Contact centre agents are at the core of every brand’s customer experience. They are given the important tasks of communicating with customers and finding solutions while using numerous technologies, they must receive the proper training to deliver the best service possible.
Proper training goes far beyond the moment. When you give people the right amount value during the training, you not only help the business stay ahead of its market, but you help the person on the receiving end of the training.
This came to my attention after a personal experience where I witnessed an unsatisfied customer who had a rather an unsatisfactory contact centre training experience, which left me thinking more about the importance of giving proper training and how it affects how customers feel about the service they get, and whether or not they get value.
In my experience, I have also learned that training also helps build strong relationships with customers, it builds efficiency enabling our customers to do what they need to do, a greater understanding of what the solution can offer, which leads to more efficient work and ability to get more business and with no fear of competitor penetration.
Now the question is how do you give value-added training?
Cater to individual training needs
The typical workforce includes people from different professional and personal backgrounds. This diversity can be an advantage that brings new perspectives, constructive debate, and creative ideas. But diversity also means that individuals have different knowledge and skills levels.
Try using various training content types, like text, graphics, language variation and video. Some learners respond more positively to interactive content types, while others prefer to read and refer back to the text.
Use customer feedback as training material
First things first; use feedback as your first training manual. Customer feedback helps your brand decide which improvements need to be made. For example, if customers feel that their conversations with agents are taking too long or that they are being re-routed too often, it may be necessary to explore issues such as average handling time and making sure that agents are matched to the most appropriate channels or departments.
Another example is using constructive criticism as a learning opportunity. If a customer is not satisfied with your programme or the trainer, then it is important to re-look at your training models and strategies.
Highlight the importance of the end goal
The overarching goal (apart from providing amazing service of course) might be to increase sales, resolve a customer’s issue on the first contact or resolve the customer’s issue as quickly as possible. Lack of purpose can be seriously demotivating. Training contact centre employees is more effective when they understand why their training is important for their job, for customers, and their personal development.
So in essence, communicate the goals of training (and the business goals they serve) to learners from the start. Learners must be aware of their Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), and these KPI’s should be linked to their personal development goals. Whatever the goal, trainees should know it and know how to achieve it through the help of training.
Remember: Training never stops
There’s a saying that goes, “Never stop learning, because the word never stops teaching”. The same applies to contact centre agents. There will always be evolving customer expectations, technologies, products and best practices that contact centres must adapt to.
So, your training should be a process, not an event.