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, as well as how to solve problems quickly and efficiently. If they are unsure of their ability to do that, it’s best not to proceed with the onboarding.
This best practice isn’t specific to the call center industry, but it’s still a vital piece to the new-hire process. Begin training with a brief introduction, either in person or via video, from the call center’s managing director, department heads and supervisors. Follow that up with introducing them to some of the other representatives they will be working with. This provides an opportunity to get familiar with the roles in the call center and how they can get in contact with colleagues. This 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. This is the time to give the lowdown on company culture, its mission, and core values 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. Trainees should be provided with examples of appropriate greetings, transfer techniques and endings of conversations. Allow them to listen to recordings and provide scripts to familiarize themselves with. When they have a complete understanding of what to say and not say, they will be more prepared to provide excellent customer service.
Consulting, Not Selling
After the basics have been covered, it’s time to dig into the nitty-gritty of call center training. Customer service is the main goal of a call center, but sales are right up there as well. It’s important to train representatives to be sales-oriented without coming off as completely 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 actually helps them 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 straight-up 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.