54% of contact centre managers put empathy as top agent skill


New research by ContactBabel has found that empathy – the ability to see another’s point of view – is seen as being the most important characteristic of successful contact centre agents.
“The UK Contact Centre Decision-Makers’ Guide”, a major study of over 200 UK contact centre operations, has found that 54% of respondents stated that empathy with customers is the no.1 most important attribute for a contact centre agent to have.

This far outweighs more task-focused abilities such as sales ability or multi-tasking, or even positive behaviours such as reliability and teamworking.

Table: The top 3 abilities or characteristics of a successful contact centre agent

Table: The top 3 abilities or characteristics of a successful contact centre agent

The report’s author, Steve Morrell, commented:

Steve Morrell

Steve Morrell

“The picture painted of successful contact centre agents is that of a versatile, reliable good listener – nothing flashy or highly strung, nor a simple automaton happy to plod on doing the same thing for hours.

“Empathy is a characteristic which is hard to learn, and which is ripe for identifying in the recruitment phase through personality testing, for example. Empathy is important for an agent to display in order to make the caller feel that someone is listening to and understanding them, and that they are trying to solve their issue, rather than just seeing the caller as a nuisance. As such, empathy is vital for improving customer satisfaction and loyalty, cross-selling and up-selling.”

Published On: 28th Oct 2009 - Last modified: 22nd Mar 2017
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