What is call center training software?
Call center training software helps companies create, manage, and deliver training to agents and other customer-facing employees so they are prepared to provide exceptional customer care. This software enables trainers to create call center training courses that agents can access right from their desks. These online lessons focus on:
- Company-specific knowledge
- Products and services
- Technical information
- Policies and processes to follow
- Customer service skills
The evolution of call centers and the impact on training
Customer service has quickly become a competitive advantage and proven driver of long-term growth for organizations. However, the rapid pace of business, paired with evolving customer preferences, means that companies need to enable agents to deliver outstanding service time and time again. Let’s take a look at how the call center industry is evolving and how it impacts agent training.
New service channels and customer preferences
More customers are turning to self-service channels for simple, transactional interactions like checking an account balance or the status of an order. When it’s time for a customer to reach out to an agent, it’s likely because they can’t find the answer or solution through self-service. Therefore, these interactions tend to be more complex, unique, and unpredictable.
To adapt to new service channels and customer needs, call centers need to provide agents with training opportunities that prepare them to handle and solve detailed interactions. Additionally, agents need to be equipped with a wide range of customer service skills to handle interactions across multiple support channels like chat, email, and phone.
More call centers have also embraced a remote or hybrid work model in the post-pandemic world. In fact, a 2021 study showed that more than 87% of agents work from home compared to only 19% in 2019. Studies also predict that anywhere from 60-80% of agents will continue working from home long-term.
The days of relying on in-person, instructor-led training sessions are a thing of the past. Now, leaders need to find a scalable and efficient way to provide training programs for call center employees who are located in different cities, states, and countries
Agent turnover and decreased engagement
On average, call centers experienced an average attrition rate of 42% in 2021. In addition to this retention challenge, 31% of agents said they are disengaged with their role and actively looking for new jobs. Of those surveyed, the lack of employee training and development opportunities were the top reasons why call center agents are disengaged and looking for new roles.
If call centers want to improve agent retention and engagement, they need to give agents access to the ongoing training they want. This will not only provide crucial upskilling, but also provide agents with a clear career growth path.
The benefits of using online tools for call center training
While industry change is unavoidable, the good news is that call center agent training software can help companies overcome these challenges and ensure customer satisfaction. Unlike other training methods, call center training software is a great way to automate the training process, provide ongoing learning opportunities, and track training progress. Take a look at this quick comparison between traditional training and call center training software:
|Traditional Training Methods||Call Center Training Software|
Essential call center training software features
Now that we’ve covered the benefits of call center training software, it’s important to note that not all call center training software is created equally. While some companies may be tempted to turn to an old-school learning management system, the best call center training software is purpose-built for frontline agents and includes the following features.
- User friendliness: Call center training software should be easy to use for training leaders and users. Look for a simple interface that allows you to drag and drop text, videos, images, and documents into your call center’s training courses. Then, make sure it’s intuitive for agents to access and use.
- On-demand access: Employees forget 90% of what they learn within one week, so be sure your tool provides agents with on-demand access to training content. This will allow them to revisit training during customer interactions and ensure they are providing accurate information.
- Blended learning: Sometimes your organization will need to rely on in-person or virtual training sessions that are led by an instructor. Call center training software can also support these training sessions and provide agents with supplemental training materials.
- Assessments and quizzes: It’s not enough for agents to just complete the call center training courses assigned to them. Training leaders need to ensure that agents understand the material and can correctly apply that knowledge to their roles.
- Role playing and practice scenarios: As we mentioned earlier, customer interactions are becoming more complex and taking place across a number of support channels. Find a tool that gives agents the chance to walk through common customer scenarios and practice crucial customer service skills needed for email, chat, and video before they actually interact with customers.
- Tracking and reporting: Call center training software also keeps track of training completion, satisfaction, development progress, and learner feedback so that training leaders can measure the impact of training.
- Data-driven coaching and feedback: Leaders also need to be able to identify skill gaps among agents and provide ongoing coaching to improve performance.
- Learning paths: No two agents will be exactly the same when it comes to their skill set and performance. With call center training software, leaders can create custom learning paths to address specific call center skills training and areas of improvement for each agent.
- Call center certification programs: Certifications are great for call centers that have tiered support agents who require expertise in a certain area. So find a tool that enables you to create certifications that provide agents with the development opportunities they want.
- Integrates with the tech stack: Agents have to jump from tool to tool on a daily basis. Look for a tool that seamlessly integrates with the software they already know how to use to create a simplified learning experience.
Never stop growing.
Call center training best practices
Call centers that leverage online training software have a great opportunity to create an engaging, scalable, and effective training program for their agents. Here are some best practices to keep in mind when it comes to creating and delivering your organization’s call center training program.
Analyze training needs
First and foremost, it’s important to evaluate your team’s current training efforts and identify needs. Providing an excellent assessment requires leaders to listen to agents, review performance metrics, and consider other factors that are impacting the industry. This will help you identify what is working and what the greatest training needs are.
Develop clear goals and objectives
Once you identify your team’s training needs, you need to create a plan for success. By creating a thoughtful and deliberate process, leaders can easily set goals for your training efforts. Ideally, your call center training program will improve agent knowledge that will positively impact customer satisfaction scores, first call resolution rates, and result in fewer customer escalations.
Embrace onboarding and continuous learning
The biggest mistake a call center can make is focusing on new agent training during the first week or 30 days on the job. A successful call center training program delivers both crucial onboarding and ongoing training opportunities to both new and existing agents over time. Agents need refresher training to keep their service skills sharp and to learn about important business changes and updates.
Focus on essential call center skills training
All too often, call centers only focus on industry-specific training. Or, they may just provide basic-level training that ensures agents know how to use specific software. While these are important call center training topics for every organization, agents also need to receive training and coaching on customer service skills like empathy, effective communication, and active listening.
Track training progress
In the end, call center training is about delivering results, which means it isn’t a “set it and forget it” item on your to-do list. The best call centers leaders track training progress over time to ensure agents are best equipped to succeed in their roles.
Deliver call center training online with Seismic
World-class call center teams deliver exceptional customer care time and time again. And with our call center training software, teams can onboard new agents quickly, deliver ongoing learning and coaching, and track training progress against business goals. Read how one customer earns an average CSAT score of 94% by delivering call center training online with Seismic. Or, get a demo and we’ll show you how to take your call center training program to the next level.