call center Five Training Tips to Make your Call Center OutstandingManagers overseeing a call service center know that their employees require ongoing training if they’re to truly excel at delivering excellent customer service. These managers are able to make the business case that their budgets need to have an annual line-item for training new employees, as well as training existing employees. But just throwing money at training doesn’t necessarily yield a successful outcome. Training requires forethought, flexibility, nimbleness, and evolution. Here are some tips to ensure your call-center training program maximizes your investment.

Tip Number One: Real-World Advice

Training is more than just educating your employees about company policy and protocols. Exceptional service happens when the employee and customer connect as people. Offering your employees real-world advice allows them to understand the bigger picture and objectives of your organization and integrate the mission of your company into customer service delivery. Training offered by experienced, successful representatives can offer valuable insight into the difference between meeting performance benchmarks and exceeding them.

Tip Number Two: Training can be Spontaneous and Casual

As a manager, it is your job to listen and respond to your employees. Coaching/training can happen at any time, at any place, and it doesn’t have to be long-winded. Sometimes it is most effective to offer a short piece of advice to your employee that is immediately relevant to a specific situation. The message communicated during these less formal interactions are often heard more clearly as they aren’t lost in a longer training session. Training needs to relate to the job at hand. Try to incorporate relevant training into the working day, and into the tasks and activities agents have to complete in a real-time setting.

Tip Number Three: Individual training

While your software and equipment in your call center is the same for all employees, each employee will bring his/her personality, strengths and skills to your organization. Training should reflect this, by helping your employees develop his/her skills without over-emphasizing any one specific area. This doesn’t mean that each employee be uniquely and individually trained, but rather that your training program allow for the various skill sets of individuals to be cultivated.

Tip Number Four: Focus on staff engagement

Effective training involves looking closely at what skills are needed within your team. In a customer service call center, training often focuses on product knowledge, complaint management, or patching the customer through to the right department. In a sales-based call center, training will focus on ensuring employees have the knowledge and tools to advise customers on the best-fit product or service. Engaging your employees in such a manner that they can get answers and support with issues they encounter while servicing customers allows for more positive outcomes for both the employee and customer.

Tip Number Five: Training is Ongoing

Ensure you have committed resources for continuous training and development. Training not only nurtures technical ability but also increases staff engagement, helping to motivate and retain talent. It is crucial that your training program remain nimble and relevant to your market and customer demands; as markets, the business or products change, and additional training will be required. By staying engaged with your staff and analyzing the data and metrics of your call center, you can help tailor the ongoing training of your organization so that it is current to what is happening in a real-time manner.

Successful managers recognize the arc of training within his/her call center operation. Training is an ongoing process and can be tailored to meet the needs of your employees. A formal training program isn’t always necessary; training can happen spontaneously in a more casual manner. There are plenty of tools and resources to aid managers in providing the best training practices, and if you follow the tips outlined above, you can more readily customize your training program to meet your specific needs to keep your employees engaged and your customers satisfied.

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