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How can trainers provide frontline agents with terrific training experiences?

[fa icon="calendar"] April 11, 2016 / Philip Barron

The Trusted T.A.C.O.S. Model for Contact Center Trainers.

The lasting reputation and ultimate sustainability of any organization rests heavily on the shared efforts of every agent on the call floor. If half-hearted, unfocused efforts are the peak of the customer care on offer, contact centers and the organizations financially supporting their existence can, and have, crumbled overnight.

In broad terms of what customers deem as an acceptable quality of service, let’s imagine that you’re an everyday consumer. Would you hand over your hard-earned cash to a company that’s fronted by a floor of untrained, and so unconfident agents, every time you call for support?

As new hire agents autograph their contracts of employment, the majority smile at the assumption that they’ll be provided regularly with constructive learning and development opportunities. Nonetheless, the rife, eye-popping reality is that some corporate decision-makers still remain completely oblivious to the long-standing benefits of terrific training experiences.

Here at The Call Center School, we’ve always been town crier advocates for how terrific training paves the way for first-class customer experiences. With the best interests of trainers at heart, we’ve penned the short, very suitably titled, T.A.C.O.S. Model to reinforce just five of the many key considerations contact center trainers must take into account.

Let’s waste no time!

Time is of the essence.

As intriguingly surreal as the prospect may seem, customers don’t discuss their queries and concerns with a call floor of universal Umpa-Lumpas. Today’s contact centers welcome with open arms a workforce more dynamic than ever before. As a result, every agent brings his or her very own personalities, traits, and first-hand experiences to the center.

Over the years, our experts have trained classroom after classroom of students. With that, we’re under no illusions that training can be an extremely stressful role. As call queues continue to rise, trainers must extract maximum value from every second of allocated time. They must juggle all limited time like cool, collected professionals, and adjust training plans to accommodate every student in the classroom.

Can you adjust your training plan quicker than a Rottweiler chasing a kitten, whilst maintaining definitive focus on quality? Failing to prepare is preparing to fail and it’s too late to frantically make changes when a classroom of agents are seated and waiting to learn.

Actionable training efforts prevail.

Nothing prompts a Narcoleptic-esque nap more than a lengthy lecture or tedious training session. As you reflect on such mentally monotonous memories, it’s safe to say we’ve all been there, right?

As a dedicated trainer, do you regularly find yourself dazzled by bright wall projectors and presentation pointers? Well, there’s no better time than right now to inject established training approaches into your sessions.

If our trusted takeaways of center life have taught us anything, it’s that student participation and knowledge retention is boosted significantly with the injection of impactful, on-the-job training strategies. If trainers encourage students to avail from opportunities to learn by doing, students will never again count the classroom roof tiles in despair as you recite samey information from a projector screen.

Considering your customers is a must.

During training sessions, do you keep students continually up-to-date on the ever-changing requirements and expectations of your customers? The innocent inability for agents to simply satisfy every customer paves the way for the damaging domino effect of poor customer service.

As the criteria for faultless customer service continues to change with dynamic customer expectations, maintaining a natural degree of everyday, social competence is a daily task for all agents. Remember, customer service goes much deeper than casually responding to common queries and concerns.

Trainers must become practicing, positive advocates for the benefits of exceeding customer expectations on every single interaction. Who cares if your product or service is on every billboard and television network from your center car park to the moon? Your customers will take their money elsewhere if they continually receive consistently lackadaisical support. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!

Ongoing training efforts must never stop.

It’s a sad and shocking reality that some centers still deem focused training efforts as useless as an inflatable dartboard. While many centers may consider it a complete waste of time, resources, and cash, we’ll stand firm in our belief that training is a continual, ongoing process.

If agents feel that their personal development is being nurtured, they’ll naturally work harder to keep customers happy and excel professionally. It’s the responsibility of trainers to nurture every student by hitting home the positive outcomes of continuous training. Without an aligned, confident floor of agents, who communicates with your customers?

How can agents possibly sharpen their skills and maximize their potential with nothing more than generic new hire training? In the absence of continuous learning opportunities, you can wave goodbye to your top performing agents and, as a result, your most loyal customers.

Supporting your frontline secures your future.

Contact center training can be likened to any productive means of learning and development. If students are gathered in a featureless, vanilla training room and mentally forced to listen to a trainer dictate eye boggling paragraphs from a projector, students will naturally, and very quickly, begin to lose all focus and willingness to participate.

A mentally stimulating environment enables students to stamp out any personal finish lines of development. During your next training session, stop for a moment and look at every student in the classroom. They’re ready and waiting to learn and have invested their full trust in your training expertise. They're relying on you; don't let them down!

Sure, the Internet’s bursting at the seams with suggestive studies that depict dedicated training as much benefit to students and customers as non-stick Cellotape. We openly invite you to accept such information as certain fact. When you quickly realize the countless benefits of terrific training experiences, we’ll be ready and waiting to steer your customer service ship away from the rocks. So please be reassured. Your Training Department is of as much priority to us as your every other cog in your center.

If trusted training for contact center trainers is of interest to your center, watch this space.

Until then, trust your abilities and lead your frontline!

Topics: Contact Center Training

Philip Barron

Written by Philip Barron

Phil Barron joined The Call Center School as an E-learning Developer in 2011. His background within various contact center roles helps him to bring his first-hand experiences to life, in the form of engaging and interactive training content.