Soft Skills in Call Centres



The way you speak to a customer, in terms of the language you use, your tone of voice and clarity are also important and often referred to as the ‘soft skills.’ Two other important influencers are the rapport that you may build up with a customer and the empathy that you show them for the situation they maybe in.

Again, within your induction training and part of the ongoing coaching you should receive will be ‘How to use your soft skills’ in dealing with different customer types. There are obviously certain things that are totally unacceptable in any call – these include swearing, rudeness, cutting calls short or anything else that may be deemed not showing the customer respect. In addition, things such as eating or chewing gum whilst on a call are also not acceptable.

One test we always do is to ask an individual how they would feel if their parent or grandparent had been the customer on that call – would they be happy with it?

Good Practice in Call Handling

  •     Good rapport with the customer
  •     Type whilst talking & listening
  •     Listen without interruptions
  •     Using the customers name
  •     Print documentation off whilst talking
  •     Under promise
  •     Repeat phonetically
  •     Summarise what has been done
  •     Empathy with customer
  •     Close

Bad Practice in Call Handling

  •     Inconsistency
  •     Stationery or documentation not to hand
  •     Not taking complaints seriously
  •     Putting calls on hold without permission (long periods)
  •     Wasting time during pauses
  •     Using jargon
  •     Interrupting the customer
  •     Forget Data Protection rules
  •     Don’t always repeat phonetically
  •     Unenthusiastic

Phonetic Alphabet

The Phonetic Alphabet is used in many centres to help ensure the right information is given. It is useful to learn this alphabet as it can help make the call handling more effective and efficient.

  •     A – ALPHA
  •     B – BRAVO
  •     C – CHARLIE
  •     D – DELTA
  •     E – ECHO
  •     F – FOXTROT
  •     G – GOLF
  •     H – HOTEL
  •     I – INDIA
  •     J – JULIET
  •     K – KILO
  •     L – LIMA
  •     M – MIKE
  •     N – NOVEMBER
  •     O – OSCAR
  •     P – PAPA
  •     Q – QUEBEC
  •     R – ROMEO
  •     S – SIERRA
  •     T – TANGO
  •     U – UNIFORM
  •     V – VICTOR
  •     W – WHISKY
  •     X – X-RAY
  •     Y – YANKEE
  •     Z – ZULU

Many thanks to Paul Weald for providing this information.

Published On: 16th Dec 2012 - Last modified: 17th Aug 2016

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