A customer service centre lives or dies by the quality of the team. The agents and supervisors need to handle customer questions in a way that not only answers the customer query, but also creates the feeling that they had a great experience. A customer with a problem can become a fan of the brand if the customer service experience is better than expected.
So there are three basic steps that are critical for contact centre executives to remember:
- Hiring the right personality is more important than hiring for immediate knowledge or experience: you can educate your team. They will get more experience over time. What you cannot artificially create is the desire to help people. Hire people who love to engage with and help other people and the other skills can trained.
- Offer great training: you cannot just throw people into a contact centre and ask them to perform without solid preparation and foremost an engaged trainer which creates experience which involves promotion of growth and pursuit of excellence. The best training organizations live and excude the values of the organization while having the ability to transform their knowledge into their teachings with various learning methods which are tailored to the trainee.
- Stay engaged: if your team is just punching the clock and waiting for the time they can end their shift then this will come across to the customer. Stay engaged with your team and ensure that they love coming to work – the enthusiasm of an engaged team will dramatically improve the customer experience. Having healthy & positive interaction throughout the early stages of onboarding will pay dividends.
All these measures are important, but I have recently been involved in helping with the onboarding process here at Teleperformance. After the new hires are selected and offered a job they will undertake a detailed onboarding and training process that lasts for at least 6 weeks. This process is designed to ensure they have the product, client, and systems knowledge required to operate effectively in the customer service team.
We use modern training systems – not boring classrooms and lectures. People learn and retain information better if they have greater control over the pace of their lessons and the technology they use to learn. In our experience, we can directly correlate improvements in how we structure the onboarding process to better metrics in the contact center, such as Average Handling Time (AHT), First Call Resolution (FCR) and Customer Loyalty.
I think this approach is critical. Take a look at how education is changing today. Duolingo is the most popular way to learn a new language and it’s like playing a game. It is completely different to my own memories of language learning at school. It’s this modern approach to learning that we apply to our onboarding process at Teleperformance and we know that it works because we can see the effect when new team members join the live customer environment.
Let me know if you have any questions about training and onboarding by leaving a comment here or get in touch via my LinkedIn.