Training Contact Center Agents on the Go

Whether you like it or not, your contact center is now living in the social media age. Your customers are more social. Your employees are more social. We love our digital devices. We are spending more and more time on them. Each year, the amount of time we spend online continued to increase. So why is your contact center training methods stuck off-line?

Today’s rate of how work gets done requires us to be constantly connected with the work we do and continue delivering better products and services in order to maintain the level of experience our customers expect. This means that we’ll continue to see more products being released and more services being added at a faster pace than we’ve seen in the past. This puts a huge strain on corporate training and the ability for organizations to effectively train new contact center agents and continue developing their existing group of call center employees. So how can we manage this faster pace or business and it’s added requirements on training our people to deliver the type of services our customers expect?

The problem with traditional contact center training programs

Contact centers traditionally employed long initial call center agent training programs, often lasting weeks before agents begin working on the call center floor. Additional training usually requires agents to disconnect form the work they’re doing and spend time in a training room to learn new systems, products, service, or to brush up on their existing customer service skills. But for every agent you pull off the contact center floor, your will suffer a drop in your ability to serve your customers. The key then is to find a way to allow agents to continue serving customers while engaging in effective contact center training that will increase their knowledge and sharpen their service skills.

“As Millennials, with their Digital Native technology skills and experience with social media, stream into the workforce, businesses must re-evaluate their approach to corporate learning so that learning stays relevant — not only from a content perspective, but also from a delivery perspective.”

Claire Schooley, Senior Analyst, Forrester

In order to maintain productivity and continue getting results for your operational efficiencies you have to be able to train your contact center agents while allowing them to continue working to service customers. The only way to do this is to turn to social learning methods that allow training to take place on the go and in between regular call center tasks and that don’t take away from existing productivity and negatively impact customer service.

The pace of business today and it’s continue growth in speed and the demands on the contact center will require service executives to think outside of the box when it comes to the learning process in their organizations. The future of effective, productive, and efficient contact centers that continually improve their capabilities and service deliver will depend on social and informal learning programs that give contact center agents immediate access to training materials and organized training modules that can be completed during active time and during down time in the call center.

Harness the power of social platforms to improve contact center agent training

The continued growth of social in our lifestyle is an advantage that we have in training contact center agents. Rather than force traditional classroom based training on our workforce, we can tap into the current social trends and use people’s growing interest and connection with social methods in the training process.

Because so many of our current call center agents and future contact center agents will be so comfortable with social media and social learning, adopting social and information learning in the contact center is the natural evolution of training contact center agents. By shifting classroom based instruction and instructor-led discussion to social platforms like digital training, knowledge bases, and social training platforms, we can enable our contact center employees to train in between customer interactions or during down time in the call center.

Faster, better contact center training

A recent Intradiem survey showed that 2% of shrinkage is contributed to social and informal learning activities. These come from time spent on product knowledge bases, reading industry blogs, or by interacting on social forums related to the product or service. The result of time spent on these sites is more targeted knowledge about the product or service that contact center agent is supporting.

Sheri Greenhause, Managing Partner at CRMXchange says that by turning to these methods of training “employees can share their knowledge, skills, and experience with their peers, making the workforce as a whole more collaborative.” The result is a more engaged call center staff, faster distribution of knowledge and best practices, and ultimately a better customer service experiences for those who matter most to your organization…the customer!

Companies like Intradiem are on the front lines of helping organization make that transition to the modern contact center. Their solutions are targeted at delivering the type of technology that enables call centers to improve their ability to deliver service to their customers by improving how they train their call center staff members and upgrading contact center training to meet the needs and demands of today’s information age.

Companies no longer need to have their contact centers in the dark. The frustrations of training to keep call center agents trained on the newest and latest services and products don’t need to continue to impair service levels and customer experience. Today’s social age requires us to evolve our training practices in order for our contact centers to meet needs of customers today and tackle the challenges of tomorrow.

 

About the author

Flavio Martins

Flavio Martins is the VP of Customer Support at an award-winning technology start-up. He's a featured blogger, customer service presenter and customer loyalty fanatic. Flavio understands that customer service is the key for successful businesses to create long term loyalty and success. Flavio is a CustomerThink.com Featured Author, Top Author for Service & Support, Top Author for Customer Experience and Overall Top Blogger in 2012.

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