Agent Motivation

How to Create the Best Customer Service Training Program for Your Contact Center

Looking for ideas for how to create the best customer service training program for your contact center?

Strengthening customer service team performance is a key priority for customer service leaders in 2022, and anything you can do to help your people optimize the customer experience, improve first-call resolution rate, reduce customer effort, and decrease response times through coaching, incentives, and group training can have a major payoff when it comes to future sales, customer retention, and brand loyalty. 

After all, according to our Customer Service Trends for 2022 report:

  • Nearly all (95%) of customers say customer service impacts their purchasing decisions
  • A majority (84%) say that when customer service is able to solve a problem for them it strengthens their emotional connection to the brand
  • More than half (53%) say they have switched brands due to a poor customer experience

So there’s no time like the present to create the best customer service training program for your contact center. And to get you started, here are our top tips for rolling out efforts to help your people do their best work and improve customer satisfaction. 

6 Do’s and Don’ts for Creating the Best Customer Service Training Program for Contact Centers

#1: DON’T: Base your customer service training for your contact center on internal quality standards alone

Many organizations use training as an opportunity to review how the team is performing based on agent performance scorecards or other quality standards. 

While call center quality monitoring scorecards can help ensure consistency and offer a holistic view of agent performance, depending on how they’re designed, they don’t always succeed at capturing customer complaints and concerns—leaving agents without the tools they need to better handle future service interactions. 

In fact, agents can earn high marks on tests and during QA reviews, but still struggle to deliver a positive experience for customers. 

#2: DO: Build your customer service training program around the voice of the customer (VoC), specifically around your customers’ concerns

Many team leaders aren’t sure how to use VoC data in the contact center, but learning to apply customer insights is essential to improving service quality and strengthening customer loyalty.

By collecting customer feedback, analyzing it, and understanding the key issues that are emerging, you and your team can gain clear visibility to the top pain points customers experience, enabling you to make your training more targeted and meaningful for your agents and empower your customer service agents to make things right for the customer going forward.

#3: DO: Know when group training is most appropriate (and when it’s not)

Rolling out new product lines or marketing promotions. Introducing policy changes or updated technology offerings. These are times when group training is not only the most efficient way to inform the entire team about these developments, but these moments also present a great opportunity to build camaraderie among agents, especially remote frontline teams that may feel isolated. 

At the same time, it’s important to keep in mind that group sessions are not the most appropriate setting for all types of information sharing and teaching moments. There are times when 1:1 coaching is more effective. 

For instance, not everyone may need to review the basics, but some may need extra time going over introductory topics. That’s a time when individualized attention can help agents improve their growth and their performance specifically in the areas where they personally are struggling.

There’s another important reason to keep 1:1 coaching sessions in the mix: These personal meetings with a supervisor can help agents know they are valued members of the team, which can help reduce turnover.

#4: DON’T: Pass on group training altogether

The flipside of relying too heavily on group training is foregoing group training altogether. This happens at some organizations that only use team training sessions during the onboarding phase.

That’s to everyone’s disadvantage as coming together—whether in person or virtually—offers the unique opportunity to foster brand pride, give personal shout-outs to individual agents in a group setting for positive customer feedback they’ve received, and strengthen team unity. 

#5: DON’T: Make your customer service training program boring

If your company’s group training sessions seem soul crushing, feel like lectures, or are otherwise dry, dull, or boring, then that’s a problem.

At no time should agents be passive listeners. Rather, the goal should be to create a customer service training program for your contact center that engages agents as active participants in the learning process.

#6: DO: Make sure your customer service training program is engaging and fun

Here are some strategies for creating a training program that feels personal and fresh:

  • Take your agents’ unique learning styles and preferences into consideration
  • Use a mix of learning aids and experiences, including peer-led training and role play
  • Update your training regularly so it never gets stale
  • Embrace gamification, such as trivia games or peer challenges

Looking for More Ideas for How to Create the Best Customer Service Training Program for Your Contact Center?

Stella Connect is a partner to the world’s customer service-focused brands, including Mercedes-Benz, Walmart, and Postmates. Request your Stella Connect demo today and see for yourself how we enable our clients to improve their customer service training programs for the contact center with our powerful real-time customer feedback, QA, and coaching tools. Our technology not only helps drive contact center performance, but also optimizes contact center engagement, customer satisfaction, and other KPIs.