According to the recent State of Global Customer Service Report by Microsoft, 58% of customers say that customer service is a key factor that influences which brand they choose.
The attrition rate in call centers is as high as 44%.
Data from over 750 customer service leaders shows that many call centers face trouble adopting modern practices.
The missing link in all these is systematic call center training.
In this post, we’ll be looking at why such training matters, what are the benefits of the training, the best practices for training call center staff, which software solution you should choose and more.
Let’s dive right in.
What Is Call Center Training?
Call center training is training deployed in call centers. In this training, call center staff, especially the frontline agents, are trained in the best practices of communicating directly with customers.
Like other professional training programs, call center employee training is an ongoing activity directed at improving employees’ soft skills and providing a positive customer experience.
But that doesn’t stop there.
The training also involves top management who oversee business operations by training them on industry trends and effective strategies.
Watch: What Is Employee Training
Types of Call Center Training
Call center training is divided into five broad categories based on how they are conducted. They are:
1. Classroom Training
For a long time, physical classroom training has been the convention and it hasn’t lost its shine yet. This training is particularly helpful for an in-office training setting where you’ve all the trainees in-house. It may include lectures, workshops, and group activities.
2. Live Call Training
This training is the best way to get your call center staff up to speed. It is a litmus test of the staff’s capabilities. In particular, you’ll be able to assess how well your employees are implementing through live calls what they learned in theory classes. Based on their performance, you can either retrain them or give the go-ahead.
3. Online Training
When it comes to accessibility, speed, transparency, and engagement, online learning is on top of the game. You can deploy online training on its own or as a blended learning method alongside traditional classroom training. There are many professionally designed and ready-to-use online courses that you can use during online training.
If you have a small team, you can devote time to one-on-one training. Such training sessions focus on one individual trainee at a time, identifying their knowledge level, experience, strengths & weaknesses, learning speed, and delivering personalized training according to their specific needs.
Such training methods can be effective as they are built upon close professional relationships between a trainer and a trainee.
Effective, especially during new hire onboarding, mentoring programs provide trainees with coaches to support them in their new roles. Generally, senior employees with more experience take over the role of mentors. They can help the trainees gain all the hands-on skills to perform their jobs faster and smarter through guidance.
Conversely, new hires can engage in “job shadowing” to gain a better understanding of how a professional in the same role performs a specific task.
Read More: What is an Online Training System?
Benefits of Call Center Training
Call center training promises several benefits that are significant not just for employees but for businesses as well. It helps agents stay on top of the market trends, develop professional skills, and give companies a competitive edge.
Some of the major benefits of call center training programs are:
➨ Closing Knowledge Gaps: Continuous training creates a culture of learning. By evaluating employees’ performance, you can identify and bridge knowledge gaps. You can arrange regular meetings and provide 360-degree feedback to your staff that they can use for self-improvement.
➨ Staying Up-To-Date: Regular training helps call center employees stay on top of industry trends. For example, they become aware of changes in industry regulations and what they need to do in their day-to-day duties to reflect them. Training also updates them on technological advancements and how they can impact the way they work.
➨ Increased Productivity: Your call center employees can improve their existing skills or learn new ones through professional training programs. Training can be on workplace communication skills, technical skills, organizational skills, or any other areas of development. This leads to greater efficiency and productivity.
➨ Increased Customer Satisfaction: Trained call center agents are significantly better at their jobs than untrained ones. They know how to handle customer complaints, field questions, and resolve all kinds of issues in record time. This increases customer satisfaction and retention, which attracts more customers to your business.
➨ Lower Attrition Rate: When you invest your time and energy in training your existing employees, it keeps them motivated and in high morale. Happy employees stay longer with an organization, which lowers the churn rate, minimizes the need to hire new employees, and spend money on their training.
Why Should You Include Training in Call Centers?
Generally, call center jobs are high-pressure jobs and the employees are expected to maintain professionalism even in the most trying situations. Whether you’re talking about call center agents, quality analysts, or customer services directors, training can help meet the need for their continuous learning & development and empower them to perform increasingly better.
Customer service call center training can increase your customer-facing agents’ knowledge about your products and services, which eventually boosts their confidence.
They can pick up some of the best tips, tricks, and strategies of their jobs through a well-planned training.
Call center employees can easily cultivate essential qualities such as patience, empathy, and a positive attitude through training at regular intervals.
Now that you know why such type of training is so important, the next question that arises is-
Which Training Option Is Right For You?
It depends on your preference and which method works best for you and your teams. Having said that, in terms of ease of use, speed, efficiency, and objective assessment, online training tops the list for a majority of companies.
There are several reasons for this.
Accessibility: Online training is highly accessible. Learners can access courses, tests, and other assignments anytime and from anywhere. Most of the learning management systems (LMSs) available today work on any device, browser, and operating system.
Since the training is online, learners can log in anytime and learn at their own pace and schedules as long as they meet the deadlines.
Customization: Many online training platforms support customization, enabling you to repurpose and add existing materials for training different groups or departments. You can also add branding to help employees easily identify and connect with you.
Automation: Employee training tools also automate many of the repetitive tasks that are performed manually, such as sending notifications & reminders, learner enrollment, grading, and assessment.
Why Choose ProProfs Training Maker?
- ProProfs Training Maker is a cloud LMS and the world’s easiest. An intuitive user interface in the platform simplifies how learners interact with the tool. You can use it for customer service training to train your call center representatives.
- A growing library of 100+ professionally designed and ready-to-use courses & templates makes it easy to initiate and manage online training.
- You can also develop courses from scratch by using its built-in authoring tool.
- A robust virtual classroom allows you to centrally manage learner groups, course assignments, and group admins. You can view training reports and enable collaboration between learners from within the classroom.
- ProProfs LMS supports 70+ interface languages, which means you can train anyone, anywhere, even your remote employees.
- The customization feature lets you upload audio files, images, docs, short videos, and presentations. Logo, fonts, colors, themes, and branding are other elements that you can add to courses.
- Assessing your call center trainees is also easy with engaging quizzes that measure knowledge retention. You can choose from over 10 question types.
Once you have the right training system in place, here are the best ways to go about it.
Watch: How to Choose the Best Corporate Training Platform
Best Practices for Call Center Training
Next, let’s look at some of the do’s and don’ts of call center staff training. These call center training tips on the best practices will help you get the training right from the get-go.
➨ Link Training to Business Goals: Make the purpose of training clear from the start. Your employees should know that in addition to knowledge acquisition and skill development, the training is linked to the achievement of certain business objectives.
Measure the training results of each individual or group against your overall goals using KPIs.
➨Tailor Training to Personal Needs: Different employees come from different backgrounds with different experience levels. Providing a one-size-fit-all training is, thus, not viable. Instead, you should customize your training to address each individual’s learning needs. This will lead to better results and making learning & development more sustainable.
For example, you can deliver training in different formats such as text, videos, and infographics, so that it supports learners with different learning styles and preferences.
➨ Use Case Studies & Real-Life Scenarios: Like in the case of other training programs, call center training can benefit from case studies and practical examples. They provide real examples of some of the common challenges call center staff face and their solutions.
This can assist learners in future decision-making in different work situations.
➨ Encourage Social Learning: Do not restrict training to the instructor-learner equation. Arrange small breakout sessions with your larger teams and facilitate discussions and collaboration on various training topics.
This will encourage social learning among peers, clearing doubts and sharing solutions for different job-related tasks.
An LMS with a Q&A-based collaboration tool can help you deliver social learning during your call center training.
➨ Don’t Limit to Product Training: Call center training is more than a product training. Sure, you can begin with product training during onboarding but make it a point to include other complimentary training sessions.
For example, you can deploy client communication training to enable your staff to learn, improve, and strengthen their communication skills with customers. This is because, for the most part, a call center is about communicating meaningfully and effectively with customers.
➨ Don’t Provide a One-Time Training: That knowledge retention declines over time has been proven by different studies. Spaced or distributed learning, as opposed to cramming, is an ideal solution for this problem. You can repeat employee training at different points in time.
Refresher training can help your call center employees update their knowledge and skills in light of changing industry trends. It also makes sure that no knowledge is lost due to lack of utilization.
➨ Keep Feedback Channels Open: Timely feedback can help your employees know where they stand vis-a-vis their learning. This will enable them to take the next step. You can rely on recorded calls to evaluate their strengths & weaknesses and how they interact with your clients.
Depending on the results, you can roll out an improvement plan to ensure that your employees are in form and on track.
Cost of Call Center Training
The final cost of call center agent training depends on a lot of factors - the number of employees you’re training, the duration and pace of training, the call center software you provide for them to learn to work on, the training tools you use, and whether you have an in-house training administrator or are hiring from outside.
An LMS can help you cut down training time and costs significantly. One of the largest chemical manufacturers, Dow Chemical, cut training costs down to $11 per employee from $87 per employee after embracing online training. Similarly, telecommunications company Nortel saved $7.7 million after implementing online training.
Of course, such tools require an initial investment, but once that is out of the way, the return on investment is just around the corner.
How does an LMS actually help you do that?
Let’s see a few examples.
There are many low-cost but highly effective employee training solutions. Many of them are cloud hosted, which means you don’t have to worry about data storage, software download, installation, and management by an expensive in-house IT team.
Ready-made courses offered by top LMS systems enable enterprises to set up and deploy training quickly. You can also create a course once and use it over and over again with a few modifications.
Process automation in these tools helps eliminate many of the repetitive but essential tasks that you perform manually during training.
A regularly updated and self-service knowledge base in LMS provides resources, such as call center training manuals so that learners have all the information at their fingertips. This removes the need for employers to intervene every now and then.
Validating successful learning is also easy with call center training certification that top LMSs support. You can design beautiful custom certificates and share them with learners online.
Yet another enablement is that these tools are easily scalable and they grow as your training needs grow. You can ramp up your online training hassle-free.
When you streamline and simplify call center training or any other training like this, you achieve optimal results with minimal time, effort, and cost.
Transform Your Call Center Training Today!
Every call center should offer employee training to ensure continuous development and quality customer service. Hopefully, this comprehensive look at call center training will help you plan and implement training the right way by aligning it with your business goals for the best results.
If you have any queries about any corporate training, we can help you. ProProfs LMS is an easy and powerful cloud solution that offers complete learning solutions, including call center training courses. You can leverage it to redefine employee training your way.
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