As a trusted quality assurance company that helps dozens of call centers monitor and improve their performance every year, we at Call Criteria have heard the full gamut of reasons why agents are let go.
While overall lack of commitment and an inability to convert leads are some of the more common triggers leading to agent dismissal, one of the broadest and reoccurring concerns resulting in agent termination is an agent’s inability to exhibit soft skills effectively.
The very phrase implies something trivial and insignificant, and yet, soft skills are the glue that holds a team together
In fact, sources confirm that sales agents at L’Oreal with soft skills training sold $91,370 more than their less trained counterparts, resulting in a revenue increase of over $2,000,000.
Additionally, according to the General Accounting Report officer, recruiters trained in soft skills save the U.S Air force $3,000,000 in cost expenditure every year.
So what exactly is considered a soft skill then?
The Oxford dictionary defines soft skills as personal attributes that allow an individual to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people. Some notable attributes include:
-Identifying common problems through active listening
-Understanding a person’s motivations for taking action
-Ability to learn from and accept constructive criticism
-Respecting differences and working as part of a diverse team
-Displaying strong time management and organizational skills
Similar to learning a foreign language, soft skills can be developed and improved upon by studying and practicing them daily.
It’s important to note that while some of your agents may be naturally endowed with certain soft skills, it’s just as important for them to polish their existing skills, as it is for them to develop new ones in areas they are lacking.
Something as intangible as soft skills can be difficult to measure due to the subjectivity which often arises when attempting to evaluate such character traits and skill sets.
What is quite clear though, is that if you don’t help your agents develop their soft skills, you may soon find yourself operating a contact center filled with exceptionally skilled, yet completely ineffective agents.
For more information on how to begin measuring your agent’s soft skills and to develop an action plan, contact us today.