5 Strategies to Improve Call Center Training Initiatives
December 6, 2021
Wondering how you can improve your call center training initiatives? We can help! Read on to learn more about quality call center training.
Implementing a successful call center training program is integral to achieving caller and customer satisfaction. But, what does effective inbound call center training look like?
In this article, our call center training tips will help you cultivate a strong team that can meet callers’ needs and exceed customer expectations.
Customizing and standardizing training, creating opportunities for continuing education, implementing technology tools, refining soft skills, and incentivizing the call center staff to meet their training goals are all crucial pieces of the employee training puzzle. Let’s explore how these elements will serve your call center training needs. After all, inbound call center services rely upon agents with quality training.
#1 Customize and Standardize
While customization and standardization may sound like antonyms, the ideal call center training strategy implements both.
Call center leaders should customize their training according to:
The industries they serve
Their current client roster
Their target companies and industries
The tools and channels they use for client communication
But, after distilling their call center training needs, leaders should standardize the training curriculum to ensure that every agent receives identical training. A standardized education:
Creates more consistent agent performance
Helps trainers identify areas for improvement
Reduces time spent creating unique lessons for each cohort of new hires
Instead of relying upon a boxed curriculum with training call center agents, customize your training course to meet your clients’ and callers’ needs. Then, make sure that every employee is up to snuff by offering a standardized education.
#2 Create Continuing Education Opportunities
Standardized education programs are efficient tools for inbound call center training, but they should be regularly audited for effectiveness and accuracy. If training protocols change, call centers should offer continuing education opportunities to existing employees who participated in an outdated training course.
While continuing education should encompass protocol, script, or contact channel vs.call center changes, call centers should also offer courses on soft skills, emerging technologies, industry trends, and other relevant topics that will improve agents’ success.
Call centers can even ask their clients to provide continuing education to agents working for that client. For instance, if a sales call center vets leads for an accounting software company, the software company could provide semi-regular presentations about software features, updates, and target user groups.
#3 Use Tech to Teach Tech
If proficiency with technology or digital tools is one of your call center training needs, use the very tech call center agents will use on the job to train them. Call center trainers could accomplish this in a variety of ways:
Computer-based modules – Call centers can use standard station equipment (like desktop computers, headsets, or special script-prompting call center software) to train employees using computer-based training modules.
Routine proficiency tests and quizzes – To measure trainees’ progress in the training program, trainers can provide a series of tech-based tasks and monitor how the trainees complete them using their on-the-job tools.
Follow-along lessons – Call centers can provide trainees with standard station equipment to follow along with a trainer’s lessons. While educators work through example scenarios on a projected or shared screen, trainees follow along on their own devices.
Instead of using only paper customer service training material to teach critical workplace tasks, trainers should teach new employees to use provided technological tools by utilizing them for lessons.
#4 Don’t Slack Off on Soft Skills
Don’t underestimate the importance of soft skills for agent success and customer satisfaction. Call centers should incorporate soft skills into their initial call center training program curriculum and further them during continuing education courses.
Soft skills crucial for call center employees include:
Persistence and resilience
Spoken and written communication
Phone, text, and email etiquette
Consider spoken and written communication skills—these may seem difficult to teach at first, but trainers can use recorded past customer calls or text exchanges to provide examples of effective and suboptimal communication strategies. For example, shadowing experienced agents to learn how to tackle difficult customers. Team-building exercises and scenario role-playing are also useful techniques for teaching soft skills and ensuring call center best practices.
#5 Incentivize Success
How do you motivate your agents to thoroughly engage with call center training? Don’t underestimate the power of a reward.
When training agents, hack into the employee’s mesolimbic dopamine systems—the most important reward pathway in their brains—by providing rewards for completed objectives and quality performances. Rewards for behaviors activate this pathway, encouraging the brain to repeat the behaviors for which it was rewarded.
Use this to your advantage, providing small prizes, company merchandise, or even small increments of paid time off to encourage your employees to invest energy and attention into their training.
Looking for Top-Notch Customer Service Agents? Nexa Can Help.
Including each of the above elements in your curriculum will ensure excellent agent performance and customer satisfaction. However, designing and implementing an in-house call center agent training program can take significant time and resources.
Nexa can help you outsource your call center needs. Our experts are highly trained and ready to provide exceptional customer service to every client via any of our channels—call, SMS texting service, email, and live chat. When your customers are happy, our agents are happy.
Our agents are ready to help your business expand, and our fully scalable services will grow at the same pace as your business. You can trust Nexa to handle your all-important client relations while you do what you love—running a successful business.