12 Reasons You Shouldn’t Skip Training in a Short-Staffed Call Centre

Coaching Training Performance Learning Practice Concept

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Are you regularly bumping training to meet customer demand? Here’s why the experts say it’s a bad idea…

1. CX Should Never Be a ‘Hope for the Best’ Situation

A headshot of Katie Stabler
Katie Stabler

Customer experience (CX)-focused training is essential! Even in short-staffed, resource-restricted times, customer experience should never be a ‘hope for the best’ situation. It needs to be continually nurtured and cultivated.

It’s also important to know that when we are focusing on customer experience, we are also inadvertently working on the employee experience too.

Research shows that companies who proactively focus on customer experience and engage their workforce in their efforts, in turn create a more effective and satisfied workforce. It’s a no-brainer.

Contributed by: Katie Stabler, Founder and Director of Customer Experience at CULTIVATE

2. Keeping People on the Phones Won’t Make the Immediate Situation Much Better BUT Will Cost You Later On

Garry Gormley, Founder, CEO - FAB Outsourced Solutions
Garry Gormley

Taking one or two people off the phones for training and thinking it’s going to make an already unstable ship even more unstable is like throwing a deck chair off the Titanic… It’s really not going to have a significant impact on your immediate service levels.

The reality is keeping people on the phones may actually make things far worse in the long run as, by not investing in people and training them, they will eventually leave and/or continue to make mistakes. This then drives more rework, and more demand, and more time off the phone.

Of course, we have to be sensible, but sometimes we don’t help ourselves and can be a little quick to throw the ‘power of one’ book at operational leaders for taking agents off the phone for training or coaching.

People need training, they need coaching and they need support. We either need to create capacity, or get creative as to how we do it – but it needs to happen!

Contributed by: Garry Gormley, Founder, CEO – FAB Outsourced Solutions

3. ‘All-Hands-on-Deck’ Mode Screams That the Call Centre Is Not Valued

Mike Aoki, President of Reflective Keynotes Inc
Mike Aoki

If you cancel training, it sends a message that employee development is NOT valued. Gen Zs typically rate training as a major incentive for them to join a company. Cutting training may make Gen Zs think “I am not valued and will not be developed”. This can affect employee engagement and staff turnover.

A contact centre that is in chronic “All-hands-on deck” mode sends a message that the call centre is not valued by the rest of the organization too. Otherwise, sufficient resources (i.e., staff, technology) would have been provided. This can have a corrosive effect on morale.

Contributed by: Mike Aoki, President of Reflective Keynotes Inc.

4. Overwhelmed Staff Need Additional Tools to Be Effective

When positions are unfilled, the staff you do have are being asked to do more with less.

Many report feeling overwhelmed and ill-equipped. They need enhanced skills training to handle a bigger workload of calls.

5. Callers Are Increasingly More Impatient and Often Hostile

The fewer staff members to handle calls, the more frustrated callers become. It’s directly proportional.

Your team members are not only being confronted with a higher proportion of impatient and angry callers, but the actual number of angry callers is growing.

It takes ongoing training to help staff placate, deflect, and serve frustrated callers.

6. You’ll Miss New Caller Scenarios

David Avrin, Customer Experience Keynote Speaker and Consultant at The Customer Experience Advantage
David Avrin

Customer expectations and demands are changing with every industry. As consumer expectations for access, immediacy, flexibility, accommodation and convenience continue to grow and change, the scenarios your team are trained to handle are changing as well. New caller scenarios must continually be incorporated in your training.

7. The Mental Health of Your People Is at Risk

Negative encounters with callers are getting more personal, and nobody should have to take verbal abuse, especially those who often had no role in what made a caller upset in the first place.

The daily barrage can take its toll on the mental health of your workers. Ongoing training on deflection techniques and escalation options is essential if you want to keep team members safe, healthy and employed.

Contributed by: David Avrin, Customer Experience Keynote Speaker and Consultant at The Customer Experience Advantage

8. Regular Training Ensures Consistency and Builds Trust

Formal or informal training ensures consistency of product and service knowledge, as well as any compliance policies and processes.

It helps to ensure everyone is reading from the same page and with the right mindset. Full transfer of knowledge empowers and serves as an opportunity to build trust too.

9. Everyone Wins When You Nurture and Grow Top Talent

Sangeeta Bhatnagar, Founder of SB Global
Sangeeta Bhatnagar

Training is a great opportunity to promote from within! Many contact centres embrace frontline agents as the pool of candidates to choose team leaders/supervisors/QA from.

By promoting developed talent from within, there is incentive and a career path for high performers. It is a great way to develop experts within your organization and retain the best talent.

If you can grow your team from within, the consistency of knowledge also remains within your organization.

10. Training Is a Great Recruitment and Retention Tool

Knowledgeable, empowered, and engaged team members are great for business!

Why? The cost to replace employees is more expensive than any training programme. The marketplace also learns about companies with a culture of developing their employees and this helps with longer-term recruitment initiatives.

Contributed by: Sangeeta Bhatnagar, SB Global Human Capital Solutions

11. Simply Passing Along Experience Isn’t Enough

Roy Atkinson, CEO at Clifton Butterfield, LLC
Roy Atkinson

Training has always been important. Organizations progress by ensuring employees have the skills required to do their jobs.

Historically, much of that training has been “on-the-job”, where newer employees learn from those more experienced.

Today, however, transformation (digital or otherwise) is happening in every industry, which means there are both new ways of working and new kinds of work.

A model dependent on passing along experience no longer accomplishes progress and may even hold organizations back as employees struggle to change. Making time for formal training is key.

Contributed by: Roy Atkinson, CEO at Clifton Butterfield, LLC

12. Training Maintains Highly Motivated Teams

Clayton Drotsky, Director at Growth Crew Ltd
Clayton Drotsky

If you’d like to have a highly motivated team who find joy and satisfaction in what they do, then training is very important.

Not only does training make sure standards are high and agents are well informed, but training also challenges and develops agents to be better.

If an agent feels valued because there is investment made in their development and future, they will feel part of something bigger than themselves.

They may find joy and satisfaction in what they do, and if they enjoy what they do, they’ll look forward to doing it and naturally excel at it too. For a contact centre, it’s a win–win.

Contributed by: Clayton Drotsky, Director at Growth Crew Ltd

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