What are soft skills?
Soft skills are personality traits and behaviors focused on the interpersonal conduct of an individual. It is the opposite of technical or hard skills, and aren’t about knowledge, but rather about communication and emotional understanding.
Soft skills are transferable and regardless of the type of job, it’s quite important to build healthy relations. These include empathy, active listening, effective networking, convincing, negotiation skills, selling, among others.
Why are soft skills important?
- Convey information:
Contact center agents spend a majority of their time interacting with customers. An agent should have the ability to discuss and effectively relay complex information all the while adhering to the brand’s core principles.
With ever changing customer needs, key resources like scripts, products, services, etc. undergo rapid changes too. Agents can do well if they can learn and unlearn the processes and adapt to their changing environments.
- Achieving goals:
Executives are expected to hit KPIs every quarter, like call volumes, first call resolution, average handle time, among other metrics. Superior soft skills pushes can act as a catalyst for agents to empathize and internalize these goals set by their supervisor, and constantly meet or exceed them.
- Process adherence:
The daily lives of contact center employees is hectic but incorporating soft skills, makes it easier to follow protocols like following a script, handling customer frustration or after call work.
- Finding answers:
Following script is important, but customers seek customized solutions to their problems. Impromptu, off script resolution of customer queries by truly empathizing with the customer is a highly appreciated soft skill in a contact center.
It’s easier to onboard, assign shifts, set goals and coach agents with soft skills bringing more flexibility in processes.
Soft skills boost critical thinking to overcome challenges and finds ways to solve issues with workflows, customer grievances, and workforce management.
Companies often indulge in soft skills training for call center agents to ensure every individual is consistently exposed to improving their communication. These are activity-based training sessions where agents are provided with fake scenarios and coached on various soft skills like how to handle an angry customer, immediately resolve issues, and others.
Soft skills are essential to exponentially increase customer satisfaction and build customer centric company.