How to Define Soft Skills



Cute little Soft Skills...awww... But in reality, Soft Skills are not so innocent and cuddly.


Soft Skills are typically looked upon as the optional whipped cream we might choose to place on top of our Patient Experience banana split, just to make it taste a little better when the truth is Soft Skills is the banana split. Soft Skills is simply an ambiguous name for the agent skills that directly determine the quality of The Patient/Customer Experience, so rather than an optional afterthought, these skills are priority number one.


(A more fitting name for Soft Skills would be The Skills Required to be Considered a Highly Professional Call Center Agent Skills, because such skills, which are easy for an agent to learn and execute, encompass everything including so-called Soft Skills).


The problem is the term Soft Skills diminishes the importance and understanding of The Patient/Customer Experience by giving the skills that define it this vague and diminutive name. The definition of Soft is lacking sharp definition, making it perfect for this purpose.


If the skills that determine the quality of The Patient Experience lack sharp definition and are widely considered undefinable (as they are), no one can fairly be held accountable for solving the Experience issue, including trainers, consultants, and speech analytics (or AI) companies, so this most important challenge goes unsolved and everyone just talks about it a lot.


This leads to prioritizing more easily definable but far less impacting issues while perpetuating the narrative that The Patient/Customer Experience is just some largely undefinable, unsolvable, and ultimately low priority mystery.


I recently attended a conference where the speaker casually placed Soft Skills at number 9 of 10 on his call-management priority list, when little compares in importance, and this highlights the negative consequences of the widespread use and acceptance of the cleverly deceptive term Soft Skills.


Soft Skills must be recognized for what they are: Patient/Customer Experience Skills (or even better, Everything Skills), and only then can the experience be properly addressed. Giving the skills directly responsible for the quality of The Patient/Customer Experience a trivial name like Soft Skills will not make this most important challenge go away.


BCI has defined each component of Patient/Customer Experience Skills in clear and absolute terms, allowing us to offer a uniquely innovative training program that ensures agents offer an excellent experience every day. Let us show you what the future of call center training looks like.