Regardless of your industry, providing ongoing training opportunities can mean the difference between finding lasting employees and experiencing high turnover rates.
The 2019 LinkedIn Workforce Learning Report states that 94% of employees polled would remain with an organization longer if there were learning opportunities available. The proof is in the statistics — a proper training strategy leads to more engaged employees.
Now that a large percentage of customer service agents are working remotely, it’s never been more important to ensure you have a solid training system in place. When employees are far apart, proper training tools can drive employee engagement and help ensure everyone is on the same page.According to @LinkedIn, 94% of employees would stay with their organization longer if there were learning opportunities available. The proof is in the statistics—proper training leads to more engaged #CallCenter agents. #EmployeeEngagement… Click To Tweet
What are some common challenges that come with training remote agents?
Communication is the main sore spot when it comes to implementing remote training. For example, if technology is limited and doesn’t allow for group meetings or video conferencing, the transition to online training will be very bumpy. Even if a call center is properly equipped for remote work, it’s more difficult for agents to get facetime with management when issues arise simply because they can’t just walk over to their desk and ask for help.
Working in a hectic environment can also be a major hurdle to the success of agents in remote training situations. Distractions like family members, pets and other facets of home life can lead to improper training, especially if the employee is a new hire.
Though remote training does have its downsides, there are a few things you can do to remove some of the roadblocks. We’ve put together our top 5 best practices for training remote agents to help you out.
1. Create a standardized virtual training program.
A training strategy that stays consistent from one call center agent to another will ensure everyone is being taught the same information and protocols from the get-go.
Start by writing a comprehensive list of the tasks that need to be trained. It’s a good idea to loop in your HR department at this phase as well to have them provide you with their own items and look over your list once it’s complete. Your next step is to flesh out the content for each of these tasks. Be sure to mix up the media and training techniques involved – resources may include any of the following:
- Live and recorded webinars.
- One-pagers or info sheets.
- Quizzes or self-examinations.
- PowerPoint presentations.
- Virtual group training sessions.
- Virtual individual training sessions.
- Virtual workshops.
2. Store all of your training materials on the cloud.
If you host your resources in one central database, it’s simple for remote agents to take training into their own hands. It’ll empower employees to seek out their own training opportunities and streamline the onboarding for call center managers.
Cloud-based services make storing and sharing data simple. Your information will be stored online as opposed to locally on a computer, so you can easily share training resources with anyone from your organization in an instant. End-to-end encryption keeps your data secure, and you can grant role-based access to specific information, preventing private files from entering the wrong hands.
Fonolo uses cloud-based technology to keep our service as flexible as possible. It can scale with your virtual call center and ensures strict data security for the privacy of your agents and call center customers.
3. Focus on fostering employee engagement.
Statistics say that highly engaged employees are 87% less likely to quit their job than disengaged employees. It’s a pretty safe bet that if your agents feel aligned with company values and are recognized for their hard work, they’ll stick around for years to come.
Driving virtual engagement can be tricky, as agents who work from home are not surrounded by peers they can quickly tap into for assistance. It’s important that you encourage staff to make and maintain connections on their team and find ways to help agents stay engaged in their daily tasks. Here are some ways you can drive engagement through training:
- Schedule remote one-on-ones between long-standing agents and new hires to ensure they have the chance to meet and form a connection.
- Plan daily virtual check-ins for the first few weeks of a new hire’s training so they’re clear on their to-dos. Then, monthly or bi-monthly check-ins with long-standing team members will help you monitor their performance and happiness.
- Have your team send bi-weekly email updates that include their recent achievements. Even small wins like helping a colleague with a phone call should be celebrated.
- Set individual monthly goals to keep employees on track. When a goal is reached, always recognize the hard work that went into achieving it. If agents are struggling to reach their goals, figure out solutions together so they feel supported and like they’re being set up for success.
4. Opt for efficient remote call center technology.
Remote agents have a lot to take care of in their day-to-day, so it’s essential that your virtual call center is equipped with technology that can give agents some breathing room. Call-backs help manage inbound call volume, alleviating stress from agents during peak periods. If your staff feels like their workload is manageable, it’ll help keep burnout at bay, leaving agents with some more mental capacity to engage in training sessions.
On top of regular goal setting and check-ins, keeping an eye on your agents’ metrics can help you monitor if their training is setting them up for success. Be sure to opt for reporting software that provides real-time stats and historical data via cloud-based technology, so you can take a peek at the numbers whenever you need to.
5. Ensure your training strategy evolves with your contact center.
Virtual call centers are always changing. Whether the company is expanding, upgrading to new technology, or setting goals to improve metrics, there’s a good chance that shifts will be made over time.
Every 5–6 months, look over your training materials to ensure the content is still correct and relevant. Letting training resources go stale can hinder employee growth and lead to poor job performance.You can be sure your #contactcenter is always changing. Every 5–6 months, look over your training materials to ensure the content is still correct and relevant. #CallCenter #TrainingTips Click To Tweet
Though pivoting to remote training may seem a bit daunting at the start, a virtual development strategy has so many benefits:
- Remote training tools allow staff to learn at their own pace, increasing the likelihood of them retaining the information.
- Giving everyone access to the same tools streamlines the process for agents and management alike.
- Pre-recorded content offers staff the chance to tune in to webinars, videos, presentations, and working sessions at any time — no matter where they are