“The more opinions you have, the less you see.”
- Wim Wenders
All call center managers will agree that the challenges of new-hire training are daunting. New agents see dozens of faces, become acclimated into a fresh company structure, learn a unique program, and are trained on strange computer equipment. They are asked to understand the culture of the organization, and to immerse themselves in the daily gossip and routines of the office, as they get to know others in the office and choose new friends.
A new agent must learn the policies and procedures of his company, grapple with sales and communications training pertinent to the program, and become comfortable with the work hours of the job. It all can be very challenging, and if the agent fails to execute even one or two aspects of the job extremely well, the agent will be set back in his objective to earn money and find success and comfort long term.
Recently, a new challenge has developed for agents going through initial training…
The Internet, Intranet and web-based enhancements have joined CTI and CRM to turn the call center into a dynamite technology-oriented environment. The way telesales agents sell and the way customer service agents manage client expectations has been renovated because of their ability to make calls faster, take calls more quickly, manage processes more smoothly, and understand circumstances more clearly.
Because the agents interact continually with computers, dialing systems, and ever-improving technology, agents now begin their first days on the job more concerned about the technological requirements of the position, and less focused on the communication and product aspects of the position. The first questions out of an agent’s mouth generally are “How do I use the computer? What type of computer programs will we use? Am I required to learn a dialing system or database programs? Can you tell me about the technology and how to use it?”
I estimate that 85% of my new hires have been intimidated by the computer and various aspects of technology both before and during their first weeks on the job. In my opinion, this is damaging to their initial training.
Managers must be cognizant that mastering technology should be an agent’s least concern. When management begins to look at technology as the medium that motivates and supervises employees, then management begins to allow technology to take over a people-oriented job. Leadership, motivation, coaching, supervision, growth, structure and opportunity are people jobs that technology can support, but not replicate.