Call centers are the ‘central command’ of day-to-day business operations as front-line teams provide service interactions determining if a customer loves your brand or chooses a competitor.
As your business grows, the call center should evolve and adapt with it to meet the needs and expectations of your customers. What you need to scale efficiently is a call center training program. It’ll allow you to coach with context and build agents’ skills seamlessly, unlocking a level of customer experience (CX) the competition can’t easily rival.
Leaders and other team members within a customer service team may feel skeptical about building a call center training program from scratch, but that’s usually since they haven’t yet realized the value or just find the process overwhelming. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.
Call center training done the right way delivers extraordinary value to the entire business, and it doesn’t require a great deal of resources to maintain. Equip your customer service team with a mindset prioritizing people — not only numbers — and you’ll build brand loyalty to generate purchases for the rest of the business to feed off of.
Let’s explain why a call center training program matters and how your business benefits from having a program.
Why You Need a Call Center Training Program
Better Agents Lead to Better Service Interactions
Customers walk away from service interactions holding strong opinions. Of course you want positive experiences as they translate to loyalty, sales, and revenue, but it’s only fair to say that negative experiences also occur. Call center training addresses both.
The good and the bad should be on display in your call center training program. Coach to set an example for what ideal service interactions look like using positive experiences, and have agents recognize opportunities to improve with negative experiences. It shouldn’t feel like an onslaught of criticism veiled as a way to improve skills. Call center training should be collaborative and enlightening at the end of the day.
Call center training makes your agents better in every way — they learn the ins and outs of your business, the likes and dislikes of your customers, and what they need to do in order to deliver delightful service interactions.
The Need for Speed
Nearly everything in our lives occurs in moments and minutes, not weeks and months. It’s an ‘age of instant’ that customers have built their expectations around. Customer service is no different to this change in behavior, and your call center training needs to address it to meet customers whenever they decide to tap, click, call, or chat with you.
In the Customer Service Trends for 2022 report, research found consumers simply don’t want to wait for answers anymore — response time is what matters most today.
35% of U.S. consumers told us they’d only wait up to 5 minutes for a response. It doesn’t feel like a lot of time, but well-trained agents shouldn’t have any trouble responding and providing a resolution to a customer within such a brief window.
Call center training just needs to position agents for success. Get everyone familiar with your company using a learning management system (LMS) which not only serves a purpose during onboarding for new hires but also supports agents during service interactions to refresh their knowledge.
You’ll also want to train agents on how your CRM database works so that they can personalize service interactions based on who a customer is, why they’ve reached out in the past and presently, and what their preferences are. Over time, agents expand upon their knowledge and know where information lives to answer a customer in record time.
Being quick doesn’t mean getting any answer to the customer and closing a ticket, though. It means getting the right answer to the customer and reminding them why they should choose your business today as well as in the future.
Customer Service is a Revenue Driver
Revenue is derived from the sale of products and services, so why not make your front-line part of the organization’s sales efforts? Take things a step further than service recovery and allow your agents on the front-line to upsell or cross-sell.
While it may seem odd initially, plenty of companies and especially those in the retail industry are turning to customer service as a revenue channel. Only your agents understand customer preferences closely enough to communicate with a human touch. It affords them the opportunity to influence brand perception and increase customer spending during a service interaction.
But your customer service team needs to do this without forcing anything onto customers, or else it’ll have an adverse effect.
Call center training should instruct agents on how they can address customer questions or concerns with value-based information rather than cold sales pitches. If the customer already owns a product or service belonging to your brand, agents could suggest an add-on that fits their needs.
Not all friction is bad. If your customer service team is an active participant in the customer journey, it can create a tighter bond in the brand-customer relationship where upselling and cross-selling feel natural.
Call Center Training: Focus on ‘People Success’
Nowhere in an organization is the success of people more important than the customer service team, which is why ‘people success’ should be part of call center training.
It’s a soft metric that aims to understand the success of your agents in service interactions. While it doesn’t surface as an exact figure, people success rate translates to other hard metrics that your customer service team likely already pays attention to (or should if it doesn’t). When your people succeed, your business succeeds.
Lululemon, ESPN, and Harry’s have all turned to Stella Connect by Medallia to manage their high-performing customer service teams with efficient call center training. Now, they’re delivering world-class service interactions daily to keep up with fast-paced expectations of customers across every industry.
Schedule a demo today to discover how Stella Connect can bring focus to people success and scale your customer service team with call center training.