This three-part series explores the importance of call center training and the benefits it can have for any company. The first blog in this series shares how to improve communication skills and other vital soft skills with better agent training. The second blog demonstrates how call center teams can improve customer satisfaction. Lastly, the third blog discusses the importance of sharing product knowledge throughout the training process. We hope these posts help you build a customer service training program that leads your team to Better Work. Enjoy!
Have you ever been on the phone with a customer service agent when you had an issue with their product or service and had a bad experience? How did you feel at that moment? Frustrated? Irritated? Ready to leave for a competitor?
At the center of these interactions between your call center agents and your customers is one thing: your product. Oftentimes, a customer is on the phone with your team because they have an issue or question with your product. They called you to get their question answered or problem solved, and they expect the outcome they want. Given your product is the focus of your agent’s interactions with customers, shouldn’t they have in-depth product knowledge? We certainly think so.
Product knowledge isn’t something that comes naturally. As a Product Manager who works with the Lessonly Product all day, I admit that it can be difficult to learn and stay up-to-date with all of the rapid changes of a product. Call center agents are challenged with having a depth of product knowledge in their arsenal—among other things like soft skills, hard skills, and more—and they need to use that information when problem-solving for customers in their moment of need.
The importance of product knowledge in customer service can’t be overstated either. Whenever a customer gets in touch with a customer service rep, they’re usually on their last lifeline. Imagine how much more frustrating it would be when the rep doesn’t even know how to fix the problem. By using a learning software like Lessonly to distribute product knowledge to your reps, the entire team and company are more enabled to help the customer. If you can turn an unhappy consumer who calls customer service support into a positive customer relationship, management software will pay for itself in no time.
Today we are going to lay out six tips you can use to help you exercise your contact center team’s product knowledge muscle. Let’s go!
Provide ways to learn about the product
In our recent blog, Rethinking the Call Center: Customer-First Training, we shared that customers want three things during their call center experience: speed, first contact resolution, and knowledgeable and friendly agents. A large part of ensuring these three items are met is to equip agents with the product knowledge needed to resolve an issue.
If you find yourself stuck in coming up with training to help your team learn the product, try out these ideas:
- Tip #1: Give your customer service agent a free instance of the product for personal use and have them be an end user. This gets them in the mindset of using and implementing the product themselves. This creates empathy with your customers who your agents will be working with.
- Tip #2: Hide surprises or prizes in certain areas of your product to encourage an agent to explore the different parts of the product to learn.
Don’t be afraid to be creative when it comes to teaching your team about the product and make it fun for them. This will enable them to have more success on the phones which will lead to happier customers and employees.
Meet your team where they are the most
A training system is a great tool and retention of product knowledge is likely to happen as a part of the learning process. However, it’s likely your team won’t be able to retain every single thing they learn about the product. Additionally, within the customer support world, there are a variety of ways customers communicate the problem or ask a question about the product on the phone. In these scenarios where your agents may not have the answer at the moment, there is a role you can play in giving them information in their moment of need.
Check out some ideas we have on how you can meet your team in the when they need help the most:
- Tip #3 – Setup Lessonly for Zendesk: Lessonly for Zendesk provides agents with Lessonly training right inside of Zendesk. So when on a call with a customer, agents can search and find information about the product to help support the customers in that very moment.
- Tip #4 – Setup Lessonly for Chrome: Lessonly for Chrome recommends the critical information agents need to Do Better Work—when and where they need it. It’s as simple as Connect. Recommend. Reinforce. And Propel. With a variety of systems that your team uses when supporting customers, this can be used to suggest content when and where it is needed most by URL.
Practice, practice, practice
The last, and one of the most important, aspects of delivering product knowledge within your call center agent training is creating space to practice. This is where the rubber meets the road as knowledge can only go so far in understanding your product. Your agents need to take that knowledge, apply it, and demonstrate proficiency in customer interactions that deal with the product.
By encouraging practicing, you can create an environment where agents try new approaches, fail, and learn the best ways to help customers from one another. To encourage practice, try:
- Tip #5 – Practice a Phone Call Response: You can use Lessonly Practice to prompt your users with something like “Record yourself responding to customer XYZ who has this issue: I cannot login to the product, please help!” You can assign and coach your agents with this process before they’re ever on the phone with a customer.
- Tip #6 – Use Screen Recording to test product knowledge: Setup a practice prompt that has your agents demo and perform certain actions within your product. This is a great way to discover coaching opportunities or identify training gaps.
World-class customer service teams use Lessonly to Do Better Work
Lessonly’s modern software helps support team leaders onboard and train their agents. Ibotta uses Lessonly for its onboarding efforts to bring and keep a team of 100+ agents up to speed so they can deliver exceptional customer service. See how Lessonly could improve your support team, and get a demo today.