Like in any professional field, training provides a neutral environment where staff can learn and practice their skills. It is important to provide employees with the best tools to ensure they can perform their tasks to the best of their ability.
Over the years, call centers have seen the development of numerous industry-specific training tools and coaching practices. As customer expectations are constantly increasing in terms of call center performance, so must the training methods evolve. Below are some of the benefits of deploying effective training methods for your company.
Why implement call center training?
As previously mentioned, the target of focus for call center is primarily to meet customer expectations. However, there are a number of reasons your organization should implement call center training. These include:
- Helping agents feel comfortable with their day-to-day job: providing employees with a safe place where they can practice and hone their skills is primordial.
- Educating the team about goals, targets and objectives: training is the perfect time to ensure all employees are clear on their role in the company. Being transparent about these objectives can help them innovate through their own methods for achieving these goals.
- Offering tips and techniques on how to achieve these objectives: another great advantage of the training place is that it fosters communication and discussion between team members. Some might even suggest their own ideas that could resonate with other staff.
- Promoting employee morale by showcasing past successes: training time is an excellent space to rally morale and help inspire staff members, especially when faced with concrete examples of positive results and behaviour by their peers.
- Helping agents feel secure in their job: providing training let’s agents know that you have their best interests at hand. It takes effort and there is a cost associated with training which makes agents feel good about the investment you are making in their success.
The most efficient call center training methods
There are a number of tried and tested training methods managers can rely upon. Below are some of the ones most consistently found in the call center world.
Implementing regular sessions
The emphasis here is on the idea of regularity. Some managers might organize weekly or monthly meetings, based on preference. By letting employees know when the next session is coming, it will help them stay on top of the numerous areas of improvement in the workplace, whether they are new policies, procedures, IT upgrades, or safety and regulations programs.
Using online training tools
From video conference to webinars and online streaming websites, the Internet offers a wealth of resources that demonstrate the best and worst of customer service and techniques. The advantage is that this information is accessible by staff members at all times so they can learn at their own pace and get the most from the training.
Providing data, metrics and analytics
An increase in the sophistication and usage of call center analytics software has helped to make training more effective. While in the past, certain metrics were hard to quantify, with speech and customer engagement analytics solutions, managers can now provide employees clear numbers for things such as First Call Resolution, Average Handling Time or Customer Satisfaction. Call center agent performance metrics can help staff see their progress and witness how the right practices truly impact these results. Insights from analytics can also help tailor training and coaching to specific groups or agents. It can also provide motivation and guidance for self-coaching.
Some employees learn a lot faster by witnessing the best practices first-hand. An efficient way to demonstrate exemplary professionalism is to let them “shadow” more experienced staff members. While some managers might dismiss the method as old-fashioned, it is still a highly efficient method, which also offers the selected “mentor” employees an important responsibility.
Bringing in top performing agents
Empowering top agents can hugely impact on the morale of new employees, showing them how to enhance their performance by example. This is all the more effective if your call center applies workplace incentives, rewarding employees for working more efficiently and delivering better results. Also, speech analytics can help you identify the top performers and what they do differently to be so successful. This allows managers to incorporate this insight into training.
In a field as customer-focused as call centers, it is highly important that employees can understand what it feels like to be on the other side of the line. This is where role-playing in small or big groups can be such as powerful training method, helping them place themselves in the customers’ shoes. Did they feel welcome and listened to? Were they keen to give a good score in an post-call poll?
In conclusion, call center management can benefit from tried and tested training methods to improve the efficiency of their call centers. But they should not forego tools like speech and customer engagement analytics, which have shown tremendous, results in the past years.
Whether call center managers decide to make full use of online tools, powerful analytics and metrics tried and tested method, there is no shortage of methods that can benefit organizations relying on call centers for their customer-facing operations.
What training methods have been the most successful for you?