There are few environments as competitive or time-crunched as a busy contact center. That's why every action you take must improve your performance. That’s why call center agent training and contact center learning and development overall are so valuable.
You don’t have time, money, or energy to waste on activities or strategies that don’t ensure excellent customer service, gain customer trust, and increase brand loyalty. With call center agent training, you equip your agents with the skills and knowledge they need to do their jobs masterfully. This means that you’re more likely not just to meet but exceed your customers’ high expectations and keep your contact center on track for success.
What are the Benefits of Call Center Agent Training?
The benefits of call center agent training and contact center learning and development are holistic and affect almost every aspect of your business and employees. Let’s take a deeper look at how you can utilize it to achieve your full potential and support productivity, retention, and growth.
1. Better Customer Experiences
Close to 90% of contact centers state that “improving customer experience” is their primary driver and strategic focus. It’s even more important than revenue growth. But what does “experience” mean? According to the same Deloitte survey, customer experience is predominately influenced by “providing accurate service and information (66%) and by making interactions effortless (62%).” Both of which are highly influenced by call center agent training and closing knowledge gaps.
2. Higher Customer Satisfaction Scores
Keeping up with customer expectations is the #1 challenge most companies face. The importance of call center agent training to meet these expectations cannot be overstated. It’s how your agents learn to demonstrate empathy, answer questions, and provide top-notch customer service over and over again—all of which translates into higher customer satisfaction. In fact, with a better contact center learning and development program, you could witness as much as 5.5% improved customer retention.
3. Attract Top Talent
Agents and all employees alike want training and development. 68% of employees think of it as a very important workplace policy. This means that by offering contact center training and development, your organization will attract top talent, thereby gaining a competitive advantage.
Demonstrating that you offer your employees better career opportunities will allow you to attract the best candidates. The key is to:
- Write compelling job descriptions that highlight your learning and development program.
- Share stories on career transformation on your website and LinkedIn profile.
- Emphasize the importance of agent training and helping your employees grow.
4. Happier and More Satisfied Agents
Job satisfaction tends to diminish quickly the longer an employee stays in a role. They might be excited right after they are hired, but it’s hard to keep that level of engagement and happiness in the long term. Offering learning and development opportunities can change that.
In fact, 55% of employees consider career growth and opportunity more important than salary. Learning is a highly valuable currency that’s directly related to greater employee satisfaction and happiness. Just make sure to:
- Provide self-directed learning programs (important to 43% of employees),
- Allow opportunities for collaboration in the classroom,
- Focus on individualized call center agent training that addresses specific skill gaps (important for 61% of employees).
5. Reduce Agent Turnover
Providing your employees with great onboarding and training means that 69% of your agents are more likely to stay with your company for at least three years. Agents are incentivized to work harder and stick around longer if they feel like you are dedicated to not just their satisfaction but their career success.
When you offer contact center learning and development, employees feel increased career security, have better career opportunities, improve their skills, and discover greater happiness—all of which lead to reduced turnover. After all, why leave a company that helps you become a more skilled person?
6. More Confident Employees
A lack of confidence and poor self-esteem is detrimental to employee satisfaction and high-quality customer service. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to inspire customer confidence if your agents aren’t confident. And the struggle is that “confidence” is not a metric that is easy to measure or track.
The good news is that providing your call center agents with learning and development opportunities is how you can help them build confidence and reach their full potential at work. By regularly training your agents to meet customer expectations during every interaction, they will automatically gain confidence in their skillset.
7. Improve Key Performance Indicators
Overall, eLearners see a 10% improvement in their most critical KPIs. Training is the best way to ensure that your call center agents are providing the best possible service. The key is to tailor-make your learning and development program to identify the areas and KPIs most important to your success.
There are many KPIs highly impacted by call center learning and development, some of the most important being:
- NPS & CSAT: Customer satisfaction and brand loyalty are highly impacted by training. The more highly trained your agents, the more likely they are to provide the customer experience required.
- Average Resolution Time: ART measures the amount of time it takes to resolve a customer complaint. After a call center learning program is implemented, your ART should decrease. After all, quick resolutions signify that your agents have the skills and knowledge needed to resolve issues quickly.
- First Contact Resolution: This metric measures how efficient your call center agents are when dealing with customers. A low rate may mean that your agents require more training to address customer queries effectively. The better your training, the higher your FCR rate.
8. Decrease Ticket Backlog
Unresolved tickets are bad for business. The more tickets you have in your backlog, the more unhappy your customers and the more likely they are to choose to do business with someone else. And one of the main causes of ticket backlog is a lack of training and knowledge.
If not all your contact center agents are equipped to handle difficult problems or answer tough questions, the backlog can pile up quickly. The last thing you want is all your most difficult tickets just waiting for someone who can handle them. One of the benefits of call center learning is digging into the root cause of ticket backlog and then training your agents on areas where they struggle and where improvement is needed.
9. Better Transparency and Trust Between Managers and Agents
According to a recent survey by Ernst & Young, less than half of global professionals trust their employer, boss, team, or colleagues. Improving trust requires a host of adjustments in the workplace, but it begins with managers being more transparent with their agents. Training is a great way to start.
Regular training opens up communication and engagement between management and agents. It’s a chance for managers to share their priorities with their subordinates, listen to feedback, and demonstrate an interest in their success. As a result, you move the relationship forward toward greater trust and confidence.
10. Greater Productivity
Improving contact center productivity is one of the greatest challenges you’ll face. But, of course, the more efficient your agents are the lower your costs and the greater your profit. The good news is that companies earn back $30 in productivity for every dollar spent on eLearning.
The key to achieving greater productivity through training is to track key metrics related to productivity and then implement learning and development focused on better performance. For example, if you’re tracking customer wait times or handle times and you see the numbers are too high, you can implement training to tackle the root cause of the issue and make adjustments.
11. Higher Profits
Finally, one of the greatest benefits of contact center learning is improving your bottom line. Learning and development are not just essential to meeting your goals and providing excellent customer service, but it’s a valid growth strategy.
- Companies that invest in training earn a 24% higher profit margin.
- Comprehensive training programs lead to a 218% higher revenue per employee.
The key is to develop a successful call center training program focused on getting the results you want. This means investing in a call center learning management system, creating effective training materials, and hiring the right trainers.
Call Center Training is Worth the Effort
Contact center learning is worth the effort when it translates into new behavior. By taking the time and energy to help your agents practice their skills and implement their knowledge, you can improve the outcome of your call center in both the long and short term. In fact, training is one of the most important strategies you can employ to ensure excellence.