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5 Tips for Budget-Friendly Training in the Modern Contact Center

As contact center leaders you’re always being asked to do more
with less. Agent training is no exception. Here are 5 tips for low or no
cost ways to train agents from ICMI’s webcast featuring Justin Robbins (ICMI), Jana
Meyers (American Century), Joe Landers (Oracle) and Kristine Chisholm (ICMI).

Tip 1: The Good, the
Bad and the Ugly in Recorded Contacts

Encourage agents to share recorded contacts of positive
customer interactions as well as negative ones. Using difficult customer interactions
as teaching moments helps you brainstorm more effective approaches for resolving customer issues. This is
critical because customers who have issues satisfactorily resolved are more loyal
than customers who haven’t had problems yet with your products and services.

Another technique is having agents actually become customers
of your company. This experience creates empathy and empowers agents to find ways
to continually improve service.

Tip 2: The Power of
One

You know having the right agents in the right place at the
right time is critical. But many agents don’t understand the ripple effect that
can occur when they return late from a break. In a 50-person contact center,
one late agent can slow overall response time 20 seconds. Demonstrate this
impact in a fun way by using ping pong balls in the break room to represent
incoming calls.

Tip 3: What’s the
Score?

Agents often don’t get to see how their performance will be
measured until after training. They also don’t get to learn why metrics like
customer satisfaction (CSAT) are so important—and what they can do to positively
influence CSAT. Bringing in stakeholders like the Head of Customer Service can
help agents understand the connection between their performance and CSAT. Also
recognizing top-performing agents at the training can serve to inspire new
recruits and provide them with go-to mentors.

Tip 4: Play the Best
Hand Given the Cards You’re Dealt

Nearly 92% of agent-facing applications aren’t as efficient
as they could be. That means system workarounds are inevitable. If you don’t
provide agents with standard best practices for workarounds, they’ll invent their
own. And those workarounds will result in more variability and inefficiency. So
sit down with your agents to proactively identify the best workarounds. It will
make them feel heard and lower their frustration and burnout.

Tip 5: Turn the
Tables and Let Agents Measure You!

Get agent feedback right after training sessions—just like
you measure CSAT immediately after a customer interaction. And build practice
time into your training. For example, have two weeks in the classroom followed
by a week of taking calls. This approach helps agents
better retain what they’re learning and also builds confidence as they take on
progressively more complex inquiries. Additionally, having top-performing agents serve as
mentors or buddies can ease trainees’ transition to the production floor.

Finally, even the best 6-week training program can’t teach
agents everything they need to know. This is especially true now that most easy
issues are resolved via customer self-service. What ends up in the contact
center are complex issues requiring more insight and information. That is why
having a consolidated knowledge base with guided resolution is so crucial. It
enables newer hires to perform like your best agents. And helps you determine
what additional knowledge is needed to better serve customers.

With these tips, you can prepare your agents for the demands
of the modern contact center without breaking the bank!

Click here to watch the webcast replay.

For more information on modern customer service, please
visit our website.

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