Call center training tips are super important. Think about this scenario. You’ve read the product manual from front to back, you’ve read blog articles on how to use the product, and you’ve viewed the q and a from current customers. But still, you don’t understand how a product you just bought. Now, you are frustrated and need to talk to a real person to get your questions answered. Enter the call center. How the call center responds to your inquiry is vital. If they answer all your questions, you walk away satisfied and more willing to be a repeat customer.
You walk away feeling frustrated and now you decide to leave a negative review online, tell your friends not to use this company, and choose a competitor instead. In order to prevent frustrated, customers, you want to properly develop your call center employees. So we’ve pulled together some call center training tips to help.
1. Onboard thoroughly
All call center training tips should start with onboarding. And actually, you should even start with pre-onboarding. Put together a welcome packet that includes goals for the company, a letter from the CEO about the company's mission, and other pertinent information your new customer service personnel need to know. This detailed communication will help your new employees understand the landscape of your company and help them to better serve your customers when on the phone. Once these employees start their new jobs, hold a call or meeting where they can meet the various department heads. The more they understand who to go to for questions or more information the better they can do their jobs from the start.
2. Knowledge of products/services
This sounds obvious, but your call center team needs to know your products and services thoroughly. You can’t expect your employees to answer intricate questions if they have not used your products or services themselves. Training should be hands-on for these employees. If they encounter a question about a product themselves, they will better understand why a potential customer is asking the same question.
3. Observe in real-time
Whether a call center team member has been on the job for a long time or just starting out, everyone can benefit from real-time feedback. Part of your training should be to observe your team in action. How do they answer the phones? What do they communicate to the customers? What is their tone like? It’s beneficial for managers to hear what questions come up periodically from customers and also to hear customer service responses. Feedback can either be given on the spot or noted to talk about collectively as a team after the observation period is complete.
4. Importance of schedule adherence
Schedule adherence should also be included in your call center training tips. If you are not familiar with this topic, schedule adherence is simply the amount of time a call center employee is scheduled to work with the amount of time they actually work. Although you as a manager are actually calculating this, it’s important for your team to understand that they are ultimately responsible for the success or failure of schedule adherence. So a good way to demonstrate this is with role-playing training. For example, you can have one employee pretend to be five minutes late for their shift. Then, they could have a brief conversation with a fellow employee about why they are late. Then have them actually log on to your system about 10 minutes after that. Next, this employee runs over their break by another 10 minutes. You can then show your team how a few minutes here and there can add up to a quick hour of lost time. This exercise can further be compounded by other team members' role-playing as frustrated customers sitting on long wait times due to call center team members, not on scheduled shifts.
5. Involve other departments
Customer feedback comes in through different channels. For example, a marketing team member may see a post on social media about their interaction with the company. Or a web developer may get a customer question through a help desk inbox. Although you value workplace communication, feedback doesn’t always get back to the call center. So one of your call center training tips should be to gather customer feedback from all department heads periodically. Ask them for all customer feedback they may have received good or bad. Then, pass this on to the call center so they can be better informed when it comes to customer conversations.
6. Involve top performers in training
Sometimes employees take constructive feedback better from their peers than outside facilitators or even managers. So one of your call center training tips should be to identify your top performers and hold one on one meetings with them. Pinpoint together why they are successful and then ask these employees to become part of your training. The top performers can showcase examples of actual calls and how they handled them.
Not only will this show these employees that you truly value their level of commitment, but it gives these top performers a platform to help motivate other team members. Peer-to-peer training will also benefit more junior team members whose goals are to achieve top-level benchmarks set by these top performers.
7. Include marketing training
Many times training is tailored to learning specific skills for a job. However, the importance of training is more than needing to learn new skills or to pass compliance testing. This is especially true when it comes to call center training tips. Since your call center deals with customers including new, returning, and referred, marketing training is also vital.
Teaching your call center team about customer lifecycles and the role they play in keeping these customers happy is super important. If you think about it a customer could really be won over or lost forever if they have a bad call center experience. Once you train on topics like customer loyalty and conversion, your team will understand just how vital their jobs are to overall company growth. And in return, your team members will feel their jobs really do matter and will give their best when interacting with customers.
8. Include etiquette training
It may seem odd for call center training tips to include etiquette, but it’s a vital skill to have. Etiquette training for business helps your employees better interact with your customers on a personal level. You never know what type of call you are going to get. Many times the customer on the line is frustrated or even mad. Your employees need to understand how to react in a calm manner that also solves the problem the customer is having. And sometimes it’s hard to predict how someone will react when under a pressure situation. That’s why etiquette training can help your team prepare for different types of calls they may receive.