3 Dos and Don’ts For Effective Contact Center Agent Training
There are many different ways to approach the challenge of agent training. But most of them contain some variation of a few essential elements. Here are three “dos” and “don’ts” that we believe will improve your training efforts.
DO: Allow Agents to Self-Evaluate
Self-evaluation should be encouraged, as it not only allows every agent to improve without supervision, it frees up trainers to address other issues. The best agents will realize where they need help and make corrections before being informed to do so by their employers.
DON’T: Forget the Customer
Customer service is why contact centers exist. So make sure that customer input is incorporated into your training sessions. Go beyond the feedback evident in the calls you review, and use customer surveys to discover more in-depth concerns.
DO: Empower Your Agents
Your agents should be empowered to make decisions, to stay on a call a few extra moments, even to break a rule every now and then, to preserve a customer relationship. Training sessions are when you ascertain whether they are using that authority wisely.
DON’T: Train in Groups
We get it – training 4-6 agents at the same time takes less time than setting up individual sessions. But it’s also less effective. The personalized approach that addresses each agent’s specific strengths and weaknesses will usually deliver better results.
DO: Remember That Motivation is Part of Training
What’s the best way to motivate agents? There is no answer that will fit every contact center. The easiest way to find out is simply to ask your agents. What would they like (besides their paycheck) in return for improved performance? Some may respond to gift cards or movie passes or trophies and plaques; others may prefer first choice at future shift schedules, so they can work hours that are more convenient.
DON’T: Be Afraid to Push Them Out of the Nest
With new agents, there may be some hesitation to move them out of training and into a live situation. But there is no substitute for taking real customer calls when assessing how an agent handles a wide range of challenges and opportunities.
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