The call center industry firmly believes that for an agent to be a successful telemarketer, he/she needs to be trained well. While this notion cannot be refuted, there is no reason to take it as the Gospel of truth. There are several ways in which soft skills make a successful BPO agent. These soft skills are mainly some traits of the personality, but many have also claimed to have acquired them on the job. In any form of marketing, you need to have these soft skills that training institutes or modules cannot inculcate in you. At best, you can pick them up by practice or by observing other agents going about their job. Here are some soft skills that are needed to be good at telemarketing services:
• Effectiveness: Agents working in the telemarketing sector have to be efficient. The volume of work that is done in this department is expansive. The agents manning the phones have to be on their toes at all times. The answering service department has to respond to the customers' calls promptly. They have to process the customers' requests and ensure that they have a solution to their problems. The effectiveness that they show will be the face of the call center unit in itself. If they are not effective, clutter will accumulate in every department.
• Efficiency: Everyone likes to interact with an efficient BPO agent. When you call customer service, you want the person you are talking with to be efficient. Efficient agents have their information on their fingertips. They know what the customers are more likely to ask. They have their answers ready. They do their research on competition and the rivals. In short, they are knowledge banks in the true sense of the term. When you are up with an efficient telemarketing agent, you feel secure that you are in good hands.
• Creative: This one may raise eyebrows because we are conditioned to believe that call center services have nothing to do with creativity. But that is only apparent. Telemarketing services involve creativity of a different sort, as opposed to drawing or performing art. Convincing a customer to purchase a product/service is an art in itself. You have to think on your feet and build up counter-arguments without sounding confrontational. You have to make your case without offending the prospective customer. Selling ideas need creativity too, as in advertising and branding.
• Self-reliance: The confidence to take decisions separates the better BPO service agents from the good ones. The processes involved in telemarketing needs the agents to be sure of what needs to be done. The call center managers have to entrust the agents with the authority. This will make the process smoother. When agents have to ask their superiors for every little thing, the customers find it pretty irksome.
• Happiness: A smiling answering agent always makes more headways than an introverted, brooding one. When you are taking calls at the phone answering table, do so with a smile. The caller may not be able to see you, but the voice inflections change when you smile and gives off positive vibes.