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15 Tips for Training Call Center Agents

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15 Tips for Training Call Center Agents

  1. 1. 15 Tips for Training Call Center Agents www.talkdesk.com
  2. 2. 01 Introduce the team 02 Educate your new agents about your business 03 Explain the importance of schedule adherence 04 Bring top-performing agents to training 05 Explain their role in building customer relationships 06 Teach agents call handling best practices 07 Teach agents call center etiquette 08 Educate them about their desired outcome Table of Contents 07 Teach agents call center etiquette 08 Educate them about their desired outcome 09 Show agents how to find answers to their questions 10 Train your agents individually 11 Make sure your training is hands-on and practical 12 Use videos in your curriculum 13 Provide call recordings that demonstrate a specific point 14 Consistently evaluate their progress 15 Training never stops
  3. 3. Customer service expectations are rising. Today's customers expect more than just an answer to their question. They want real-time, personalized support delivered by a skilled agent. As a result of this change, call centers are investing more time, money and effort into developing agent training programs so that their call center agents will be prepared to meet the increasing expectations of their customers. Use these 15 tips to enhance the training you provide to your agents so they can better meet the needs of your customers.
  4. 4. 01 Introduce the team
  5. 5. Kick off training with an introduction (live or video) from the call center managing director, department heads and agent supervisors. Encourage them to introduce their role on the team as well as how the agents can contact them. This will help agents put a face to a name and give them a lifeline when needed. 01 Introduce the team
  6. 6. 02 Educate your new agents about your business
  7. 7. Your new hires should have a comprehensive understanding of your business, product and call center operations. They should also be provided information about company culture, mission, core values and vision and understand their role in achieving business goals. With this understanding, your agents will be more prepared to interact with customers in a manner that is consistent with your business values. 02 Educate your new agents about your business
  8. 8. 03 Explain the importance of schedule adherence
  9. 9. Many new hires are unclear on how schedule adherence impacts the call center. Make sure your agents are in the know by having someone from Workforce Management explain the impact that schedule adherence has on key performance indicators (KPIs) such as service level. It would also be helpful to give new hires information on which KPIs managers will assess, how these will be tied to performance evaluations and practical tips on how to hit their KPI benchmarks. Doing so will prepare your new hires to be mindful of these KPIs and adjust their approach to interacting with customers accordingly. 03 Explain the importance of schedule adherence
  10. 10. 04 Bring top-performing agents to training
  11. 11. Encourage your most successful agents to come to trainings and give practical tips on how to be a top performer. This will set the bar high for new hires and enhance their insight into how to be effective at their jobs. 04 Bring top-performing agents to training
  12. 12. 05 Explain their role in building customer relationships
  13. 13. A great way to enhance agent motivation to provide outstanding service is to help them understand the role they play in building customer relationships. Educate them on customer lifetime value as well as the cost of a bad interaction. Let them know how the quality of the service they provide impacts customer conversion, retention and loyalty. Once they have this understanding, they will be more motivated to provide top-notch service. 05 Explain their role in building customer relationships
  14. 14. 06 Teach agents call handling best practices
  15. 15. New agents should be provided examples of appropriate greetings, transfer techniques and how to end a conversation. Allow them to listen to recordings and also provide them with scripts. Encourage them to practice with each other until these become natural. 06 Teach agents call handling best practices
  16. 16. 07 Teach agents call center etiquette
  17. 17. When your agents have a concrete understanding of what to say and what not to say, they will be more prepared to provide excellent service. Accomplish this by teaching them about call center etiquette and informing them of etiquette guidelines. 07 Teach agents call center etiquette excellence
  18. 18. 08 Educate them about their desired outcome
  19. 19. Their overarching goal (apart from providing amazing service, of course) might be to increase sales, resolve a customer’s issue on first contact or resolve the customer’s issue as quickly as possible. Whatever the goal, agents should know it and know how to achieve it. 08 Educate them about their desired outcome
  20. 20. 09 Show agents how to find answers to their questions
  21. 21. Have a knowledge base? Teach new hires how to use it. Have a Technical Support department? Teach agents how to conference them into a call. Have managers that are available to jump into a live call? Tell agents who to ask for help. Do they have a rock star agent in their department? Tell them who that is and when it is OK to ask for their assistance. Trainees will inevitably come across questions that they don’t know how to answer. Show them where to look and who to ask to help them resolve the issue. 09 Show agents how to find answers to their questions
  22. 22. 10 Train your agents individually
  23. 23. According to The Global Call Center Report, the time to proficiency can vary depending on: • The educational level of newly hired call center agents • The complexity of the product or service • Training protocols • Management strategies Keep this variation in mind when training agents. Keep your eye out for learning or knowledge gaps and do your best to adjust your approach to training in an effort to fill them. 10 Train your agents individually
  24. 24. 11 Make sure your training is hands-on and practical
  25. 25. Agents often learn best by doing. Team up your agents and have them role-play common call scenarios. Allow them to get their hands dirty playing with your product. Give them sufficient hands-on time to learn your call center software. These hands-on training experiences are essential to cultivating a capable workforce. 11 Make sure your training is hands-on and practical
  26. 26. 12 Use videos in your curriculum
  27. 27. Videos are a great way to engage your agent trainees. Don’t have the budget to produce your own training curriculum? Don’t worry. There are great how-to videos you can use for icebreakers on YouTube. 12 Use videos in your curriculum
  28. 28. 13 Provide call recordings that demonstrate a specific point
  29. 29. One of the best ways for call center agents to learn how to interact with customers is to hear recordings from previous calls. Choose recordings that will help you demonstrate a specific point (e.g. how to handle an angry customer, what to say if you don’t know the answer to their question, how to give a customer refund, etc.) Letting your new hires hear for themselves how more seasoned agents interact with callers will give them a better understanding of how they should too. 13 Provide call recordings that demonstrate a specific point
  30. 30. 14 Consistently evaluate their progress
  31. 31. Throughout the training program, consistently monitor agent performance and provide them with timely feedback. New hires should know exactly what is and what is not working so they can adjust their approach accordingly. 14 Constantly evaluate their progress
  32. 32. 15 Training never stops
  33. 33. According to The Global Call Center Report, experienced call center agents receive an average of six training days per year. Make sure your agents keep their performance high by continually providing refresher courses, training on new products or software and training to enhance their professional development. 15 Training never stops
  34. 34. GET DEMO Make training easier for your agents by equipping them with an intuitive business tool. Request a demo to find out why Talkdesk is the most loved call center solution by agents and managers alike. www.talkdesk.com/request-demo

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