Five Training Practices That Increase Agent Efficacy on the Call Floor
It is very important that we have agents that are able to accomplish a wide variety of tasks on the call floor. Depending upon the campaign, it may be critical for an agent to be technically versed in a field, very knowledgeable of an individual product, able to problem solve, and maintain great composure under stress. Not to mention, they need to be able to do all of this while remaining absolutely engaged and connected with a customer. These are five training practices that management and leadership is able to build into the foundation of a new agent to ensure great performance when they reach the call floor.
- Recognize when agents are doing something correctly – and constructively verbalize when they are doing something wrong.
This is a difficult area for many who begin in management. Some have a difficult time recognizing when an agent is accomplishing the task to the best of their ability, others have a difficult time breaking the ice of correcting when and where the agent went wrong. By recognizing when and where an agent did something correctly early, you are more likely to reinforce these behaviors. Do this by recognizing at least one thing good about every candidate. This can be done individually or in front of the team to build morale. Build these existing behaviors into goals that reinforce the overall goals of the campaign. When it comes to correcting bad behaviors, always leave a path to success. It is not constructive to simply call someone out on their bad behavior, show them where they went wrong and give them a viable opportunity for success.
- Pair poor performing trainees with your best-performing agents.
A great practice to get accustomed to is pairing up poor performing trainees with your best agents. Not only will this hopefully fix bad behaviors that the trainee has not gotten rid of yet, it will show value in the work that the best-performing agents have and give them value. By establishing this friendship and mentor relationship, work will improve on both sides of the spectrum. The trainee will improve his work quality through mentorship and the better performing agent will improve through reinforcement and repetition.
- Vary training and keep it interesting.
Too many training classes across the globe focus on one thing: getting the agent competent and on the floor as quickly as possible. Although this is our end goal, it is wise to keep agents engaged and interested in the material at hand. Having a trainee watch a slideshow continually is not only boring, it makes the trainee lose interest quickly. Try to find ways to vary your training regimen. This can be done through engaging games, instructional video, changing the environment, and a number of other ways that will keep your trainees guessing at what is coming next, and keep them more engaged in the task at hand.
- Make company culture instantly accessible.
It is proven that agents are more likely to perform better when they feel like they belong to an overarching culture. By making cultural benefits of the company available at the onset of training, rather than after it, we are better able to make agents feel at home and relaxed, and therefore have an easier time of teaching and reinforcing good workplace behaviors.
- Have an open and honest dialogue about feedback.
By having an open and honest dialogue about an agent or trainee’s time with your company, you will be able to statistically compile and form a basis for improving the relationship an employee has with your company. Too many times an employee leaves a job because he feels that his valid complaint is not treated appropriately. Instead of shirking a complaint like it is something to be shunned, embrace the complaint and look for patterns in complaints of trainees and agents. This will help you develop not only a stronger bond with your current trainees and employees but help you improve the training and employee experience for years to come.
Of course, these are but a few important training practices that increase agent efficacy on the call floor. Be sure to subscribe and read more blogs from Focus Services from all directions of call center life.