Monday, March 1, 2010

What Makes A Great Telesales Operator

Placing the right people to work in a call centre is central to our clients’ success. Call centre teams need to have a positive attitude, great manners, an element of resilience and perseverance, be reliable and have drive and motivation. I say teams because they need to work as a team. Support amongst crew members is essential.

That’s not to say everyone needs the same skill sets. Call centres have two types of operators and each uses a different part of the brain.

Inbound operators receive all their calls and answer a lot of customers questions. They are real problem solvers. They are polite, manage customers and sometimes mediate with them if a client has a large-scale problem on their hands. They also have excellent research computer skills to search for the right answers – especially when they are using two to three different databases on different screens.

Outbound operators use different skill sets. They thrive on competition and love to make a sale. They are resilient enough to know that because the last caller said no, there is a higher chance the next one will say yes. They don’t mind having their results placed up on a board for everyone to see at the end of the day because they get a buzz each time their name goes up with a "Bing!" after making a sale.

While the majority of agents are young and in their early 20’s, operators can quite often be in their 40’s and 50’s and are very suitable to call centre work. Many employers also aim their centres towards this group because perseverance and resilience are absolutely key for a successful agent making outbound call. Tact, diplomacy, problem solving and multi-tasking are also essential to agents taking calls from customers and for those a bit older with more life experience, these skill sets come a bit easier.

Most centre operators thrive on the team environment. While it takes individual effort to make a sale or mediate with a customer, it’s the support network that creates motivation. When we first started out in business we knew this and wanted to create a work environment, which was positive and supportive and fostered that team camaraderie.

We think we’ve done a pretty good job. We placed our offices in downtown Auckland in the heart of the CBD, not in some industrial precinct without a cafe in sight where they couldn’t see their friends at lunchtime or easily pop into the shops. Our offices are spacious, creatively furnished and modern and equipped with state of the art technology. This creates a fun culture, quite unlike any other call centre in New Zealand.

Kim-Marie Rixson

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