One of the key elements of any successful operation is a great training program, because with the proper training, employees will have the right skills to allow them to do their jobs well, while also knowing what to do (or not to do) in any given situation. A good training program also gives those individuals the confidence to take care of customers quickly and efficiently, and when it comes to call center productivity, with potentially heavy call volumes and often short time constraints, having top-notch training for call center agents is vital to your transit company's operations. Here are a few training tips for improving call center productivity and efficiency.1. Host regular refresher training sessions: Employee training doesn't end after the initial new-hire training session, and by providing refresher training sessions at regular intervals, both new and long-term call center agents will stay up-to-date on not only general best practices, but also on the company's situation-specific procedures. By offering digital training options as well as in-person training sessions, employees can have more flexibility in scheduling their training, and potentially reduce the amount of down time related to training.
2. Hire an outside trainer: Sometimes, hiring an outside trainer can be the best option for getting call center agents up to speed on new technology, as well as introducing new approaches to handling calls and managing other agents. In addition, outside trainers may offer valuable industry insights and help inform managers and supervisors of best practices and trends that may improve the efficiency of the call center.
3. Role-playing: While handling actual customer calls is where the real rubber meets the road in a call center, setting up role playing activities for both new hires and experienced call center agents allows for them to practice their skills under controlled circumstances, as well as to test their responses to situations that may fall outside the norms or evaluate their performance in a risk-free environment.
4. Mentoring: Partnering an experienced call center agent with a new hire as part of the onboarding process is a great method of leveraging the "real world" working knowledge of the top performing agents to give new hires the best possible training experience. When a new hire shadows an experienced employee for a day or a week, they get to see how it's done by the pros, and having the long-time employee listen in on new hire calls can help them catch gaffes and errors quickly.
5. Empower agents to make decisions: If call center agents need to constantly put customers on hold in order to ask their supervisor for the correct course of action, or to get approval for a fairly standard request, it not only reduces the call center's productivity, it can also be responsible for unhappy customers. Giving employees the power to make their own decisions, and authorizing them to take action instead of sending requests up the chain of command, can lead to a more efficient and productive call center.
6. Measure performance: Having a clear set of metrics as well as benchmarks to use to regularly evaluate individual and team performance can help managers determine what specific training is needed, as well as which employees might need additional or supplemented training sessions.
Training call center agents and supervisors thoroughly and regularly is vital to the productivity and efficiency of a company's customer relations, and operations can often be improved by offering appropriate types of training to all levels of employees.