While most everyone can use a telephone - not everyone is cut out to work in a Call Center environment. And while someone may have “The Right Stuff” to be a great Customer Service Representative (CSR) – it doesn’t necessarily follow that the same individual is also a good fit for the more demanding & sales-oriented requirements of an Inside Sales/TeleSales job.
There is a growing need for “Blended Agents” in the Contact Center - CSRs with the Intellect, ‘Verbal Artistry’ & Sales Closing ‘Edge’ to handle callers in both a Service & Support and Inside Sales/TeleSales fashion.
Customer Service and Inside Sales/TeleSales call handling are discrete and different pursuits - requiring separate Personality/Job-Fit/Temperament Factors. Someone with the Service & Support orientation required to handle Customer Care calls effectively is rarely a good fit for the sales requirements of an Inside Sales/TeleSales position.
Equally – it is rare for someone who performs well in an Inside Sales/TeleSales role to successfully make the transition to “Service Only” caller interactions. Few people possess the ability to work successfully long-term in both a Service & Support and Inside Sales/TeleSales role as a “Blended Agent”.
Typically there are 3 grades of CSRs found in a Contact Center: (Above Average), (Average), and (Below Average).
(Above Average) CSRs seem to have “The Right Stuff” that pushes them to succeed & a natural compatibility with the duties of the position. They work hard - exceed expectations - do more than asked - achieve high quality consistent results – receive above average Customer Satisfaction Ratings - can always be counted upon - need little direction - and work extremely well with everyone. It has been our experience that approximately 40% of (Above Average) CSRs can also make the transition to handling Inside Sales/TeleSales calls as a “Blended Agent”.
(Average) CSRs perform their duties adequately enough “to get by” - but no better. They are the partially competent. Generally they’re strong from a Typing Speed & Accuracy and Windows Literacy standpoint - but are missing a key ingredient or two from a Soft Skills/Customer Empathy/Sales Closing/Job Fit standpoint. It has been our experience that it is rare for (Average) CSRs to make the transition to also handling Inside Sales/TeleSales calls as a “Blended Agent”.
(Below Average) CSRs are the people who just don’t fit somehow – and who don’t deliver value when it comes to the kind of service your customers expect. Sometimes they’re good people in the wrong jobs. They need extra coaching, training & supervision just to achieve below average results. Often they cause unnecessary conflict. (Below Average) CSRs have the Lowest Training Pass Rates, Highest Levels of Absenteeism, Lowest Levels of Productivity, Poorest Performance & Customer Satisfaction Ratings, and they generally have a Negative Impact on Call Center Team Morale. They represent the real problems in a Contact Center workforce.
While (Average) & (Below Average) CSRs may seem fully qualified at the Interview Stage – they’re a Poor Job Fit – particularly for a “Blended Agent” position – and the cost of hiring them is enormous – with little value add to an organization– and a negative impact on Service Levels, Customer Satisfaction, Sales Results and Brand Reputation.
Top performing Call Centers drive their Revenue & Performance through superior hiring tactics. We help employers gain better insight & more accurate predictions as to which applicants from a pool of Candidates would perform up to, or beyond their established standards. You can find out about a Free Trial of SPAS Call Center Agent Pre-Employment Screening Software at http://www.telesoftsystems.ca/64201.html