Customer service agents are in constant cycles of training. To train them effectively, businesses have to bear very high training costs because of agent churn and ever-expanding product portfolios.
Even though your formal training may last for a few weeks, that’s not enough for operational functionalities.
Do you think your agent’s get hands-on experience about all existing product lines, offers and processes well? Customers have issues of all types and for that, your agents need to understand each & every aspect of your business.
Time for an agent to become your brand advocates can take at least 3 to 6 months easily, provided they are equipped with actionable knowledge. Considering this fact, the first few months after training are costlier for your business.
Through this blog post, we will discover ways to reduce training to operational time and cost.
Before getting started; there are few questions you should ask yourself:
- How do you identify training needs?
- How do you conduct your training?
- What is the duration of refresher training?
- How do you access your agent’s performance?
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Data Doesn’t Lie
- Organizations spend $10K to $40K per year on agent training.
- 68% of people prefer to learn within the workforce.
- 58% of employees favour self-paced learning.
Training contact centre agents to make them match customer expectations
Are your agents taking longer time to find the next step?
Do they look confused while finding the information from the database?
If your answer is yes for the above question, it’s time to rethink your strategy.
Customer expectations from brands are constantly increasing. Now, customers not only expect an answer but they need faster resolution to their question, and effectively training your customer service representatives is key to elevate your customer experience and your competitive advantage.
Choosing an intuitive and easy-to-use contact centre software is not sufficient, CX leaders also invest more time, money and effort into the development of smart training programs so that their customer service agents will be well equipped to meet the ever-increasing expectations of their customers.
Quick tips to reduce time & enhance effectiveness by guiding agents to the solution
Global Call Center Report states that the time to proficiency in a contact centre depends on:
- Academic details of newly hired call centre agents
- The complexity of the product or service
- Training protocols
- Refresher frequency
- Management strategies
Let’s take a look at ways to improve training effectiveness and make agents more productive for enhanced customer service.
1. Aware your new agents about your business
Your newbies should have a comprehensive understanding of your business processes, product and operations. In addition, they should be aware about company culture, mission, core values and vision and above all they should understand their role in achieving business goals.
This allows agents to be more prepared to interact with customers and to feel more confident about their understanding of business.
2. Identify top-performing agents to provide OJT (On Job Training)
In a contact center, agents are always on their journey. Few agents might grab process knowledge more easily than others.
Encourage your top agents with timely refresher training and make them handle complex customer queries.
3. Make your agents aware about customer service etiquette
When your agents understand well what to say and what not to say, they will be more prepared to provide service which customers need.
Achieve this by having a module in your training document and make sure it’s available to all the agents.
4. Make sure your training is interactive
People often learn best by doing. Thus, the gamification of processes can be done in order to make them understand scenarios effectively.
Team up your agents and ask them to role-play a common call scenario. These hands-on training experiences are essential to bringing in contact centre culture.
5. Start guiding agents with the next best step
Today, customers want to get timely and effective answers to their concerns. You can achieve this by implementing a call centre scripting solution in your business process.
6. Easy findability of information with the help of knowledge management tools
Knowledge management tools like step by step guided workflow and centralized repository of all your product & process information coupled with the Learning Management System (LMS) work wonders and boosts your contact centre operations.
While the learning management system allows you to train and assess your employees on a regular basis without any hassle, other components of knowledge management like a knowledge base and decision tree boost agent productivity, improve agent satisfaction and result in customer satisfaction.
Knowledge management tools & enhanced training to operational time of agents
By arming your agents with the right set of tools and an online portal for continuous learning & assessment, you can ensure:
- Low average handling time (AHT) – When your agents have access to a centralized repository of information and they can fetch them in a few clicks, customer query handling time will drop automatically.
- High first call resolution (FCR) – Mitigate call hold and call transfer using step by step guided workflows. Call centre scripting tool will help agents to find the next best step and helps in faster resolution.
- Reduced training effort – Training about products & processes is not a one-time thing and at the same time, it costs more in initial 3-6 weeks. Enable users with an online training platform and help them stay up to date with all the information.
- Updated information throughout the organization – Any update regarding product, offers and more can be updated in no time across the organization. It helps employees to be on the same page and operate smoothly.
- A consistent message on all channels – customers today want to interact through various platforms and you should be consistent about providing information irrespective of which agents are interacting and which platform they are using.
- Improved agent productivity and performance – When agents can answer customer queries effectively, productivity increases along with customer and agent satisfaction.
To top it all, accelerated agent adoption and enhanced productivity by using an easy-to-use intuitive platform for their needs results in great customer satisfaction.
When your agents know that the system will guide them to the best answer every time, they feel more confident and focus their attention on delivering an enhanced customer experience (CX)
Build a culture of ongoing training & learning
As the data suggests, experienced call center agents receive a meager average of six training days per year. Ensure your agents engage effectively with customers with the help of timely refresher training, training on new products or software, or training to enhance their customer service skills development.
As customer expectations are increasing daily, it is on CX leaders to train agents to effectively meet their customers’ needs. Knowledge management and the E-learning module are the perfect answer to this.