Call Center Training: Best Practices
The call center industry is one with a quick turnaround. Call centers are constantly hiring new representatives, and those new hires require training. So what’s the best way to get these newly hired representatives acclimated to the customer service environment?
Present What’s Expected
Before a representative is even hired, it should be made clear what is expected, not only from the call center but from the customers being serviced. These new hires need to know the importance of kindness on the phone and how to solve problems quickly and efficiently. If they are unsure of their ability to perform these tasks while maintaining a friendly, helpful attitude, it’s best not to proceed with the onboarding.
This best practice isn’t specific to the call center industry, but it’s still vital to the new-hire process. Begin training with a brief introduction from the call center’s managing director, department heads, and supervisors, either in person or via video. Follow that up by introducing them to some of the other representatives they will be working alongside. These introductions provide an opportunity to get familiar with the roles in the call center and how they can get in contact with colleagues. These will also help representatives put faces to names and give them a lifeline when needed.
After introductions, provide a comprehensive understanding of the business, its product, and call center operations. Once these are understood, introduce the company culture, core values, mission, and vision. With this information, new representatives will be more prepared to interact with customers in a manner that is consistent with the company’s values.
One bit of training every call center representative should go through is how to handle a routine call. Provide trainees with examples of appropriate greetings, transfer techniques, and endings of conversations. Allow them to listen to recordings and provide scripts to familiarize themselves with the processes. When they completely understand what to say and not say, they will be more prepared to provide excellent customer service.
Consulting, Not Selling
After the trainee has covered the basics, it’s time to dig into the nitty-gritty of call center training. Customer service is the primary goal of a call center, but sales and the ability to close a deal can also be critical. It’s essential to train representatives to be sales-oriented without coming off as entirely sales-focused. A potential customer often drifts away when they realize they are being hard-sold on a product. Taking the approach of helping the customer understand how an item or service helps provides a greater chance of a positive customer relationship that is profitable for a company and beneficial for the customer. That’s why it’s crucial to train on consulting rather than focusing on sales.
The call center industry is constantly changing, and so are its representatives. It’s important to have a certain standard for each newly hired representative to strive to meet. Proper training is the first step to better customer service, and following the aforementioned best practices will help enhance your training curriculum.