Call centres are a unique workplace. They are a fast-paced, stressful and highly dynamic environment that makes training new starters a daunting and difficult task. Their training is crucial to the smooth operation of your call centre so getting them up to speed quickly and performing competently is vital when keeping your customers happy.
This blog outlines 5 tips to increase speed to competency in call centres to get your new agents on the phone much faster.
1. Model best practice
Providing your agents with examples of best practice calls is a fantastic way to increase speed to competency within your team. Not only does this make them aware of your standards, but it also helps them pick up on other agents’ techniques at an early stage. The trick is to offer a variety of examples from multiple different agents as every agent works slightly differently. This will allow them to adapt and develop their own techniques from a multitude of examples.
2. Provide objective feedback
Objective feedback will allow them to see the difference between their goal and their current performance in a way that can be measured to a set of standards. This will allow you and your agent to agree on areas for improvement and work towards corrective action collaboratively without bias.
Top Tip: Record role plays of the new agent so they can evaluate their own performance. Listen back to the roleplay and ask them to point out what they did well, where they think they need to improve and why. Then advise them on their feedback and provide objective, contextualised feedback of your own whilst building on the agent’s observations.
3. Create coaching tools for self-evaluation
Whether you create these tools, or you encourage your team to, having a number of different tools for self-evaluation will help your team be more reflective and increase the speed to competency. It will also allow you to guide your teams self-evaluation without having to be there physically. These tools can help your team to:
- Identify strengths and weaknesses
- Highlight areas for improvement
- Track performance
- Plan goals
Top Tip: Start by making a list of the behaviours and skills that you believe contribute to making a good call. Next, get your agent to listen to the call and score themselves between 1–5.
4. Measure and evaluate the effectiveness of training and induction
This is where you need to reflect on yourself and your induction activities. This can range from, did the agent enjoy their training, to how effectively were the behaviours implemented. We all know that chances are you won’t have the best agent straight after the induction process, but there will be a competency level that they need to be at before going on the phone. Without knowing what you would like the agent to achieve during their induction, you won’t be able to evaluate whether the induction is working and where potential improvements could be made.
5. Shadow top performers
Get new agents to participate in shadowing, not just during calls, but in the day-to-day life of one of your best agents. This will help them get to grips with the CRM, listen in on live examples of calls, understand their role in more depth and know what is expected of them on a daily basis. It will also help them get to know the rest of the team much more quickly and help them feel more comfortable.
Top Tip: Encourage reflective observation and discussion during the shadowing experience. This will allow the agent to understand the how’s and why’s, helping them grasp new skills much more quickly.