Fast Contact Center Training with Consistent Performance – Is it Possible?

How long does it usually take to train a new agent at your contact center? Two weeks? Four weeks? We’ve even heard of some call centers that require six weeks or more. There must be a better way.

Actually, there are several techniques that can expedite the training process, without compromising the quality of the sessions or of the agent’s subsequent on-the-job performance. This article published by ICMI offers some good ideas, which we have summarized here, while adding a couple of our own.

Keep a Log

Rookie agents will all struggle with different aspects of the job. By keeping a written log of performance observations, it makes it easier to pinpoint issues and focus training on making those corrections. Call scoring and quality software is also helpful in tracking this and helping agents improve performance quickly.

First Call Groups

The sooner a new agent takes his or her first live customer call, the faster the acclimation process. Some contact centers create a group of new hires, and have them each take a call as a trainer observes. This way they will get immediate feedback, and also have the opportunity to watch other new agents work and learn from their performance.

Take the Tour

Familiarity with a company and its products and operations will help a new agent’s job performance. Incorporate a tour into the training process that includes not just the contact center but visits to the returns department, fulfillment center and other components in the supply chain. If some of these facilities are remotely located or out of state, conduct a virtual tour through online video.

Self-Coaching

It’s never too early to encourage agents in assessing their own job performance. Have them score their first call efforts and offer suggestions on how they could have handled each situation better.Call recording software can help agents review their calls and use as a self-coaching tool.

Agent-to-Agent Assistance

If a manager or trainer isn’t always available, an agent should be able to get the answer to a question from another agent. Adding chat or wiki access to a contact center provides a system for these knowledge-sharing discussions.

FAQs

Have the answers to the most common agent questions already prepared through a FAQ document that outlines best practices.

Mentors

In larger contact centers, with teams of managers and coaches and trainers, it is beneficial to set up a mentor relationship for each new hire, so he or she will always know where to go for answers or additional help. A mentor could be a coach, or it could be an experienced agent.

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