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. 

call centres

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. 

Click here to learn how iCon­nect helped Accor­dance VATs tele­mar­ket­ing increase their speed to competency >

5 ways to increase speed to com­pe­ten­cy in call centres