Call center agents’ responsibilities are aimed at solving customer problems, especially those handling customer support. You can train your agents to solve commonly recurring problems to make sure that they’re ready to handle any type of customer issue, but once they start receiving live calls on their own, you can only do so much in ensuring that they give accurate solutions to every problem being raised to them.
Since you want agents to handle situations autonomously and effectively, you need to make sure that they have the necessary knowledge and good customer service skills for the job. Here are some measures that you can do to get started:
1. Hire the right people
You can’t transform your workforce into a rich pool of highly efficient agents if you’ve gathered people who weren’t made for the job in the first place. Your agents must have the right attitude for them to voluntarily strive to become better at what they do. When hiring agents, make sure you ask your prospects about their track records, specifically their experiences in solving problems. You can also test their skills by giving them mock scenarios where they have to solve a certain customer problem.
2. Train your agents well
The quality of your call center training procedures can influence the kind of workforce that you’re producing for your call center. Training sessions must always be comprehensive enough to cover all areas of the agents’ responsibilities. This learning period is also a good time to expose them to all types of problems, may they be simple or extremely difficult. Having a hands-on experience during customer service training can make them more prepared for any type of situation that they will be encountering soon.
3. Allow them to practice autonomy
Once your agents go to the production floor and handle live calls, make sure that there are opportunities for them to practice autonomy. Instead of giving them rigid scripts, allow your agents to use their creativity in giving responses. Ask them to customize their own call flow charts or cheat sheets. Limiting your agents with strict protocols may negatively affect their attitude towards work.
4. Monitor and give feedback
Passing the training and being allowed to work on the production floor aren’t guarantees that your agents can be left entirely alone. You still need to sit with them during the initial stages to see if they are facing any difficulties. And even when you’re more than confident that they’re ready to become independent, monitoring should never stop. There must be a systematic way of evaluating your agents’ performances that will allow you to give comprehensive feedback through coaching.
A call center can’t exceed its customer service goals if the people running it are not effective problem solvers. If you want your call center agents to excel in assisting customers with their concerns, you can start by implementing these four guidelines and see how they can bolster the performance of your workforce.