May 23, 2014 - The foundation of successful call center services programs is agent training. The outsourced call center provider must be highly skilled at preparing customer service representatives for the client’s unique product or service offering, order processing procedures and customer support requirements.
Training call center services representatives is a central issue during the program onboarding process. Just as the overall program needs a plan in order for it to launch successfully, so too does the training program need a plan for driving good customer service.
The goal of customer service outsourcing and level 1 help desk training: elevate representatives’ capabilities to a level of expertise so that when customers speak with an outsourced representative they think they are speaking directly with the client company itself.
We have found that the best call center outsourcing training programs feature the client company itself being heavily involved in agent training classes. No one knows the client’s brand, customer service culture and standards, its processes and its product messages better than the client itself. And the classes are a great way for the client to get to know their call center services team members, Account Manager, Team Leaders and other senior managers.
Inbound call center training classes involving the client let the client get to know the agent team and account managers, fostering a strong sense of teamwork between the client and the service provider. This also helps establish the kind of close, ongoing communications, based on openness and familiarity, that is critical to a successful client partnership.
In addition, training classes prepare the Account Manager for future training classes as new representatives join the call center customer service team.
Effective program training is broken down into the following training modules:
- Program/Client Overview
- Product/Service Information
- Dialogue Plan Review
- Role Playing
- On-Line Dialogue Plan Training
- On-Line Role Playing
- Testing for Product Knowledge and Project Parameters
- Follow-up/Feedback Session
Training should be viewed not as a one-time event but an ongoing consideration. This goes hand-in-hand with call center quality assurance. The provider should have managers listening to calls, monitoring data reports, grading performance and further developing agents’ skills based on monitoring of their work. The findings gathering by ongoing monitoring is the basis for the recurring training that the call center should provide its agents.
Mark Fichera, CEO