Customer-centricity, enormous volumes of customer requests over telephones has given rise to a need for call centers. Cheaper labor market along with big English speaking population has made India a home to many call centers, local as well as global. However, contrary to popular belief that you really don’t need many skills to work in call centers, call center employees actually go through a rigorous training program which includes understanding the brand, market scenario, culture of the country they cater to, communication skills and technical know-how.
Training is a top priority in call centers and only when an employee completes a professional training does he or she actually gets to start working.
Key people to train and what comprises a good training program.
The frontline agents who are directly in touch with customers are primary employees in a call center. Their performance has a direct impact on customer satisfaction and operation of the call center. Their training is of utmost importance because they are the face, or in this case, voice of the organization. Training for frontline agents usually cover the following topics:
Understanding the bigger picture: Helping frontline employees understand how each person can affect the customer satisfaction rating which in turn helps in revenue generation is crucial to the organization.
Understanding market and culture: An important part of the training is to ensure that the employees understand company culture as well as the behavior of the people and market they cater to.
Speaking skills: Since most of them work on voice processes, it’s important to impart to them how to use their voice effectively – being clear, eliminating certain communication mishaps, using the right accent and tempo where required and sounding warm and happy to help. For an organization the call could be the only communication with customers hence speaking skills are important to ensure that the call is worth it.
Handling difficult customers: Every business encounters difficult customers. Half the battle is won when we know how to handle them well. This is an important lesson on branding as well because sometimes an angry customer could be fatal to an organization.
E-mail writing: Call centers are more about communication than about just taking calls. Usually a call is followed by a follow-up e-mail, therefore e-mail writing skills is a vital one for all employees in a call center.
Besides frontline employees, the supervisor or leader is usually key to a successful working of an efficient team. Their training is also of high priority and they go through a well defined leadership program where they are taught the basics of leadership skills, team management, engagement and conflict resolution.
A call center is a network of people working towards the same goal of customer-satisfaction, therefore training everyone to speak the same language in the same tone is an important ingredient for a successful business.