Call center training is one of the most effective ways to boost performance, drive efficiency, and fill knowledge gaps. Companies that invest in training earn 24% higher profit margins and earn back $30 in productivity for every dollar spent.
Learning & development are vital to educating your call center team on everything from compliance to engagement, soft skills, hard skills, empathy, and performance. The key is employing high-quality call center training methods that actually work to develop your agents and achieve your goals.
The Best Contact Center Learning & Development Methods
The single, most important thing you can do before you begin creating a learning & development program, is to come up with an overall strategy. The good news is that there are many effective call center training methods and tools to help you out, as long as you have technology such as text analytics, QA self-scorecards, and a robust learning management system (LMS) to inform and deliver your strategy.
Let’s take a look at how you can deliver high-quality call center learning with five strategies for success.
1. Conduct Real-Time Monitoring to Identify Learning & Development Needs
70% of employees report that they don’t have mastery of the skills needed to do their jobs. But how do you know what skill gaps you’re dealing with? Scorecards and text analytics can help reveal gaps in product and service knowledge, skills, communication, empathy, and more.
With real-time monitoring via scorecards and text analytics, you can uncover necessary call center improvements. This works for both agent performance as well as customer pain points. Not only will you be able to come to better understand what is driving customer contact issues and volumes, but you can constantly monitor interactions to see what’s working and what’s not.
Then, based on this insight, you can make better and faster decisions about training when it comes to skills and knowledge gaps, scaling your operation, improving call center productivity and improving customer experience.
2. Evaluate the Customer Experience and Train to Increase Customer Satisfaction
Do you know why your customers are contacting your call center—their wants and needs? This information is vital for call center training. Only by breaking down what’s most important to your customers can you focus your efforts where they matter most.
With text analytics and QA self-scorecards, you can discover what customer queries and keywords are driving the most customer calls, emails, chats, and social media posts. From there, you can keep track of exactly what customers are saying, identify trends, and come up with training to meet your customers where they’re at.
For example, let’s say that your text analytics solution and quality scorecards reveal that “payment” is a trending issue. You can adjust your learning & development strategy to focus on solving this customer-centric issue and minimizing its reoccurrence. This could mean adding a new training course, holding one-on-one mentorship sessions, updating your knowledge base, or even developing a new call center script.
3. Use an LMS to Provide Cost-Effective Learning & Development
Ultimately, the best learning & development program eliminates repetitive administrative tasks and automates as much of the process as possible. That’s the value of a call center learning management system (LMS).
With an LMS, you can provide training anywhere and at any time with an all-in-one solution. Taking advantage of the software’s powerful features, you can:
- Manage your courses without technical expertise.
- Test learners’ knowledge through exams and surveys.
- Offer a mix of instructor-led training and self-driven lessons.
- Certify successful learners automatically.
- Create portals to train multiple audiences at once.
- Encourage conversations and social learning.
- Engage learners through gamification.
- Gain insights through actionable reports.
- Automate and scale training through integrations with other call center software (such as Scorebuddy scorecards).
- Streamline training through automated workflows.
4. Make Learning Interactive for Agent Engagement
Training can sometimes be boring and uninspiring; agent engagement is critical to information retention and training motivation. By making your training interactive and dynamic, you can create an engaging and powerful learning process. Here are a few ideas to get started.
- Gamification: Make learning fun by using your LMS to gamify learning. The idea is to reward your agents as they finish courses and gain new skills. Offer badges and bonuses as they close out learning paths and reach new milestones to level up learner engagement.
- Offer Blended Learning: While eLearning is great (it costs 40-60% less than classroom training and costs 85% less than classroom learning), it works best when combined with more traditional learning. Using an LMS, you can blend instructor-led learning (through LIVE webinars on Zoom or Webex) with online courseware. In this way, you can give your agents the option to choose the best learning model for themselves.
- Employ Quizzes, Assessments, and Certificates: Using the robust analysis provided by an LMS, you can track learner progression and test your agent’s knowledge after training through exams, surveys, and assessments. You can even offer completion certificates that your agents can point to as proof of their continued development.
The more you can encourage your call center agents to continue learning, the more improvement you can expect.
5. Combine Quality Scorecards, Text Analytics, and a Robust LMS to Create an Effective Learning & Development Program
Only 38% of managers believe their training fits their learner’s needs. That’s why it’s so important to provide training based on your organization’s goals and resources as well as the individual’s needs and the customer experience. That is why you need scorecards, text analytics, a well thought out learning & development strategy, and an LMS all working together to develop your learning paths.
- Create a agent-centered learning & development structure: To make training feel valuable and desirable, it must be presented as something that is beneficial to your agents. Scorecards can be used to allow agents to evaluate their own work and see where they can use help, so they are ready and willing to participate. Text analytics can be used to identify where there are knowledge or skill gaps, that show up because some customer issues appear to be frequent or persistent.
- Evaluate each agent: Not every agent will need the same training program. You should leverage a robust LMS to create individual learning goals and track progress, based on their individual knowledge and skills gaps.
- Set call center goals: There will be trends within the call center that reveal critical training needs based on your customer experience. Match your training with these overarching goals, so your efforts result in actual improvement.
- Provide time for reflection: Self-reflection is critical for training. Agents need time to process what they learn and apply it to their daily activities. Using scorecards is an effective way to continually review how they feel about their work.
Tracking the Success of Your Call Center Training Method Over Time
Call center learning & development works when it translates into new behavior. Each of the methods we outlined above can and will be effective, but only if you track success in the long- and short-term and continually make adjustments.
Using scorecards, text analytics, and an LMS, you can allow you to regularly evaluate the results of your training and see how your performance metrics improve or decline based on the accumulation of new knowledge. And by tracking progression daily, weekly, and monthly, you can ensure that your call center is always moving in the right direction and toward your educational goals.