Customer service training and performance assessment are the two most important pillars of high-quality support.
Many call centers spend a huge portion of their budget to improve their employees’ skills. They create and implement their own customer support training programs specially tailored to their agents’ needs. While these may be effective, they alone may not be enough to raise the quality of agents’ performance.
Aside from the effectiveness of their training programs, contact centers also struggle to find more time for their quality improvement efforts. Not to mention that it might require additional manpower and money.
With these tips, you can start improving your customer service training and performance management without investing too much time, effort, and money.
1. Include customer feedback in performance assessment and training.
If you want to know whether your agents are doing a good or a bad job, look at your customers’ reactions. Are they happy or disappointed after a transaction? Did they commend the agent, or did they seem dissatisfied with your services?
When measuring the quality of your agents’ customer interactions, don’t just rely on numerical key performance indicators (KPIs) such as average handle time,. While it makes perfect sense to refer to a pre-established set of KPIs, it’s unfair not to include the compliments (or flak) that your agents receive from customers.
Thus, make customer feedback part of your performance assessment and training processes. Through customer surveys done via the phone or email, you can gather insights about how your agents are performing.
2. Use operation down times for training.
If you’re not yet employing workforce analysts, now is the time to do so. They can help you predict when you’re likely to experience peak call volumes and idle times. You can then allot the latter for extra tasks such as customer service training or coaching sessions with agents. This enables your entire team to be productive every minute they’re on your operations floor.
3. Instead of random call selection, use analytics.
As part of their quality assurance processes, many call centers randomly select the customer support transactions they’re going to evaluate. The problem with this is that they’re likely going to have a skewed or unbalanced view of their agents’ performance. What’s more, there’s a bigger chance that they’re going to miss the agent’s most important calls.
On the other hand, it’s also impossible to evaluate all interactions your agents handle. So what’s the solution?
You can avoid this by using speech analytics in your contact center. For example, a call recording tool with a speech recognition capability can let you search particular words or phrases mentioned during a conversation. This can help you identify high- and low-quality calls, letting you gain a more accurate picture of your agents’ strengths and weaknesses.
4. Let agents listen to their call recordings.
Letting call center agents listen to their own call recordings is a great way of encouraging autonomy and self-learning. So give them access to their recordings and transcripts, if they’re available. This can effectively complement your customer service training program by allowing agents to evaluate their own performance. That way, they can also immediately work on the aspects that need improvement.