33 Tips For Training Call Center Agents [Free Ebook]
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Everyone wants to provide the best customer service.
Happy customer = a successful business. Easy as that.
But how to keep your customer service at a top level?
The best thing you can do is to train your agents. Through ongoing training, they’ll stay up-to-date with the call center best practices, the newest trends and the new products that you put out.
Also, regular training helps balance the time your call center agents work and time they learn. Without time spent on learning new skills and improving abilities, agents will quickly turn passive and become repetitive when it comes to answering customers’ queries.
Well-designed call center training will help them stay fresh and will make sure they always meet the customers’ expectations.
As you can probably tell from your own perspective, there is nothing better than a short conversation with a skilled agent who can quickly resolve your issue.
Here, you’ll find the list of 33 actionable tips and best practices on how to train your call agents to boost their productivity and the quality of service they provide.
1. Give a dose of responsibility
By granting your agents with a solid dose of responsibility you’ll show them that their job is actually important and that what they do reflects in how well does the company prosper.
When call center agents know that they can make their own decisions, the customer service they provide will be of a much better quality as they will – quickly and steadily – respond to every query they get.
2. Quality over quantity
It is easy to run into the trap of repetitive training. Yet, you should focus on providing creative call center training session that varies in type and duration time.
Do not go over the same things unless it is necessary.
Also, do not blindly stick to the training’s curriculum. Skip the parts that are already clear to your agents and focus on what’s actually worth improving.
Let one of the call center agents be the customer and other an actual agent.
Using this stressless game your agents will be able to test their skills out in a friendly environment and you’ll be able to easily evaluate their skills and measure their strengths and weaknesses.
4. Use the actual calls
Make handling actual calls a crucial part of your call center customer service training. Role-play is great but nothing can replace the value of hands-on experience.
Also, make sure that your new hires get a shot in handling real-time calls. It will make them more prepared for the time when they have to manage the calls on their own.
5. Celebrate great results
Make sure your agents get a proper shout out when they provide exceptional customer service.
If you get an email from the customer telling you how pleased he was to receive such a remarkable customer service do not omit to mention it amongst the whole crew.
Let everyone know and give a chance to congratulate your champion.
6. Praise from the top
It’s not a common method, although it works as a motivational shot for your call center agents.
Simply encourage upper management to listen to successful calls and personally praise the agent.
It will give him a boost of motivation and will encourage to achieve even better results.
7. Make it clear
Make sure that the feedback you deliver to your agents is clear and actionable.
Don’t create space to ‘interpret’ the commands so your agents do not lose time and self-confidence while trying to understand “what did you mean”.
8. Listen to their voice
Empower your agents with the ability to discuss both the pros and cons of their tasks. There is no way to optimize one’s work that taking into account his feedback.
Make sure your call center agents can share their reflections amongst themselves as well as with upper representatives. Use this information to optimize their work.
9. Help new call center agents startup
Don’t leave your new hires on their own. A good call center practice is to introduce new agents to your best performers.
This way they won’t feel so stressed out as there will be always a person who can answer their question and give useful tips or even help with a tough call.
10. Set realistic goals
Your targets and calls should be set the way your call agents can actually achieve them.
Include your best performs in the meetings where you opt to set desired KPIs. This way your goals will better align with what your agents are actually capable of.
11. Find out their specific talents
Do not measure everyone according to the same criteria. Give your agents time to and observe them, to find out what are their strengths and weaknesses.
Then, try to focus on their strengths and, during call center training sessions, work on the aspects they lack expertise in.
12. Educate and inform
It is crucial to make sure your agents understand the core features of your business.
Make sure your agents understand the business side of your company and are capable of answering customers’ queries relevant to the topics of your company’s structure and mission.
13. Company culture is the key
With a transparent company culture, your agents will find it easier to identify with your brand.
Also, setting up an open company culture helps you build a team of like-minded people which will, later on, make your company more solid and consistent.
14. Make sure they understand your values
Since the first day until their last hour of work, your call center agents should be aware of the values that your company stands by.
It will help them provide accurate customer service and utilize their work in a way they obey the values you’ve informed them of.
Optimize your training session by asking your agents for their feedback. If they see that some part of a training is boring, unnecessary or non-practical they’ll be the first ones to tell you.
Make sure you take their voice into account and optimize training session in a way it suits them the most.
16. Choose proper tools
You can make learning and training process much shorter when you let your agents use simple and clear tools.
Make sure the call center software they use has a user-friendly interface with a clear layout.
Also, give them comfortable call center headsets which will help them focus solely on their job and not worry about the lack of comfort that plastic-build headsets can give.
17. Copy-paste what’s working
People find it easy to learn from actual examples.
Use that to train your agents and grant them access to previous successful calls and practices of your best-performing agents.
18. Monitor and help them online
Using features like live-listening you can provide an online feedback to your agents.
It will help them provide a better customer service as well as will help you to identify their strengths and weaknesses.
19. Offer support during tough calls
Sometimes your call center agents will simply hit a brick wall and that is the moment when your help is the thing they need. Thanks to features such as call transferring or “call invitation” you can simply join the call and help resolve the problem.
Be ready to answer your agents prompts and be able to join the call when it is needed.
20. Use previous calls as a training ground
Great way to utilize call recordings is to use them as a training material for your agents, especially new ones.
Thanks to such a practice your new hires will quickly get a hint of how customer service looks like in your company and what principles should they follow while making the call.
21. Gamify the process
Make the process of training and working feels like a game.
Put certain “steps” so your agents can strive to achieve them. When they complete these steps make sure to reward them. Such a method may result in increased motivation to hit the next goal.
22. Put them in the right shoes
Make sure you place your call center agents in the role that they are capable of pulling off.
Only by matching agents to the most appropriate roles you can provide top-notch customer service.
23. Use call scripts
It can be especially helpful for the newcomers. Thanks to the usage of call scripts your agents will provide customer service of the same quality.
Also, your new hires will find it easy to relieve stress as they’ll have a handy framework of how to lead each of the calls.
24. Make them (actual) part of the team
Introduce your agents to the rest of your staff, both agents and upper representative.
To make this process more efficient you can use pre-recorded videos as the beginning of training sessions. It will make your agents feel like they are actually part of the time which will positively influence how they perceive your brand.
25. Explain for better understanding
Make sure you explain even the obvious details as they may seem to be so clear only for the people who have a certain expertise in the topic.
Stress to your new hires the importance of meeting deadlines and working in accordance with pre-planned KPIs.
26. Teach best call center practices
Provide your agents with examples of best practices in your call center – appropriate greetings, closing, and transferring techniques, language etiquette and so on.
It will make their work much easier and new agents will find it easy to adapt in their new workplace.
27. Teach the rules
Each company has their own set of rules. Make your call center agents aware of them not to bump into the unnecessary situation later on.
Also, clear rules will make it easier for your agents to work properly as they won’t waste time thinking what they are allowed to do and what they should avoid doing.
28. Help them resolve their own problems
Provide your agents with a comprehensive knowledge base that will help them find the answer to sneaking questions.
It will also help them quickly resolve customers’ queries without the need of reaching elsewhere.
29. Treat each agent individually
Everyone is different and so are your agents. Try to analyze each of the agents separately and optimize their training experience in accordance with their abilities and strengths.
This way you’ll make the most out of your agents and they will improve the most which will result in exceptional customer service.
30. Make training sessions practical
Your call center training should be – most of all – hands-on and practical. Don’t bother going through futile theory unless it will help your agents provide better customer service.
Make sure they engage in training sessions and that they improve their skills thanks to time spend while training and learning.
31. Use videos as a part of training
Make video content a segment of your call center training materials. You can find a lot of how-to videos and tutorial on the web, especially on Youtube.
Making the training more diverse will help your call center agents stay more focused and active.
32. Help them see the progress
People work the best when they see that their work actually yields expected results.
Provide your agents with a feedback on how their work affects your company. Evaluate their progress and advise them on what they should improve in order to meet the pre-defined goals and KPIs.
33. Make a training an ongoing process
The process of learning and training should never stop and – primarily – should be a part of the work.
Make sure you never stop training your agents as there is no other way they’ll provide the best customer service. Teach them skills that will later on results in exceptional customer service.