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.
Call Center Managers Must Help Agents Feel Acclimated.
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. Therefore, it is the call center manager’s duty to help new agents feel acclimated and emphasize the most important aspects of the jobs first. Surely learning the technological aspects are crucial to the agent’s long-term success, but initially, he or she must understand that communication and learning how toproperly execute people skills should be their primary focus for the first few weeks.
Technology Is A Relatively New Challenge In Call Centers.
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. Far too often, managers spend the majority of the new hire’s training time going over software and technical issues.
Understand That Agents Are Daunted By New Technology.
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 new hires have been intimidated by the computer and various aspects of technology during their first weeks on the job. This worrying is detrimental to their initial training.
People Skills Should Take Precedence Over Technology.
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.
Helping New Agents With Technology – Recap!
1. The challenges of new-hire training are daunting.
2. Managers must teach company culture, policies, procedures and programs.
3. New agents have a lot on their plate and aren’t sure where to focus.
4. It is up to the manager to emphasize people-oriented skills from the start.
5. Computer programs and the intranet have revolutionized call center operations.
6. However, managers put too much emphasis on this new technology.
7. Most new hires worry incessantly about learning the new system.
8. This worrying is misguided and ultimately detrimental to their start in the call center.
9. Mastering technology should be an agent’s least concern when starting the position.
10. Leadership, motivation, coaching, supervision, growth, structure & opportunity cannot be replaced by technology.
For more information: Training@callcentertoday.com