Introverted vs. Extroverted: The Pros and Pitfalls of Personality Traits in the Contact Center

Call Center | 3 minute read

It’s easy to get fixated on labels. That’s why, in the contact center world, extroverts are more sought after than introverts. In reality, there is no perfect personality type that will fulfill everything you need.

For starters, contact center agents do more than just answering calls and emails. They are required to tackle complex situations and manage many different tasks. It’s the manager’s responsibility to set their agents up for success by understanding their strengths and weaknesses and support them as needed. 

Each candidate that comes across your desk will have a mix of introvert and extrovert qualities. Rather than lumping them into binary categories, take some time to understand how these qualities will affect them in the role and envision what will be required on your part to ensure they thrive. 

TIP:

According to psychologist Carl Jung, there is no such thing as a pure introvert or extrovert. Everyone exhibits qualities and traits from both ends of the spectrum!

The Extroverted Contact Center Agent

Extroverted personalities are typically highly sought-after for sales and customer service roles. These individuals are generally perceived as more personable, making them ideal in public-facing positions and social situations. 

Here are the best extrovert personality traits for contact center agents:

  • At ease with others. They tend to be more comfortable and relaxed around other people, making for better customer communication.
  • Personalized conversations. They think on their feet quickly and make memorable connections.
  • Natural charisma. They build relationships naturally and are highly likeable.
  • Leadership skills. Their confidence and energy helps them stay in control of conversations.

But there are challenges that extroverts experience in the call center. While they made more passionate and engaging calls, they may tend to lose focus more easily. Their tendency for quick thinking may also lead to poor decision-making. 

FACT:

Extroverts are no more productive in call center roles than introverts. In this study, extroverts performed better on customer calls but would lose focus, while introverts spoke quietly but were more persistent in their tasks.

The Introverted Contact Center Agent

Introverts are not often top of mind when hiring customer-facing roles. They’re often thought of in terms of what they lack (i.e. a loud personality) rather than what they have to offer. However, it’s worth noting that these individuals have strong personality characteristics that make them excellent candidates for the contact center.

Here are the best introvert personality traits for contact center agents:

  • Problem-solving. They are highly patient and can work through customer issues.
  • Active listening. They show empathy and react thoughtfully to what customers tell them.
  • Highly focused. They zero in on the task at hand, whether it’s making persistent calls or solving a customer problem.
  • Strong decision making. They are typically able to think things through and make calculated choices.

Where introvert personalities may lack the ability to win over the customer with conversational small-talk, their ability to listen and empathize is a huge benefit. However, it’s worth mentioning that introverts tend to require time to recharge away from others, which is a fairly simple accommodation. 

Which personality type makes the best contact center agent?

The short answer is, neither! When hiring a new contact center agent, consider the nature of the role and consider the personality traits that would help the individual succeed. Chances are, you’re looking for someone with a balanced set of traits.

TIP:

When hiring a new contact center agent, always look for candidates who display a willingness to learn and develop new skills!

When it comes to building a high-performing team, it’s not about finding “the perfect fit”.

To set your agents up for success, you need to understand their unique strengths and weaknesses — and be prepared to fully support them — in whatever way suits their personalities.

To set your agents up for success, you need to understand their unique strengths and weaknesses — and be prepared to fully support them — in whatever way suits their personalities. #cctremanagement Click To Tweet

Evaluate candidates based on your ideal skill-set, and if they fulfill most of the criteria, ask yourself how you can help them fill the gaps.

It could involve a few simple training sessions or ongoing mentorship and coaching. Trust us, your agents will appreciate the investment in their career and their performance will translate to a better customer experience!

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