bilingual call center implements. This includes escalation and transfers, the decisions agents are authorized to make, and the role of each department in the contact center. Knowing all these, they’d easily identify who to consult when they encounter complex issues.
Customer support reps handle plenty of calls every day, so encountering people with different personalities is inevitable. Agents must therefore be able to adjust their communication styles to fit that of the customer’s.
More importantly, however, working in a multicultural setting can be extremely challenging for agents. They may experience culture shock as they interact with people coming from different backgrounds.
One of the most important customer service skills every agent must have is the ability to use and understand various tech platforms. Today, call centers rely heavily on technology-based tools and processes to enhance the way they deliver their services. Agents must therefore be able to easily learn new techniques and adapt to highly dynamic environments.