“When we have agents with high emotional intelligence, it is so easy to motivate them and tie them in. They love what they do, they’re excited and their skills produce higher-than-average results.”
Plano, Texas (PRWEB) July 31, 2012
The future contact center agent is a self-contained entrepreneur who works from home and can manage a customer’s emotional temperament over the phone.
That’s precisely the type of independent contractor now being sought by Plano-based Working Solutions, a leader in the virtual contact center industry.
“Emotional Intelligence means people can understand emotions, problem solve and think on their feet,” says Tamara Schroer, Director of Agent Development for Working Solutions. “They have to anticipate how customers are going to react, know how to respond and remain calm. All of those abilities are encompassed in EI and crucial for Working Solutions’ agents,” says Schroer.
Emotional intelligence, or EI, is defined as an awareness of one's own emotions and moods and those of others, particularly in managing people. This trait is of significant value for someone who handles multiple customer service and support issues, particularly when the customer is unhappy.
“Our recruiting team has developed methods to find the right people by measuring how they respond to specific questions and scenarios. We want to know how they will behave in the work environment,” says Schroer. “When we have agents with high emotional intelligence, it is so easy to motivate them and tie them in. They love what they do, they’re excited and their skills produce higher-than-average results.”
The team at Working Solutions pioneered the Contact Center ‘Agent-at-Home’ concept more than 15 years ago and is now evolving the at-home agent role in the new world of work. By developing a system to hire independent contractors with a high level of independence and emotional intelligence, Working Solutions’ agents have become more than contractors. They are entrepreneurs.
“We feel that our independent agents are really more business owners than traditional contractors. They make many decisions and are required to have a higher level of both emotional and intellectual intelligence in order to be part of our team,” says Kim Houlne, President and Chief Operating Officer of Working Solutions.
One of the company’s recent postings on LinkedIn outlined this approach, describing the professional agents as business owners instead of contractors. The terms included ‘managing your own business’ and ‘choosing the types of work that interest you’.
A recent poll by CareerBuilder found that 70% of employers value EI over standard IQ. The same poll showed that 61% of employers place a greater emphasis on hiring and promoting people with high EI. Conversely, 59% of hiring managers would not hire someone with a low EI, even if that person demonstrated a high IQ.