Knowledge is Power: Why Training is Key to Contact Center Management
A contact center is only as good as its agents’ abilities to execute on the questions and tasks at hand. And how can they properly execute on their tasks? TRAINING! Agents need to be trained on your brand, services, and/or products, to effectively assist customers. Simply put, training is one of the key drivers behind successful contact center management.
Here are some ways training impacts customer service.
Opportunities Offset Training Costs
Training time may be considered “unproductive” because it is unbillable. And there are plenty of costs associated with training. However, well-trained agents can work more efficiently and sell more, which often directly increases revenue.
Plus, studies show that well-trained agents are less likely to quit, saving substantial churn dollars otherwise spent on recruiting and constantly starting over with new agents. Here are a few of the main benefits of investing in training.
Training improves product knowledge and quality. This increases overall customer experience and satisfaction because agents are better equipped to handle customer inquiries and proactively make helpful suggestions. Training improves confidence, and confidence improves an agent’s ability to resolve customer concerns.
Training is key to employee retention. We noted earlier that well-trained agents are more likely to stick around, but this point is so important, it bears repeating. Companies that choose not to invest in their employees are telling those employees they simply are not worth the effort. Who would want to work for that employer any longer than it takes to find another job? On the other hand, agents who are given great training opportunities feel like they are an asset because the company is investing in them. These agents will stick around.
Training prepares agents to move into contact center management. And a well-trained agent who becomes a manager will easily understand the value of training. They will ensure their own supervised agents also receive quality training. That contributes to an upward spiral of contact center growth. Savvy managers use training time and private conversations to discuss and encourage career development among agents.
Well-Trained Agents are Engaged With Their Work
Poorly trained agents are generally not very successful and it causes them to become unengaged - thereby leading, again, to increased turnover. The Quantum Workplace 2018 Employee Engagement Trends Report says employee engagement drops from 82.3% in the first year to 74.8% in the second year and 73.3% in the third through fifth year. These employees can either be actively disengaged or passively disengaged.
Those that are actively disengaged are folks who are not only disenchanted with their job, they share their misery with co-workers and customers through words, actions, and tone of voice. They present a clear and present danger to contact center success.
Well trained, productive employees are happy, spread that good cheer, and all-in-all stay engaged with their job, their coworkers, and with Management. They help the entire team continue to move forward to be part of a successful Customer Contact Center.
Training Can Boost Customer Satisfaction
Agents have to multi-task, but no one can focus on everything as a priority. That means contact center managers must set priorities for training, whether the goal is faster speed to respond, first call resolution, or improved customer service. Successful training boosts customer satisfaction, so the data gleaned from post-call customer satisfaction surveys can help to show where training will be most effective.
Ongoing Training is Best
To be effective, training must be a continuous process of education and improvement on all fronts — technical skills, policies and procedures, comprehensive knowledge of products and/or services, and seasonal issues customers may ask about, and always, always… soft skills.
As business or customer needs and priorities change — and, boy, do they change rapidly in the contact center business — ongoing training is there to keep agents up to date, efficient, and happy in their work.
So, if your contact center currently lacks ongoing training for agents, think about making a change. It may seem like a big cost, but the investment can provide great growth opportunities, retain happy and engaged agents, and boost customer satisfaction… all ensuring that it is money well spent, or should we say, “invested”!