During the always-busy holiday season, customer service is more important than ever. Not only are most customers generally in a rush to get the information they need, there are generally a lot more of them calling your centre in order to get it. Your team needs to be regularly motivated in order to handle the influx of calls that they’re bound to get in the weeks to come. In last week’s blog, we listed a few key ways to keep your team of phone agents motivated.
In this week’s blog, we’d like to take a look at some ways you can train new hires to become part of your already-motivated team. It’s not uncommon for business owners to hire seasonal staff in order to help manage the higher call volumes that are in keeping with the holiday season. If you’re one of those business owners, you’ll need to step up both your hiring and training regimens this week.
Here are three tips for training new call centre employees:
1. Be clear about company goals and directives so as to empower decision making. The best call centre employees are the ones who are able to make sound decisions on behalf of the company. Of course, you’ll want those decisions to be based on what is best for your business. When you properly educate your new hires about your company goals and directives, they will be given the confidence to make decisions without asking for assistance.
“An agent that is provided with the appropriate tools to empower them to make decisions on behalf of the company is crucial,” says Miruna Mitranescu of Aircall, “A highly trained agent with the power of decision will not only ensure higher customer satisfaction, but will also enable single call resolution and thus result in a more positive customer experience. It’s all about encouraging agent buy-in, not only into the value-driven service their employer is providing, but also buy-in to the client brand that they are representing.”
2. Incorporate on-the-job experience. You can keep your new hires in a classroom for a week or two to provide them with as much information as they can handle. Or you can give them on-the-job training. Which of the two do you think will be more effective? There’s nothing like experience to give someone the confidence to do his/her job the right way. Sure, there may be some bumps in the road, but the actual performing of the job will help your new hires to be better equipped for their roles over the long haul.
“Handling calls during the initial training session is an activity that cannot be eliminated from the curriculum,” insists Mitranescu, “It is imperative that the new hires receive practice handling real-time calls. There is no substitute for this experience. Role-play is good, but real call handling is essential. Trainers should make sure that equipment works and is available for each ‘real-time’ call handling session. Operations should make this a priority.”
3. Listen to the calls being taken by your new hires. Once the official training sessions have been completed, be sure to not have your new hires feel like they are being thrown to the wolves. Monitor the calls of your rookie phone agents so that they can be given feedback about how they are handling questions and complaints. This will be an important step in making them comfortable with their abilities in their new positions.
Mitranescu recommends that you encourage upper management to listen to calls and praise your agents for their jobs well done. This will go a long way in boosting both employee morale and confidence. “It’s really important that he upper management team takes time each week to listen to calls and publicly praise the recognised agents with maybe a certificate or gift card for example,” she suggests, “The gents will feel incentivised to do their best.”
At SIClytics, we are big believers in the providing of regular feedback. Our Live Call Monitoring services allow call centre managers to listen to phone calls live and as they happen. In addition to monitoring, managers can whisper information to their agents to help them resolve potential issues on their calls. This helps to improve overall customer satisfaction and employee performance.
For more information about our Live Call Monitoring services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-877-374-6003 or email us at sales@SIClytics.com.