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10 Tips for Better Call Center Agent Training

As a provider of the most cost-effective cloud call center software anywhere, we know the success of your call center is directly impacted by the performance and productivity of your call center agents. Because of this, it’s incredibly important to establish and implement an efficient agent training program to support your agents' success.

In this helpful guide, we’ll explore 10 tips for better call center agent training so you can utilize them in your training program and help your agents reach their full potential!

Provide guidance on improvement.

In order for there to be continual progress in your agents’ performance, it’s essential to provide guidance on areas where improvement is needed.  You can use tools like live call monitoring and call recording to get a better understanding of what your agents are saying to your customers, and other handy applications, like quality assurance evaluations, to provide agents with the feedback they need.

But, it's just as important to coach your supervisors as it is to guide your agents.  In fact, a study conducted by Intradiem found that 80% of executives thought that their supervisors did not have the necessary skills to coach call center agents.  In order to have a truly effective call center agent training program, you have to devote as much time to prepping your supervisors as you do coaching your agents.

Link training to KPIs.

Make sure that your call center agent training is targeted.  Having key performance indicators associated with your training program will allow you to see trends that will highlight problems and opportunities for improvement.  Use these KPIs as the criteria you’ll use to develop your training program.

Balance the supervisor’s time between low and high performing agents.

Make sure that low performing agents do not use up all of your supervisors' time.  It’s important to give time to all agents in order to realize improvement opportunities as well as focus on performance problems.  Have your supervisors evaluate each agent individually and plan their training accordingly.  This ensures that each training session is specifically targeted to each individual employee.

Turn training into actions.

Regardless of the time and energy that you devote to developing the perfect program, training can sometimes fall on deaf ears.  It’s essential to make sure that the topics you discuss in your training sessions are turned into actions.

Try breaking your training session into a few key activities, and take the time to point out exactly how agents can apply their newfound knowledge in their day to day operations.

Make sure it’s consistent.

A training program that lacks structure and consistency can end up doing more harm than good.  That's why it's so important to define your training processes with your call center supervisors before implementation.

If you haven't done this yet, you're not alone.  In fact, almost 50% of call center supervisors surveyed cannot outline their training process.  A good way to start building a consistent program is to come up with standards and metrics that translate into replicable processes so that all of your agents experience the same type of training and handle customers in the same manner.

Take your customers into consideration.

The most successful call centers take their customers' opinions to heart.  Whether you choose to gather these opinions through surveys or by listening to live or past calls, it’s essential to develop your training program around the satisfaction of your customers so they’ll be more responsive to your agents.

Thoroughly define each employee’s role.

It’s especially important to fully define the role of each of your employees.  If you don’t, agents may be left wondering what their actual responsibilities are and things can fall through the cracks.  During your on boarding sessions, make sure new employees are aware of your expectations for their specific role.

Utilize calling features.

One thing that can help make your training program more successful is virtual call center software calling features. These features, like call recording and live monitoring, give you a way to examine the business taking place in your call center and allows you to see areas for improvement in your training practices.

Evaluate employees' performance.

Training is important, but it can only do so much without clear, shared evaluations of each employee's performance.  Formal evaluations are a great way to help agents identify specific areas they need to focus on, and they also give you the opportunity to track their improvement over the course of your new training programs.

Remember: call center agent training never ends!

One thing that many call centers overlook is ongoing training.  You may have an on boarding process for your agents in place, but it’s essential to complement those initial training sessions with frequent mini-sessions and evaluations.  Ongoing training and feedback can help keep standards and performance levels high.

Getting started with a clear-cut process for your call center agent training program may take some time, but once you get your measures into place, you will quickly see what works and what doesn’t.  As your call center grows and changes, you can go back and make adjustments to your core program.

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