Leah Westfall of RingCentral discusses how to boost confidence within your contact centre’s agent population.
Are your contact centre agents providing the best customer experience possible at every opportunity?
In this post, we’ll explore how you can effectively train agents to provide a better customer experience with cloud contact centre software featuring built-in workforce management tools.
The Impact of Poor Agent Training on Your Contact Centre
According to research from PwC, 46% of consumers will abandon a brand if they feel that employees are not knowledgeable about how to best meet customer needs.
The same research found that 71% of consumers reported that employees played a significant role in their overall customer experience.
Statistics like that highlight just how much poor agent training can impact the success of your contact centre and brand overall.
How Can You Effectively Train Remote Agents?
Training agents can become complicated when agents work from home. In the spring of 2020, thousands of contact centre agents were sent home as the global pandemic struck.
Supervisors could no longer walk the floor or talk to agents one-on-one. Many supervisors felt they lost an important means of coaching. Moreover, in-person training for new hires was no longer an option.
Cloud Contact Centre Software: The Answer to Remote Training Woes
Cloud contact centre software enables agents to work remotely. It also allows supervisors to train agents remotely.
- Videoconferencing capabilities allow supervisors to see agents during training as well as to share their screens
- Supervisors can listen to calls and offer whisper coaching or join the call to speak to the customer
- Supervisors can record calls and on-screen interactions to review them and understand what’s going well and what isn’t
- Workforce management capabilities enable supervisors to optimize agent schedules so they minimize idle time and reduce customer waits
- Gamification encourages agents to improve their performance in a fun way
- Integration with your favourite business applications enables seamless workflows
Videoconferencing and Screen Sharing
Videoconferencing capabilities let you see agents during training, even if you can’t meet them face-to-face. It also enables you to replicate the valuable daily meetings you once held in your contact centre at the start of a shift that gave your days structure, created a sense of unity and shared purpose, and gave your agents a place to share collective concerns.
With cloud contact centre software, you can also hold a live training session through videoconferencing so that new hires can learn effectively and safely.
In addition, you can share your screen during videoconference sessions. If you have a presentation or want to share important links during video training, you can.
Whisper Coaching and Barge-in Functionality
There are times when a phone conversation in a contact centre starts to go off-course. Maybe the agent doesn’t know the right answers, or perhaps the customer needs additional assistance. That’s when it’s time for supervisors to get involved.
Whisper coaching enables supervisors to share information with an agent without the customer hearing. Barge-in functionality, in contrast, allows a supervisor to intervene in a call so both the agent and the customer can hear.
Each of these capabilities is crucial in a contact centre – they help supervisors guide agents so they can deliver an improved customer experience.
Reviewing Calls and On-Screen Interactions
A supervisor can’t listen to all calls or evaluate all on-screen interactions as they take place. As a result, a manager might miss a critical event.
There are teaching moments in positive and negative interactions with customers, and it’s the supervisor’s job to ensure that agents learn from their achievements and mistakes.
Call recording and on-screen recording give supervisors the opportunity to review how agents handle customers. Because they can review calls as well as on-screen interactions such as live chat, supervisors don’t miss out on what’s going on in certain channels. They gain a clear understanding of agent performance across the board so they can develop strategies to improve it.
Workforce Management Capabilities
When you schedule agents for shifts at a contact centre, you want them to be busy, yet not overwhelmed. Moreover, you don’t want customers waiting too long to interact with an agent because that leads to frustration and sets your agents up for failure in the area of customer experience.
Cloud contact centre software offers workforce management capabilities, so you can schedule agents effectively. With workforce management capabilities, you can cut down on agent idle time to ensure that agents spend as little time as possible without a task. These capabilities also ensure that customers don’t sit waiting to speak to an agent.
Another benefit of workforce management capabilities is that they give supervisors greater flexibility in scheduling agents. If an agent wants to change a shift, it’s simple. Flexible scheduling makes agents happier, and it means there’s optimal coverage for shifts.
Gamification Encourages Agents to Improve Their Performance
“Gamification” refers to incentivizing people’s engagement by using game-style mechanics. In the enterprise, gamification is becoming a vital method to boost employee engagement and performance.
Here are some gamification statistics that show the power of these incentives:
- Organizations that used gamification during training saw a 60% increase in employee engagement
- When training included gamification, organizations saw a 50% boost in productivity
- 85% of employees enjoy gamification software solutions at work
Gamification doesn’t just improve employee engagement. There are clear benefits for managers as well.
Cloud contact centre solutions that offer gamification capabilities notify supervisors when agents have achieved a certain badge. They can tell in real-time that employee performance is improving, giving them greater insight into contact centre operations.