Recruitment 101: Attracting High-Performing Call Center Agents

Faith Ocampo Published on February 17, 2017 Last updated on May 12, 2023

Of course, call center leaders want only the best talents for their team, but the best talents are also looking for the best experiences from their prospective workplace.

call center applicant speaking to human resources HR staff during job interview in customer experience contact center

There’s a big difference between high-performing, career-minded employees and those who only work for a paycheck. Naturally, you want top-quality candidates for your outsourcing companyโ€”those who can aid you in achieving, and maybe even surpassing, your goals.

A lot of contact centers, however, end up settling for just-good-enough agents. Mostly, it’s because they need to hire in droves to fill large workforce gaps. This leads them to absorbing the first people who meet their minimum qualifications. Sure, it’s a swift recruitment strategy, but in the long run, this can ruin your performance.

What you really need is a team that won’t let you down. To build one, you need to attract high-quality candidates during the hiring process. These are professionals who are an exact match for the position they’re applying for. They’re also likely to remain loyal to a company for the long haul, so they typically take a long time to choose their employer.

Who Are These High-Performing Call Center Agents?

smiling high performing call center agents working in customer experience agent representatives

High-performing call center agents possess certain key characteristics that set them apart in their roles. These characteristics contribute to their effectiveness in providing exceptional customer service and achieving desired outcomes.

High-performing call center agents possess the following:

  • Excellent Communication Skills

    High-performing call center agents have outstanding verbal and written communication skills. They are articulate, clear, and able to convey information effectively to customers. Their ability to listen attentively and understand customer needs allows them to provide accurate and relevant solutions.

  • Empathy and Customer Focus

    High-performing agents demonstrate genuine empathy towards customers. They understand and relate to their concerns, which helps them provide personalized and attentive service. These agents prioritize customer satisfaction and go above and beyond to exceed expectations.

  • call center worker holding wall clock with customer on the phone
  • Product and Process Knowledge

    Having a deep understanding of the products or services being offered is crucial for call center agents. High performers invest time and effort in learning and staying up to date with product features, benefits, and procedures. Their comprehensive knowledge enables them to handle customer inquiries, troubleshoot effectively, and provide accurate information.

  • Problem-Solving Skills

    Call center agents encounter a variety of customer issues and inquiries. High performers possess strong problem-solving skills, enabling them to analyze situations, identify root causes, and propose appropriate solutions. They approach challenges with a proactive mindset, seeking resolutions and alternatives to ensure customer satisfaction.

  • Patience and Resilience

    The call center environment can be demanding and stressful, especially when dealing with difficult or irate customers. High-performing agents exhibit patience, remaining calm and composed in challenging situations. They can handle customer complaints or frustrations with empathy and professionalism, focusing on finding resolutions while maintaining a positive attitude.

  • call center worker holding wall clock with customer on the phone
  • Time Management and Organization

    Efficiency is key in a call center environment, where agents handle multiple calls and tasks simultaneously. High-performing agents are skilled in time management and organization. They prioritize tasks effectively, manage their workload efficiently, and ensure timely responses to customer inquiries, minimizing wait times and maximizing productivity.

  • Adaptability and Continuous Learning

    Call centers often undergo changes in processes, technology, or customer expectations. High performers embrace adaptability, quickly adjusting to new systems and procedures. They have a growth mindset and actively seek opportunities for self-improvement and development. Continuous learning allows them to stay updated and deliver the best possible service.

  • Teamwork and Collaboration

    High-performing call center agents understand the value of teamwork and collaboration. They contribute to a positive team environment, readily sharing knowledge, insights, and best practices with colleagues. They actively engage in team discussions, provide support, and collaborate to ensure a seamless customer experience.


What High-Performing Call Center Agents Look for in a Company

High-performing call center agents have a different set of expectations from their employer compared with lower-quality applicants. While the latter are typically content with reasonable pay and work hours, high performers would consider the following factors as they choose the right organization for them:

  1. Company Status and Clout

    call center company depicting customer service agents representatives meeting

    Top candidates do their research before sending their resumes to a company. They actively look for and consider the best organizations to work for by reading about them online or getting referrals from colleagues. Employee referrals are actually beneficial for companies, as it increases retention by up to 40%.

  2. Corporate Social Responsibility

    call center agents representatives packing donation clothes as csr corporate social responsibility volunteers

    High-quality agents are value centric. You could say that they’re idealistic, and this quality draws them to socially responsible companiesโ€”those that support cause-driven campaigns and contribute significantly to the larger society. Working in such an organization provides employees with an opportunity to be part of something bigger than themselves.

    Some call centers even integrate corporate social responsibility into their employee engagement strategies. They organize volunteer programs for their customer support agents and encourage them to participate in charity work. This doesn’t only fortify their employer branding but also helps them retain their top performers by letting them know they’re making a big difference.

  3. A Culture that Promotes Creativity

    creative call center agents representatives team in customer service meeting in contact center

    If you want to convince high-quality applicants to work for you, focus on improving your organizational culture. The best employees stay loyal to companies that recognize the unique values they can bring to the team. Thus, foster a work environment that encourages critical thinking and allows everyone to express their individuality.

  4. Transparency and Honesty

    call center agent speaking with senior customer support representative in contact center meeting

    Great employees usually have a practical, no-nonsense approach when it comes to their jobs, which means they dislike bureaucratic processes and overly hierarchical structures. They expect their managers to be honest and transparent with them as much as possible. These traits promote trust within the workplace, boost employee engagement, and help leaders build a strong relationship with their team members.

    It’s common for high-performing employees to ask around about a company’s management practices before applying to them. Thus, constantly working on your leadership styles can help you strengthen your employer branding.

  5. Workforce Diversity and Inclusion

    diverse call center customer experience team working in call center

    High-performing agents thrive in workplaces that embrace diversity and inclusion. Such environments foster fresh perspectives and innovative problem-solving. Diverse teams bring unique experiences and insights, igniting creativity and pushing boundaries. Inclusion cultivates empathy, enabling agents to better understand and serve customers from various backgrounds. By valuing diversity, high-performing agents access a broader talent pool, driving excellence through a range of skills and perspectives.

    Ultimately, an inclusive workplace nourishes collaboration, understanding, and success. It empowers high-performing agents to surpass expectations, connect authentically with customers, and deliver exceptional results in an ever-evolving world.

  6. Technology and Tools

    call center agent using laptop tablet smartphones

    Customer experience agents rely on advanced technology and tools in their workplace to excel. These resources enhance their efficiency, productivity, and customer service capabilities. Cutting-edge technology, such as robust customer relationship management (CRM) systems and intelligent call routing software, streamlines workflows and optimizes call handling. Knowledge bases and data analytics tools provide agents with quick access to information and insights, enabling personalized and effective interactions.

    By leveraging technology, high-performing agents can efficiently manage high call volumes, track performance metrics, and deliver exceptional customer experiences. Access to state-of-the-art tools empowers agents to perform at their best, exceed targets, and uphold customer satisfaction in today’s fast-paced, technology-driven call center environment.

  7. Challenges and Opportunities

    smiling call center agent happy in call center

    Stellar performers want to be given opportunities to learn and expand their capabilities. They crave mental or creative challenges, and thus, they look for workplaces that would let them exercise their full array of skills.

    To attract these types of employees, therefore, your call center must promote a growth-focused organizational culture. Company leaders must actively foster a dynamic work environment that encourages agents to learn and be independent. You can do this by empowering your team: Create internal career paths, diversify employees’ tasks, and make agents part of the company’s decision-making processes.

Attracting high-performing call center agents is a difficult task. Luckily, there are outsourcing firms like Open Access BPO that not only know how to attract great talent, but also provide an inclusive work environment with multiple opportunities for growth.

Open Access BPO specializes in delivering exceptional customer support across multiple channels and in more than 30 languages. Our work culture attracts and produces empowered agents who are ready to meet your needs. No matter what industry you are in, rest assured Open Access BPO will strengthen your links with your customers.

Contact us today so we can start your outsourcing journey.

Faith is a digital media enthusiast aiming to become an active part of the tech world by sharing her insights. She likes to blog about everything digimarketing, technology, and social media.
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