Every aspect of running a business smoothly is a challenge. This is especially true when it comes to the training-your-agents part. You train agents to reflect your company’s values. When something this important is at stake, it’s prudent to give training its due diligence.
What holds you back from training well? Spending time and energy to train regularly might cause you slight setbacks, but the real problem lies deeper. Hiring and training capable agents is a difficult task in itself, and keeping them with your business for a long time to come is a bigger challenge. So here are a few impediments that can get in your way while training your agents:
Tension in Retention:
Training is an investment that consumes precious time your agents could spend taking customer calls or emails. But it’s harder to get the returns out of the investment you make if you don’t take care of the attrition first. With call centers across different industries having an average turnover rate of 30-45% per year, retention is complicated to say the least.
Retention ties in with multiple factors which determine whether your agents stick around or decide to head for the door. Break away from the attrition cycle by giving agents more reasons to stay. Try out gamification in your customer service team and give out tokens of appreciation like gift cards when an agent reaches their target. Then scale up to bigger changes like flexible scripts, better tech, and improved workspaces.
The risk of becoming obsolete:
You can train agents rigorously, but there are only so many things you can train them in. In an ever-changing customer service environment, it’s important to set your priorities straight.
As customer service and technology grow closer, customers are spoilt for choice, from what channels they prefer to how quickly they want answers. Technology has forced customer service to grow out of its conventional methods and adapt.
Here, training is essential to keep up. To lay the groundwork, classify your training syllabus under core skills and additional skills. This way, you can assign your resources in a descending order of importance and prioritize the skills that will prove most helpful for your business.
The cost of opportunity:
Cost of opportunity is a problem that’s more common in small companies. You need resources to onboard, train agents, and show them the ropes. It takes the company time to help the agent get through their first call. For businesses that operate with a small team, it’s hard to set aside time to show them the ropes while maintaining productivity.
Giving them tidbits of knowledge in casual, informal conversations is one way to minimize opportunity cost. Knowledge that would otherwise require presentations to acquire could be learned in coffee-break conversations or hours after work. This improves the productivity of your agents at work and encourages agents to interact and bond with each other. This way, your experienced agents can stay productive and get to bond with the newer employees.
When training evaluation needs evaluation:
Managers generally have an image in mind of their version of the ideal agent for their organization. That image influences the exercises they include in their training. Agents are trained and everything goes as planned. Ideally, one can assume that the agents have acquired new skills from the training, but how safe is it to make that assumption?
That can only be confirmed when you see them tackling real-life solutions with the skills they’ve learned. Create engaging exercises that test agents in practical scenarios that they’re likely to face.
There are exceptions and issues that are unique to each business in training their agents. But if you train well and retain employees, your customer service team will be well on its way to delivering outstanding service to a happy group of customers.