One of the industries that currently employ millions all over the world is the call center industry. A call center can either be in-house (which means it’s part of the organization) or outsourced (the business process is delegated to a third party). In both cases, the calls can come in (inbound) or out (outbound).
Inbound calls are not as challenging as its outbound counterpart. But just the same, the persons handling the calls must be properly trained so all queries or issues are promptly and professionally dealt with.
If you’re managing a team of inbound CSRs (Customer Service Representative), your agents have to be continuously trained to achieve excellent customer service. Here are a few training tips:
Look for AFIs – AFI stands for areas for improvement (better to call it that than call it mistakes). As you do your quality assurance training, look for agents’ weak areas. By identifying their weaknesses, you’ll know exactly what they need to be trained on. When identifying AFIs, look from an objective viewpoint. Some trainers who may have personal bias against an agent may have the tendency to nit-pick and see only the CSR’s bad or weak areas.
Address issues immediately – It’s good practice to train agents at the same time. However, there can be times when an agent performs way below expectations and may actually be doing things wrong, which can badly reflect on your company. If this happens, pull out the agent immediately and find solutions to arrest the situation before it gets worse. Of course, be sure to focus only on the issue and don’t gravitate into attacking the person’s character.
Set your training goals – Coordinate with the members of your training personnel so they can assist you in planning goals and effective training sessions. Make sure that the goals are realistic and can be achieved within the scheduled training period. If there are training guidelines that can be presented in written form, you can hand them out to your agents for them to read so you save time. Your training can be anything from a short tutorial sent via email or a short refresher.
Create a positive atmosphere – Make the training venue a place where agents feel comfortable and relaxed. It doesn’t have to feel stiff and stilted, but it doesn’t have to be too informal to a point where your agents no longer pay attention to the training. Again, address the issues and not the personal character of an agent. Also, remember the age-old advice: praise in public, reprimand in private.
Evaluate the training – The program doesn’t end with the training itself. You have to meet with your training personnel once it’s done so you can make an evaluation. Were the goals met? Was the training effective? Were issues properly addressed? Did the agents learn new skill sets? These are some of the questions you can ask when doing an evaluation.
Keeping your agents continuously trained is important. Aside from making them aware of the things they need to improve on, it also provides new skill sets that your agents can use to handle calls successfully. (If you’re looking to get call recording for your business number, go to EasyInbound.)
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Dave Carter is an expert independent consultant for small businesses. If you want to get call recording feature for your business number, he recommends you go to EasyInbound.
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