When you think of the phrase “call center training”, does the word fun come to mind?
If it doesn’t, you’re probably not alone. After all, workplace training has a reputation for being dull with endless PowerPoint presentations and the occasional role-playing exercise. But now, with agent engagement becoming a growing priority for call centers, it’s a great time to reimagine your approach to training your team members.
According to our most recent trends report, customer service expectations are at an all-time high — that means customer support must catch up through effective call center training. But the old textbook methods just won’t do! Luckily, there are lots of methods out there to make call center training engaging, and dare we say… fun!
Agent training is more important than ever before.
With the rise of remote and hybrid work environments, customers don’t always have access to brick-and-mortar businesses. That’s why customers rely more on contact center agents now more than ever for all the information they need.
That explains the 600% increase in call volume across various industries’ call centers. Such an increase would overwhelm any normally staffed contact center. Imagine how much agents felt this increased volume when 20% of agent capacity dropped. That’s a big hit to an industry that already experiences a 30-45% agent attrition rate outside of COVID!
On top of that, agents are reporting more negative customer interactions these days. Customers desire more empathy and immediacy, bringing their patience levels lower than ever.Did you know that call center agents face a 30-45% attrition rate? #CallCenterEngagement #CallCenterTrends Click To Tweet
Clearly, call center staff members are stressed, overworked, and sometimes even burnt out. Agent performance levels are on the line, as well as agent retention.
What does this mean for call center training? You may see a decline in agent engagement during regular training sessions compared to previous years. So call center managers and executives have to step up their game with more engagement, support, and incentives to keep their agents happy.
Balancing education and engagement.
The problem with a lot of call center agent training sessions is a lack of engagement. However, this doesn’t mean your agents aren’t suited to the job. In fact, it has a lot more to do with the way the information is delivered.
- Is the information presented in a way that will appeal to our agents?
- Is there a way to make the training courses more interactive?
- Is the training leader delivering the information with enthusiasm and positive energy?
Balancing education and engagement is essential if you want your training to sink in. You need to invoke human aspects into your training to get your agents engaged. That means making training more interactive and potentially using gamification tactics in your program.
4 tips to improve agent engagement during training.
1. Use a buddy system.
The buddy system is a tried and true training method that involves pairing up an experienced team member with a new agent. Allow the new agent to sit in or listen in on customer calls on the experienced agent’s schedule. This helps them see strong customer service skills in action rather than just in theory.
Take this approach one step further by coaching your veteran agents on setting a positive tone and building a friendly mentor-mentee relationship with your new hire. You’ll be impressed how much further your training efforts go!
2. More video, less text.
Dry call center training manuals are the bane of every agent’s existence! Nobody wants to sit through a 4-hour long reading assignment about call center techniques. A long lecture with text-dense slides won’t do either!
It’s easy for call center agents to feel isolated, as their work is very independent. This is especially true for remote agents. Using interactive online training techniques with video conferencing can give them opportunities to engage with their team mates on a more personal level.
3. Gamify your training.
Education + Engagement = Call Center Training games!
Call center training material can get pretty dry. Why not spice it up with some competition and fun games for your agents? Offer rewards and competition throughout your call center training to keep your agents engaged.
Rewards might look like a shortened workday for the person who answers the most questions correctly in the training, or an award of recognition for a game-winner.
Why stop the fun? Continue the games onto the sales floor, virtual or in-person, with these engaging call center games.
4. Share analytics with your agents.
Call center training should use real-life examples to help employees see the results of good and bad techniques. This approach will help them feel more connected to the depart
Involve your employees in data collection and analytics. You might share a live customer call with trained agents and then show your agents in training that customer’s CSAT score! Or, you might share a few metrics like FCR or abandon rate before and after your team uses Fonolo’s Voice Call-Backs!