Zingtree Tags: call center training

How to Reduce Agent Turnover in Call Centers

Keeping your customers happy is only half of the battle in call centers today – making sure that your call center agents and supporting employees are happy, productive, and well-informed is another huge piece of the customer service battle. Agent turnover (also known as agent attrition) has a dramatic effect on how call centers can ultimately perform and have been a problem for decades.

Let’s say that one of your best up-and-coming agents – we’ll call her Sally – has decided to quit her role as a call center agent after about a year. The next steps of the process include some familiar actions: processing paperwork through HR, closing out payroll, and beginning the process of finding a new hire to replace her. What comes next is a series of interviews, more paperwork, and then an in-depth training period in which to get the new agent up to speed. When all is said and done, your call center has lost thousands in time, human resources, and repetitive training efforts; and, if the new hire doesn’t end up working out, you’re back at the beginning.

Tips for Lowering Agent Attrition

A recent article from Contact Center Pipeline goes into more detail on how call centers can effectively lower attrition rates: using proper recruiting techniques, investing in training programs, evaluating key metrics, and more. Here’s what the article had to say about one of the biggest factors in agent turnover – training programs:

This is one area that no company should ever try to scrimp on. Inadequate training can leave agents lacking confidence and feeling frustrated on the floor because they are ill-prepared. All employees should have substantial communications and product training before they are even allowed to talk to one of the customers of the company.

And it does not end there; managers should recognize that some agents need more intensive training compared to others. Managers should coordinate with the training department about continued customized training and coaching for each individual agent.

By personalizing the training and development of agents, you are addressing their specific needs based on their current level of competence. This way, those who need the most attention get it without holding others back.

Your agents are not the only ones who need training; your supervisors and managers should be trained as well. In fact, a lot of agent attrition can be attributed to mismanagement.

Provide your supervisors and managers with skills on how to identify the level of help needed by their agents, how to provide constructive feedback, and proper coaching skills that can elevate not only the agent’s skills but confidence as well.

Competent managers and supervisors will reduce frustration from your workforce and should inevitably reduce resignations.

Setting Up Simple to Use Process Flows and Knowledge Bases

Making it easy for your agents to follow procedures and find information goes a long way towards reducing on-the-job frustration; this is one area where Zingtree shines. By guiding agents step-by-step through processes, and eliminating unnecessary content by showing just the information needed at every step, agents will be able to follow standard operating procedures successfully, every time. Zingtree decision trees make creating these sort of process flows a snap.

Developing Training Programs That Work

Industry-wide experience shows having a consistent training program that follows industry and internal best practices is one of the most powerful ways to lower agent turnover rates. 7 out of 10 people say that training and development opportunities influence in their decision to stay with a company – why wouldn’t you want to address that with proper, consistent training?

One of the simplest ways to introduce a better training program into a call center environment is the use of interactivity for greater engagement and retention. Rather than relying on pages long PDFs that detail company processes and in-depth guidebooks for handling everyday occurrences, interactive decision trees for training cut down on the bulk of need-to-know information and presents materials in a digestible format.

Guided decision trees are quickly becoming a go-to resource for implementing easy-to-follow procedures and simulations that make training more streamlined, effective, and enjoyable. Some of the best training features found in Zingtree decision trees include:

  • Allowing employees to provide Agent Feedback on every training decision tree to involve employees in the overall process more.
  • Being able to emulate different potential scenarios to lead trainees through new or complicated learning environments.
  • Asking questions in an interview-style way, which helps to keep things moving quickly and keep employees more engaged.

 

You can read more of the Contact Center Pipeline article here, and take a closer look at how to create an interactive training program using Zingtree here. Any questions? Reach out to us anytime you need.

5 Trends in Contact Center Training to Pay Attention To

Contact Center trends

The training systems and programs put in place at contact centers have everything to do with the overall success, productivity, and effectiveness of the agents it employs. As technology rapidly improves and the industry continues to evolve, it’s important for contact center managers and the like to consider the types of trends, techniques, and tools that companies can easily implement.

A recent ICMI article goes into depth on some industry changes, trends, and expectations that will be key to a contact center’s performance this year. Right off the bat, we’re seeing a lot of similarities between what contact center agents find most important and helpful in a training session compared to what customers are coming to expect in daily consumer experiences. The biggest areas of focus? Streamlined and customized experiences, digestible information, and easy communication.

1. Streamlined Training

“Teams need to adapt to create and provide training that reflects these changes quickly and efficiently. The ability to adapt and provide productive learning about new info, products, procedures, and services defines call center success. These changes are never-ending, and contact center agents need to know how to sell and support them.”

2. Customized Experiences

“Every employee is on a unique journey and brings individual goals, strengths, and opportunities for their call center team. Customized training paths that focus on both onboarding and ongoing training will drive higher employee engagement and better business outcomes than ever before.”

3. Bite-Sized Information

““Microlearning” is a new buzzword in the training dictionary. It provides training that is broken down into bite-sized pieces in order to educate agents without requiring a vast time investment. These training sessions are focused on a single subject and typically range from five to 15-minute increments.”

4.  Social Learning Know-How

“Social learning aids training by making it a shared activity among contact center agents. Adaptive technologies such as chat boxes, forums, and Slack can reinforce critical learning concepts for agents while on the job. This is also key because employees tend to be more successful when they work and learn in group settings.”

5. Augmented and Virtual Reality

“These cutting-edge technologies provide useful applications in educational training sessions, especially for contact center agents. Instead of watching videos, or listening to a recorded interaction, leaders can place agents in roleplay situations where they gain hands-on-experience and practice their skills.”

 

Contact centers that are able to provide these levels of improved experience, social knowledge, ease-of-use, and personalized information within training systems, as well as everyday customer communication practices, will be in great shape for 2018 and beyond. Zingtree interactive decision trees are the only tool out there that can address every one of these critical trends for contact center training and customer experience.

Employee training programs, when executed well, can turn around the most effective, productive, and happy staff a business has ever seen. By setting up an interactive training program using online decision trees, you’ll provide a powerful platform for staff to learn from anywhere, and much more easily. Have any questions or want to see a custom demo on getting set up with Zingtree decision trees for training purposes? Get in touch with us at any time.