Call center training is critical to success. Not only does it ensure that you provide your customers the experience they expect and deserve, but it also has many benefits for your business.
There’s no doubt that call center training is vital. The problem is that most companies are only accustomed to in-person training, and in a coronavirus world, call centers are starting to look very different.
Suddenly, everything is online, but don’t worry; that could be a good thing. Cloud call centers are 27% cheaper and experience 35% less downtime than their in-office counterparts.
However, in-office versus remote agent training is very different. You need to know a few important things to achieve the same type of success.
Training remote agents is not necessarily easier or more difficult than in-office; it just requires a new way of thinking. For example, there are a few challenges in remote call center training that are not even a consideration vs. in person training.
You have to be highly prepared to use various approaches for successful remote training. It requires a little bit of everything from eLearning courses to one-on-one video training, virtual classroom sessions, remote training tools, and more.
Below are 7 tips for training remote agents to help you get started.
The first step to training remote agents is to create a learning and development strategy that will guide all of your efforts. According to McKinsey, this strategy should support your key business priorities and span five essential areas:
The idea is that learning and development should be about more than improving productivity; it should also contribute to employability. You not only need to ensure that your employees can do their jobs, but that they have the knowledge they need to invest in their future and the future of your business.
To create a learning and development strategy, first you need to take an in-depth look at your business and your company’s values. From there, determine which employee capabilities are most important to your success and work with your HR department to develop the tools, training, and programs necessary to achieve your vision.
The key to successful remote agents is trust. If people feel trusted, then they’ll deliver better quality, period.
You can’t monitor for everything. You also can’t train for every situation an agent might encounter. But if you can put trust in your agents to optimize the way they work, to learn from their mistakes, and to keep moving forward.
The key is to create a solid work-from-home strategy and model that’s adapted to your company mindset and culture. Then, you need to step back and trust your employees to follow what you’ve put in place.
There are a few things you can do to build trust with your remote agents:
It’s extremely difficult to train in a remote environment if you don’t make communication a priority. And one-on-one video calls play a key role in that. 96% of people agree or strongly agree that video conferencing is effective for improving the connectedness of remote team members.
Video tools such as Skype, Zoom, or Google Hangouts allow you to connect trainers and trainees just like you would if you were meeting in person. Not only can you see the other person, allowing you to read facial expressions and body language, but these tools also offer easy ways to share resources. You can share your screen to discuss important metrics, write down important information in chat, and more.
Best yet, when training over video, you can record the call so that the call center agent can watch it again later for clarity or additional coaching.
One-on-one video conferencing removes many of the barriers to remote training, allowing you to communicate with your words, tone of voice, and body language. In this way, communication is crystal clear and you eliminate the barriers of distance.
One-on-one training isn’t the only remote training option. If you are trying to onboard a handful of new employees at once or you’re conducting a regular training session on an important topic, a virtual classroom session might be the best option.
Consistency is key for training remote agents and a virtual classroom allows you to quickly and efficiently disseminate essential information to a group of agents all at one time. It’s a cost-effective way to resolve common issues, improve knowledge retention, and increase productivity.
Virtual classroom sessions are ideal for sharing knowledge and information, particularly related to hard skills. It’s a great environment for teaching theories, hard data, and computer-based tasks where everyone can follow along at the same time and ask questions as needed.
To conduct a successful virtual classroom:
Remote call center training should be available 24/7. Agents should always have access to the support and resources they need online. By setting your agents up for autonomous training, you empower them to take charge of their own development and how they help customers.
A learning management system can help your agents learn at any time from anywhere. The key is to offer a range of eLearning options and content from video lessons to online tests, downloadable documents, podcasts, games, software technical modules, and more.
Consider creating eLearning content that covers:
Unfortunately, 60% of call center agents don’t feel that their company provides the technology and tools they need to address the challenges they face when helping customers. That’s detrimental in almost every area, and it can stop remote call center training in its tracks.
So, what remote training tools do you need for success?
We can’t conclude our discussion on remote agent training without talking about hiring. Hiring the right remote agents in the first place is essential to your success. You should hire high-potential agents from the beginning. The truth is that when you hire remotely, you’re fishing from a much bigger pool. You can search for agents with the exact talent and knowledge that you’re looking for because it doesn’t matter where they live.
If you change your mindset for remote work, you’ll discover that you have so many people to choose from that you’ll be able to cherry pick the right profiles for your company.
As we already explained above (tip #6), to track the success of remote agent training, you need a quality assurance system in place. This tool should tell you how your agents are handling every customer interaction and if their performance is meeting your expectations. Without knowing how they’re following your processes, remaining compliant, and achieving desired outcomes, you won’t know how to train them.
Scorebuddy is a call center monitoring platform that is completely customizable to your needs and expectations. You can set up as many different call center QA forms as you need to evaluate calls, review emails, monitor chat, check social media, and more. It’s a powerful analytics tool that makes it easy to spot trends and expectations within your call center, so you can determine what training is needed to improve.
With Scorebuddy, you can dig deep, carrying out a root-cause analysis, to identify training gaps, discover broken processes, reveal common pitfalls, and find the key to agent successes. It’s a great way to encourage engagement and empower your call center team to perform their best.
When 5CA implemented Scorebuddy as their main tool for quality assurance for their remote teams, they witnessed a drastic improvement. Over the course of two months, they were able to increase the quality score for their remote agents by almost 25%—a really big success.
Scorebuddy will help you close the loop between quality assurance, call center training, agent motivation, and transparency. Learn more about how Scorebuddy’s QA system can transform your remote call center agent training today and download your free trial.