Agent training is perhaps one of the most important activities in which a call center can participate. Managers know what they want to get out of their employees, and often to get results such as proper etiquette, correct script reading, and efficient computer usage, they have to teach employees the ins and out of social and business systems.
Training should occur throughout the lifespan of an organization and the careers of its employees. When employees have completed large errors, for instance, they should hear about them from their managers, and in turn, their managers should coach them in methods they can use to avoid future missteps.
Avoxi discusses, in a recently-posted blog entry, three ways in which managers can use call center software to help train their employees. Software, after all, is not just about managing a business; it can have alternative uses that include employee management and education.
First, the post suggests that managers can listen in on their employees’ calls. The ability to listen directly to a call as it is happening can provide managers with a wealth of instant information they can share instantly with their employees. If an agent fails to smoothly close a transaction, for instance, after speaking to a customer for an extended period of time, the manager can talk to him or her about how to better take the final steps in the sales process. Both the manager and the agent will know exactly which call they are discussing and will have it fresh in their minds.
Recorded calls can also enhance training. Managers can play back recordings of successful and unsuccessful interactions in staff meetings to let groups listen to the differences between them. Although waiting until a weekly or monthly meeting to provide feedback is not instant, it does allows employees to hear the actual voices of agents and callers; they are not simply listening to a manager's rendition of the events. Meetings such as this can also allow employees, as a group, to provide feedback about what they think transpired in the recorded calls.
Call reports, as well, can be useful. Managers can look at everything from the number of calls their agents take each day to how much time they spend speaking with each individual customer. If they are moving slowly, managers may encourage them to work more quickly. If they seem overburdened, managers can lighten their workloads to more reasonable levels.
Edited by Adam Brandt