How to Train Call Center Employees: 4 Tips to Success
When it comes to training call center employees, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. But in an era where technology changes fast, it seems like every week brings new ways to train more effectively. In this post, we’ll look at 4 tips that can help call center managers keep up.
How do you train call center employees efficiently? This is the question every call center management team must answer during the onboarding process. Luckily, there are ways to get your call center employees on track without hurting productivity. Here’s how.
Implement Best Practices
For a call center employee – and any employee for that matter – customer satisfaction is key. But is it really as simple as teaching employees how they should treat customers? The short answer: yes. Start with a list of best practices. These are basic factors that each call center employee should have top of mind. Things like having a quick response time, greeting your caller by their first name and remembering that the customer is always right will get your employee far in their communication. Having a set list of best practices for your call center ensures that employees are on the same page and gives them a constant reminder of how to succeed in their job.
Here’s an example to help get you started:
- Personalize – greet the customer by name and introduce yourself;
- Listen – take notes to better understand customers’ problems and how to solve them;
- Empathize – be considerate of what your customer is going through;
- Present a solution – even if you don’t have an answer at that very moment, let the customer know you’re working on it and will get them an answer shortly;
- Thank them – they took time out of their day to talk to you. Say thank you for being a loyal customer.
Build a Knowledge Base
When a call center employee enters a new job, they’re often bombarded with new information. It’s impractical to think that employees will retain all of this training after the first few days. Implementing a knowledge base that holds company and customer information will serve as a benefit for both employees and prospects. A knowledge base is something that’s available 24/7. So, while the call center employee may not be available every waking second, this information system is.
Odds are that your call center already has a knowledge base that holds necessary information. In fact, customers basically expect you have one. “90% of consumers have come to expect a self-service customer support portal.” Encouraging employees to use this system gives them useful information at the touch of a button.
Keep Training and Evaluation Consistent
Call center scripts and proper training are more important than ever before, with call center representative jobs expected to grow 12.6 percent by 2022. So how do you ensure new and existing call center employees are on the same page? Consistently train. As mentioned earlier, technology is always changing which means there’s always something to learn. Customer service agents and representatives can’t be expected to be fully trained after their first week – it’s a continuous process. Holding regular training sessions will help maintain skills and knowledge and are also a great way to advance skills and notify employees of upcoming changes. However, if you’re a bigger company, don’t get sucked into an all-staff training meeting which can get disruptive and interrupt business processes. It’s best to hold training sessions by shifts or departments to allow for a more interactive discussion.
With consistent training comes consistent evaluation. A call center employee can take in all the training possible, but without evaluation of their day-to-day, employees will never know which of that training closely relates to them and what can be improved. A simple evaluation from a manager allows for constructive criticism and the opportunity for that employee to grow. This doesn’t have to happen on a weekly basis, either. An annual or semi-annual review helps managers evaluate the bigger picture and provide guidance for the next quarter.
Establish Measurable Goals
Without established goals, call center agents have no framework to operate in. According to Inc., “Good organizations should always be trying to improve, grow, and become more profitable. Setting goals provides the clearest way to measure the success of the company.” Goals allow employees to work towards the same outcome. Establishing them starts with a look at real-time reporting statistics. Based on these statistics, managers can keep track of important call metrics and use that data to establish standards. These goals can be daily, weekly, monthly or annual. Either way, these KPIs remind your call center agent what they’re striving towards and the groundwork to keeping them productive.
Training employees is a continuous task – and one that should never be done halfheartedly. By implementing these 4 tips into your training process, you’re not only ensuring employee success but also the long-term success of your business.
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