5 Learning and Development Strategies to Improve Agent Performance
In today’s customer-driven world, contact centers play a vital role, ensuring customers receive the support they need. The agents responsible for handling such a wide variety of customer inquiries, complaints, and requests on a daily basis must assimilate a diverse set of skills – both soft and hard. The costs of such training, both in time and capital, can get out of hand quickly – especially when you’re trying to improve CX. Here are 5 learning and development strategies that contact centers should consider to improve agent performance, and (spoiler alert) why you should automate them.
1) Provide Regular Training Sessions
Practice makes perfect and, as we know, contact center agents must navigate a variety of tools and technologies during customer interactions; it may be difficult for them to remember them all. Holding regular training sessions, even daily micro-lessons, will help hone agents’ customer service skills, product knowledge, communication techniques, and problem-solving abilities. Regular training will help agents increase competence and confidence.
2) Implement an E-Learning Platform
E-learning platforms, such as SymTrain, provide agents with the flexibility of learning at their own pace and convenience. The courses can be accessed from anywhere, anytime, and on any device. The e-learning modules, or “Syms,” can also be assigned to suit the agent’s specific needs and skill level.
3) Automate Peer-to-Peer Learning
Nesting new agents with seasoned ones is expensive and detracts from performance. Instead, realize the benefits of peer-to-peer learning by using customer conversations with your best agents as training material for those who need practice. By automating role-play agents can learn from each other’s experiences, without using up their time and energy. As agents realize helping their peers doesn’t cost them effort, you will see an uptick in best-practice ideas, collaboration, and knowledge sharing.
4) Use Gamification Techniques
Gamification can motivate agents and enhance their learning experience. These techniques involve using game-like elements such as points, badges, and leaderboards to incentivize agents to learn and perform better, but do not need to be complicated or require special software. Simply offering prizes for agents who perform best on various training exercises can encourage engagement in the material and lead to measurable improvements.
5) Provide Ongoing Feedback and Coaching
Contact center agents require ongoing feedback and coaching to help them improve their performance. Regular feedback and coaching sessions can help agents identify their strengths and weaknesses, refine their soft skills, and work towards improving their performance. Feedback should be automated, specific, constructive, and delivered in a timely manner.
Doing it all, on budget
What kind of learning and development program can do all this on its existing budget – or, better, while cutting costs? One that uses AI to automate agent role-play, offers skill-targeted simulations to deliver personalized coaching, and scales easily – allowing you to monitor and improve agent performance without spending human capital. Implementing a modern learning and development strategy is essential for contact centers seeking to improve their agent performance.
Providing regular training sessions, implementing a simulated role-play platform, automating peer-to-peer learning, using gamification, and providing continuous coaching are 5 effective strategies that contact centers should consider. By investing in the development of your agents, your business can improve its customer service, increase customer satisfaction, and drive growth – all while lowering your cost of training by as much as 50%.