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4 Tips for Call Center Training

New hire call center training represents a significant investment for many contact centers with typical training times ranging from two to six weeks or even more. Fortunately, there are ways to train new hires faster and improve their on-the-job performance.

#1 Keep a trainee observation log- When I ran a call center training department, my trainers all kept a log of detailed notes on their new hires’ daily in-class performance. When a new hire struggled with a particular concept, the written notes helped the trainer clearly describe the specific challenge. For example, a note describing a new hire having trouble with upselling might read, “John frequently confused features and benefits while role-playing upsell offers.” The detailed notes made it easy for the trainer to create a strategy to get the learner back on track. John’s trainer might decide to spend a few extra minutes with John reviewing the difference between features and benefits. A little extra practice or instruction was often all that was needed to for the concept to click. Without that extra intervention, many new hires would continue to struggle and fall farther and farther behind.

#2 Group new hires for live calls- The transition from new hire training to taking live calls can be a challenging one. They know how to do the job, but they may not have the speed, accuracy, or confidence to handle a heavy load of calls without asking a lot of questions.
One way to speed up this transition is to group new hires together and have them take calls under the watchful eye of a dedicated coach. This allows the new hire to be productive by handling contacts from a normal queue while still having instant access to intensive coaching when needed. Generally, a few shifts in the “new hire section” is all that’s needed for an agent to become ready to join their assigned team.

#3 Conduct passport tours- One of the biggest stumbling blocks for new call center agents is that they don’t fully understand their company’s operations. A passport tour is a simple training technique that takes learners to various parts of the company so they can get a first-hand look at how everything fits together. New hires collect a signature on their “passport” for each stop along the tour.

#4 Have new hires score their own calls- Many contact centers use their quality assurance form as a template for new hire training. This makes sense since you want to train agents to the same standards you use to evaluate a successful call.
You can take this a step further by having new hires score their own calls. These could be either live calls or recorded role-plays. Self-scoring invites agents to view their performance more objectively and helps them learn to analyze their own performance so they can quickly make adjustments.

Read the entire article by Jeff Toister

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