Blog

The Call Center School Launches Free Course on Working Remotely for Contact Centers During the Corona Crisis

At The Call Center School, we create engaging e-learning courses for training contact center employees (for frontline agents, supervisor, quality assurance, and workforce management). With the current outbreak of the Coronavirus, contact centers face an entire new set of challenges. To prevent a further outbreak and protect their employees, many centers have quickly moved to remote work scenarios. This, however, can be challenging for employees that are not used to working from home.

To support the contact center community during these challenging times, we have put together a free e-learning course on remote work for contact center employees. In just 20 minutes, this course helps prepare your employees to work from home. It covers the advantages, challenges, and best practices for remote contact center work.

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Ongoing Contact Center Training - The Key to Mastery

How do I gain mastery? Have you ever asked yourself this question when thinking about your job? Especially when one is new to a particular area, we all wish to acquire all the necessary skills as quickly as possible. However, gaining mastery is not something that you achieve overnight. Instead, it is about learning and practicing, over and over again, for months and often years.

Think of a pianist. In order to become highly skilled in playing the piano, ongoing training and practice are fundamental. Proper initial training, that teaches the basic techniques of piano playing, is important, but it is far from sufficient to master the instrument. A good pianist trains regularly and practices each new piano piece many times before presenting it to an audience.

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Tips to Master Live Chat Service

In this day and age, we are used to communicating through short text messages in real-time. We are connecting with our friends and loved ones via SMS text, iMessage, Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and thousands of other apps. So it should come as no surprise that the popularity of customer service via live chat is increasing.

Customers value the quick, on-point service that is delivered while they can keep on working on other tasks at the same time.

For contact centers it is effective because it saves time, labor, and money. Agents can handle multiple customer requests at the same time, the communication is short and not as repetitive as emails, so that customers can get an instant response to their questions. 

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Social Media - A Challenge and Opportunity for Customer Service

Social Media has been adopted, by and large. Whether or not you’re an avid tweeter or adding to your Instagram story daily, it’s safe to say social media is here to stay. What does this mean for businesses? Well, most companies today have embraced social media platforms for marketing purposes, and that’s great! But, if your business fails to acknowledge social media as more than a promotional platform, you may really want to reconsider. 

At The Call Center School, we are seeing more of our clients turning to support their customers on social media platforms every day. And it’s no wonder why, with social media outlets just a click away, customers have more power and influence than ever before. With this power, many would prefer to add a quick post on your company’s Facebook page than wait on hold to talk to someone in your service center. What’s more, is the public nature of these social platforms and the impact one negative post can have on your company’s image.

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The Contact Center Workforce Manager Skills Series

Part 3: Intraday Management Skills

If you’ve been following along in this series you know the skills required to produce an accurate forecast and optimized schedules, but without effective intraday management your efforts towards these first two steps of the WFM process will be lost. Therefore, you must take the proper steps to ensure the plan is working. This is the art and science of intraday management.

  • It’s tracking and analyzing all the individual components that drive service to determine what’s worrisome and what’s not.
  • It’s communicating any relevant impact of service to the necessary stakeholders.
  • It’s creating strategies for reacting where necessary and managing all the various sorts of activities that take agents off the phone throughout the day.
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The Contact Center Workforce Manager Skills Series

Part 2: Skills for Creating Optimized Schedules

"Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers."

This quote from Stephen R. Covey, business author and successful entrepreneur, is not just for executives to internalize. It also applies to workforce managers.

Workforce managers determine how many staff are assigned to a shift and which employee takes which specific shift. Their scheduling decisions, therefore, can have a huge impact on employee satisfaction. If they schedule too few agents for a shift, agents will become overloaded and stressed. Customers will notice this immediately. They have to wait longer until they are connected to an agent and then often have to deal with a stressed agent who has no time to answer all questions in detail.

Moreover, if workforce managers take little or no consideration of agents' preferences when planning shifts, agents may be less satisfied and be less motivated to perform well and provide good customer service. So when it comes to creating shift plans, workforce managers have a big responsibility.

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The Contact Center Workforce Manager Skill Set for Forecasting

Part 1: Workload Forecasting Skills

In contact centers today, roughly 65% to 75% of the total operating cost is consumed through paying  the frontline staff. For that reason, the biggest opportunity for contact centers to manage or reduce cost is to optimize the utilization of their frontline workforce. To do this, most contact centers today have a workforce manager or an entire workforce management (WFM) department.

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5 Simple Ways to Ensure the Effectiveness of Coaching

From elevated productivity to increased morale, better performance, and heightened engagement, the benefits of successful call center coaching are plentiful. And yet, coaching in contact centers is often times executed ineffectively or neglected.

In this article, we’ll outline 5 principle elements of coaching success to help make coaching in your contact center more effective. We’ll start with building trust and credibility and I’ll provide you with guidelines for when you should be training and alternatively, when you should be coaching. We’ll emphasize the positive impact of involving the agent in the coaching process and provide you with techniques in order to do so more constructively. We’ll remind you that coaching needs to be regularly prioritized in order to be most effective and that coaching to celebrate is just as important as coaching to correct.

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How To Create Engaging Training

Employee training, anyone who has had a job has gone through it and ask a handful of people about their experience with employee training and you’re likely to get a negative recollection of how boring it was. 

But it’s easier than you think to make courses more focused, engage learners, and positively influence behaviors. And employees who are engaged in their training will retain more information, are more likely to pay close attention to their work, ensure that all procedures and processes are being properly followed and that they are performing to the best of their abilities.

In this article we’ll provide you with a step by step guide to create high-quality, engaging training courses that employees can reminisce about fondly. We'll cover establishing your learning aims and objectives, designing your training session, and preparing the content. We'll define what learning aims and objectives are while differentiating the two. We'll go over method of delivery, how to put your objectives into logical order and structure your training session, how to choose your content, resources and activities.

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When should you outsource training?

Does your contact center do all of its training internally? Have you considered outsourcing some of it, but you're not sure if you should? Do your options seem overwhelming and you’re not sure where to start? Worried about cost?

There may seem to be many factors to consider when deciding to outsource your training, but generally they all boil down to cost, quality, and capacity.

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