Rethinking the Call Center: 5 Characteristics of an Effective Training Program

Training call center employees is a challenge. It’s difficult to find enough time, so quality is compromised in order to train faster. Or, training is viewed as a hassle and stressor by agents. As a result, organizations often fail to develop agents capable of delivering productive, customer-centric experiences.

Over the years we’ve helped a ton of teams during their journey towards better training call center agents, and we’ve definitely learned a thing or two. Here are some of the most common mistakes we’ve seen when it comes to training in call centers.

Call Center Training Programs: Mistakes to Avoid

According to Customer Contact Week, 85% of businesses surveyed plan to make investments to their call center training programs in the next year. But their efforts—and money—will be wasted if they continue to make these common call center agent training mistakes.

Choosing Compliance over Practicality

Basic call center training is often based on static information rather than dynamic capabilities. This static training only provides a single solution for a variety of customer needs instead of adapting to each call. A great example of this is very rigid call center scripting that doesn’t allow for flexibility or efficient human connection. Furthermore, call center training programs are often managed by HR leaders, rather than experienced reps who talk to customers every day. Therefore, agents often only learn basic knowledge, procedures, and scripts—they aren’t empowered to apply training in an efficient, customer-centric manner.

Ignoring the Moment of Truth

At some point, even with the most comprehensive training, an agent won’t know the answer to a customer’s question. Many call center agent training programs fail to account for this eventuality and don’t develop effective call center agents. These interactions lead to upset customers and negatively impact the agent’s overall morale and productivity.

Failing to Adapt

Change is the only constant theme of the customer experience industry. Customers will always demand different things through different channels. Certain call center training best practices that don’t focus on these needs will then prove ineffective, and new ones will emerge. Additionally, most call centers focus on core, dated knowledge and ignore emerging technology. Others want to adapt but lack a means to retrain agents. Either way, training falls behind and doesn’t adapt with the times.

Lacking a Two-Way Process

Many contact centers “give” training lessons to new agents: It isn’t a collaborative process. When agents can’t tailor training to their own strengths and learning styles, training is less effective. Training also becomes less valuable; since agents are the ones speaking to customers. This lack of customization and collaboration causes a disconnect between training and the learner.

They Don’t Focus on Performance

The goal of training is to produce well-equipped and knowledgeable agents who positively impact efficiency and customer satisfaction metrics. Many training programs—and platforms—ignore this goal, and simply offer a call center training guide to help agents pass a test. By focusing on learning alone rather than methods to improve performance, organizations lack insight into the connection between training and key performance indicators.

Effective Training Ideas

The good news is that these mistakes are avoidable. Organizations dramatically elevate agent training when they use innovative technologies and real-world best practices. Avoid the typical training pitfalls experienced by contact centers with these five call center training ideas.

Build Engaging Training

Agents spend their days working diligently to address difficult customer issues. raining shouldn’t feel like more work. An online training platform allows leaders to create lessons or a call center training guide that’s engaging for learners. Make training more interesting with images, audio, and video. By offering a more engaging learning experience doing so, agents will see training as a convenient and interactive way to improve their skills, rather than an obligatory assignment.

Support On-Demand Moments

Building a great training program is not a one-and-done process—the best call centers support agents through every interaction. To reduce the likelihood of an agent telling a customer they don’t know the answer, use a training platform that empowers agents to quickly find essential information. This allows reps to resolve the issue—and win the customer’s satisfaction.

Make Courses Simple

Every aspect of training should be simple. In particular, creating a training program should be quick and streamlined, with easy-to-develop lessons, courses, and assignments. Start by creating your program. As your team engages with more customers, edit the training to reflect best practices and better meet customer needs. A dynamic knowledge base is important to adaptable training practices and productive, customer-centric agents.

Gain Performance Insight

Agents don’t learn at the same rate, but they often feel similar pressure to perform. A great learning program takes this into account, providing leaders with insights to how each agent learns. This awareness reveals gaps in the learning process and identifies which agents may need one-on-one coaching to become more productive. More importantly, leaders will see a correlation between learning and overall agent performance.

Integrate with the Tech Stack

Contact center leaders identify call center training technology integration as the best way to drive agent productivity. Great training is supposed to make work easier for agents and shouldn’t be hard to obtain. The best way to achieve this is by linking your training platform with other software used by agents. Integrated workflows provide a seamless and guided experience for improved agent engagement and learning.

These call center training tips yield faster, more productive agents who provide consistent support and customer satisfaction. When training is simple, relevant, and collaborative, it fosters development and customer centricity to produce happy agents and loyal customers—a winning combination for every business

Effectively Train your Call Center Agents with Lessonly

Lessonly creates the ideal bridge between your company’s training program and a customer-centric experience. Our employee training software is modern, easy to use, and purpose-built for your support team to gain the knowledge they need to provide excellent customer support. Could we help you? Take a tour today.

Free Customer Service Training Manual Template
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