What we want from call-centres

I am currently busy training new call-centre agents for a commercial role for a large international bank in Belgium.

(Thanks @KluwerOpleiding for the work and @vanderlocht for the collaboration).


In the morning of the 1st day of training, I ask participants to create a charter of 10 best practices for call-centre agents and then to call a real company to see how they perform.


This blog-spot simply lists the things we debrief following the exercise. For most of the calls made during training, the call-centre agent my participants talked to failed to perform well on these points…


If you are working in a call-centre, this is what my 12 training participants want from you when they call:

  • Have some dynamism in your voice and smile
  • Present yourself and let the client do the same – then use his or her name from time-to-time
  • Be polite
  • Take your time – or better said: Be available and give time to the caller
  • Stay professional, but not cold. Not too familiar, but friendly.
  • Speak at a nice speed, adapted to the person you are talking to
  • Explain things, including what you are doing whilst on the phone
  • Use positive language (eg: “I will do XYZ” vs “I will try to….” or “I can’t do ABC” vs “I can do DEF”)
  • Help the client to talk: Ask questions and apply active listening skills
  • Use the information you are given by the client (listen well!)
  • Propose things, don’t just answer coldly the question you have been asked
  • Give advice that is concentrated on the real need of the client and not just an answer to the question he or she asks you (so you need to listen first!)


These final ideas are the top 3 things my training participants want when they call call-centres. These are MUSTs if you are a call-centre professional:

  • Make some listening noises whilst the client talks to show you are paying attention – this can be the odd “uh-hu” but will mostly consist of repeating and reformulating what you hear
  • Explain why you are putting someone “on hold” or transferring to someone else
  • Find a solution!


Feel free to add comments

Thanks for reading

Follow me on twitter or check out www.infinitelearning.be

Published by Dan Steer

For the last 17 years, I have been helping businesses and individuals to achieve their goals through delivery of tailor-made learning and development initiatives. Most of the time, I deliver training, coach individuals, facilitate brainstorming sessions, round-table meetings and workshops. As a consultant, I help my clients to promote and profit from the infinite learning opportunities within and without their own organisation, drawing on my L+D management experience, strategic approach and creativity, As a speaker, I inspire through story, humour and pertinent little bits of theory. I believe that the world would be a better place if people were happily working on their mission with competence and alignment to personal values. As a freelance worker since 2008, I have helped more than 11000 individuals to improve their presentation, communication, commercial, leadership and negotiation skills. I confront people with their own behaviour and convictions, facilitating and giving pertinent feedback and clear ideas on where to continue good work and improve. I seek to satisfy my clients with creative and to-the-point solutions… …and I make music, but no-one pays me much for it yet :-) First single here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0ShlY95X4E

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