Rethinking the Call Center: Customer-First Training

Customer-centric call centers strive to deliver a phenomenal customer experience. The secret to doing so? Call center training that develops and empowers agents to deliver that great experience.
The first step in creating a great call center training program is to understand exactly what customers want. In a survey performed by Customer Contact Week, customers want three things from their call center experience:  

Speed – Efficiency isn’t only important for business operations. Customers also demand efficient experiences. The saying “time is money,” has never been truer as customers expect information or resolution as quickly as possible.

First Contact Resolution – If customers object to spending a few extra minutes on the phone, they definitely don’t want to call back. Regardless of the time spent with an agent, channel, or inquiry type, they expect to receive a valuable and accurate resolution on the first try.

Knowledgeable and Friendly Agents – Customers have no interest in interacting with a person who reads straight from a script. Customers expect—and hope for—agents who are engaging experts, capable of delivering accurate information in a friendly manner.

In today’s age of customer-centricity, companies that apply and reevaluate call center training best practices deliver the best customer experiences and succeed. Here are a few call center training tips to help your team elevate customer interactions and loyalty.

Fast Interactions

In order to reduce the average speed per interaction, agents must have the skills to efficiently and effectively meet customers’ needs. It’s important to note that these two qualities are contingent on one another—it isn’t beneficial to have a quick interaction that doesn’t help the customer. Quick and correct interactions reduce handle time and free up agents to field more calls and help more customers.

Many call centers track the number of interactions they receive each day and the average resolution time each one requires. This is an important piece of information to share during training so agents understand the day-to-day interaction volume. Provide call-handling best practices and helpful tools to empower agents in the moment of need. This will help them hit the ground running—and reduce the average length of an interaction.

Correct Responses

According to Help Scout, call center agents fail to answer a customer’s question or solve a problem 50% of the time.

The first contact resolution metric serves as both an indicator for customer experience and operational performance. The best way to increase FCR is to train well—agents must be equipped to handle the diverse needs of their callers. This includes proficiency with software, products, services, and procedures.

A quality call center training manual organizes the valuable skills that agents need. A detailed customer service manual ensures each worker learns the same concepts, practices, and policies so customers receive consistent support. It also streamlines training call center employees —ensuring that trainers have communicated all essential information to agents. Additionally, it serves as helpful material that agents can revisit and review—providing access to answers when questions arise.

Meaningful Connections

Basic call center training should prepare employees for the new customer service normal: where agents deliver more personalized interactions. Avoid training agents to solve common problems with common solutions or call center training conversation scripts. Instead—empower agents to relationally connect with unique customers with unpredictable issues. This means training on ideas including emotional intelligence, active listening, and problem-solving to prepare agents for deeper, more nuanced interactions.

Agents are the frontline of your company, so your call center training guide should also include lessons on appropriate etiquette and friendly presentation of the organization. Help Scout reports that 78% of customers describe a happy customer experience as one with an agent who is both competent and friendly. Consider providing examples of interactions that received exceptional customer service during training. This helps new agents understand how to maintain a positive demeanor and guarantee a great interaction.

These call center training ideas are a great base for an organization build on. By improving your company’s call center training methods over time to remain customer-focused, your organization will see happy customers abound.

Give your Customers what they want with Lessonly’s Contact Center Training

Lessonly helps customer support teams learn, practice, and perform. Our newest feature, Paths, helps managers map out an employee’s entire learning journey. This means that new agents get up to speed faster, learn more effectively, and provide excellent customer service—quicker than ever. Learn more about our team training software, or take a tour today.

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