Voice CBT Training for Call Center Execs

Technology has forever altered the landscape of the classroom. Formats such as distance learning, the virtual classroom and voice-based CBT are attracting a whole new breed of Call Center Trainers and Support Professionals. And yet, while these technological advances increase the number of ways a Support Professional can learn, they also erect more and more complicated barriers to participation and involvement.

As this gulf widens, technology and participation become opposite ends of the learning spectrum. And yet, how do Call Center Trainers bridge this gap and describe as the point where the technology becomes transparent and CSR participation paramount


A New Way of Communicating

As Call Centers have come to realize, technology innovations have completely altered the landscape of today’s training methodology.

Call Center Trainers must, therefore, re-learn how to communicate over each new platform type to successfully communicate over voice-based bridge technology.

This particular technology, the bridge, is a state-of-the-art teleconferencing software system. Bridges connect groups of people over the same phone line at a particular time of day. While bridges do connect people physically, they do not necessarily engender connections on other levels.


Utilize the Technology to Enhance Participation

One of the main success indicators of increased participation in voice-based CBT Training is a direct by-product of integrating NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) practices and techniques into the curriculum.

In the survey, trainers discovered that when leading any class, voice-based or otherwise, trainers discovered that when they asked questions that acknowledged each of the four NLP communication and learning styles, participation levels increased dramatically. This entailed surveying students with standard NLP diagnostic tests, analyzing the results and consciously wording questions to each style type. For example, trainers would ask questions that would satisfy each style:

Auditory Style How does this sound to you?
Visual Style How does this look to you?
Kinesthetic Does this feel comfortable to you?

Trainers also recognized that varying the amount of participation expected helped to set the tone of each segment of the class. For example, by stating upfront that “I would like to hear from a couple of you on….” CSR`s quickly understood what was required and for how long. In the Trainers’ experience, setting tone reduced participation anxiety and increased contribution levels.

Another technique trainers used to encourage participation and communication from the students was achieved quite simply by keeping a roster of the students in the Call Center Training. For example, by stating “CSR A, we haven’t heard from you yet, what are your thoughts on…”. ” In their experiences, typically, it was not that “CSR A” did not want to share and participate but more likely it was that others kept ‘ beating them to it’. Trainers learned that this was an excellent way to encourage the shy students to share.

Another key strategy discovered in the CSR survey involved acknowledging the expert in the group. In a typical class, Trainers inevitably discovered that one or two individuals held themselves as “experts” in the particular subject area. The experts, once identified by the Trainer, could be called upon at quiet times and thus, became a useful tool to fill gaps and silences throughout the class.

Finally, Trainers using voice-based technology discovered the art of being direct. In this survey, we found that trainers consistently capitalized on the phrase “this is important” to accentuate a crucial point or detail in the curriculum. Following this acknowledgement, the Trainer would then deliberately ask the students to write it down. For example, this would look like “I’d like you to write down this next point. This is important”. Once on paper, trainers would then ask the students to read it back and offer their opinions. This once again satisfied all of the four NLP learning styles and augmented the importance of the point in question.

Here are some tips that Call Center Trainers can pass it on to CSR when voice tire takes over


  1. Try chewing some gum between phone calls
    Gum stimulates saliva flow. Use sugarless to prevent tooth decay. Just remember to take it out of your mouth before you speak!
  2. Avoid salty foods
    Even though you may not add additional salt to your food, there is a lot of hidden sodium in the average Indian diet, especially in fast foods, Chinese foods, cold cuts and processed foods.
  3. Stress makes dry mouth worse
    Make a mental systems check. Is your level of work-related stress higher than it should be? Consider offsetting stress with yoga, exercise and daily meditation.

Amit Nayak
ITESGrads India

October 2003

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