Call Center Job Skills: 5 You Need to Have

And while not all call center jobs are the same, you’ll need to have these talents, no matter where you work.

Amy White |
Categories: Career Advice

Do you have the gift of the gab? Do you prefer to pick up the phone and talk to someone instead of scrolling through chats? Did Verizon’s double-unlimited phone plan speak to you on a spiritual level? 

Perfect! Companies need energetic extroverts like you to staff their call center jobs. Talk customers through their problems, answer their questions and earn good money doing it. 

Nearly every major company has a call center, whether it’s on-site or across the globe. Most companies use call centers to support the products or services they sell. They need people like you jockeying the phones to help customers. 

And don't worry—you don't need years of experience to get a flexible call center position. Many call center reps have a high school diploma, so no higher education is required to hang. 

This job is all about soft skills, baby. To be a successful call center representative, you’ll need these five skills to deliver outstanding customer support.

5 call center job skills

1. Outgoing and energetic personality

Call centers are no places for shrinking violets! Companies need friendly, outgoing and positive people in their call centers. This can make the difference between a bad customer service call and a call that leaves customers smiling. 

Put your communication skills to work and brighten someone’s day. Put your sunny disposition to work for better customer satisfaction.

2. Good listener

You get to talk a lot at the call center, but you also need to listen. Be a conversationalist and practice active listening. 

Good customer service representatives don’t interrupt customers. Instead, engage with people and understand what they need. Ask questions and be curious. 

The call center might supply a script for you to read from, but that doesn’t mean you have to be a robot. Remember, there’s a human on the other end of the line—listen to what they need.

3. Multitasking

Are you able to surf Netflix, eat spaghetti and text your friends at the same time? Sweet. You’ll be able to juggle multiple tasks at the call center without breaking a sweat. 

Call center agents are responsible for talking on the phone, completing data entry and more. Multitasking is the name of the game at this fast-paced job. 

4. Problem-solving 

Okay, if one train is heading west at 85 MPH, and another train is heading east at 72 MPH—just kidding. 

You don’t need to be a math wiz to work at a call center, but you do need to have a mind for problem-solving. Think fast and solve complex customer issues in just minutes. 

During the call center interview process, the hiring manager may ask you some problem-solving questions. Prep ahead of time to land the perfect call center position for you.

5. Computer skills

You’ve got your smartphone figured out, but you’ll also need to know basic computer programs to work at a call center. 

Get familiar with office programs like Windows, Excel and the MS Office suite in general. You need to have basic typing skills, although faster typing skills will help you save time as you enter customer information into the system.  

The call center will also train you on how to use their calling, recording and payroll systems. You don’t have to know this before the job; you just need a willingness to learn.

What to expect from a call center job

What’s it actually like to work at a call center? 

Your job description and day-to-day tasks will differ by company, but there are a few things you can expect. 

Depending on the company, you'll be making outbound calls, where you're contacting the customer, or inbound calls, where customers contact you.

Most call center jobs want you there 30-40 hours a week. The good news is that you can sign up for flexible shifts, which is perfect if you’re going to school. Call centers are usually open 24 hours a day, which means you can work the hours that fit your schedule. 

But keep in mind that call centers are open every day of the year. Do you want to be taking calls on Christmas Eve from panicked Walmart shoppers? That’s something to take into account. 

Call centers can be a high-stress job. You need to be a pretty smooth operator in this intense environment. Remember, these callers will be stressed and tired. Give them respect and you’ll get it in return. 

Call centers need people on-hand at all times, and that means your break times will be pretty strict. Use your breaks to decompress. Do breathing exercises at your desk when things get crazy.

Another great benefit of working at a call center is that the dress code is pretty lax. Wear your own threads on the job and express yourself. Be sure to keep it comfortable and work-appropriate. PJs are still a no-no! 

The bottom line

Call center jobs give you a chance to be social and help people. It’s a great way to enjoy more flexibility and beef up your bank account.

Sound up your alley? Practice for your call center job search with these interview questions. Brush up your cover letter and interview skills to score a new job in no time.