Revolutionize CX with virtual coaching for call centers

Startek Editorial
Startek Editorial

Jun 06, 2023 | 4 min read

In recent years, the way we work and communicate has changed dramatically. With the rise of technology and the internet — and fueled by necessity during the COVID-19 pandemic — many businesses transitioned to a remote work model. Call centers are no exception. Today, many call centers support teams of remote and hybrid agents providing customer service and support. According to a call center employee research report by SQM group, 87% of agents were working from home in 2021 as compared to 19% in 2019. These agents work from home using technology to connect with customers and handle inquiries.   

How to train and coach call center agents remotely

Call centers are an essential part of many businesses. They provide a crucial link between customers and a brand. Training call center agents remotely have become a necessity and require a new approach to traditional floor-based training and coaching. But it can be done effectively and efficiently with the right strategies and tools.  

Follow interactive training methods 

Traditional methods of training such as lectures and presentations are not effective in a remote setting. Instead, use interactive methods — video tutorials, simulations and quizzes — and shorter, more interactive sessions. Gamification, rewarding learners for taking the right action or demonstrating knowledge makes learning more engaging, improves knowledge retention and increases agents’ productivity. 

Leverage virtual classroom platforms 

These platforms provide engaging tools, such as screen sharing and interactive whiteboards, which make the training sessions more appealing and effective. It is also important to have a skilled facilitator who is well-prepared to present their content and is open to real-time feedback. 

Provide access to learning materials 

Agents should have access to training modules, handbooks and other resources to help them learn about the company's products, services and policies. These materials can be shared using a learning management system (LMS) or cloud storage services. Along with other resources such as self-assessments, course journals and follow-up study materials, they keep the agents engaged and provide opportunities to practice what they've learned. 

Assign a mentor or coach 

Mentors provide guidance, answer questions and offer feedback on agents’ performance. This is done using video conferencing or chat applications. According to an agent survey by Playvox, pairing agents with other customer service representatives ranks at the top spot in the most effective training methods followed by instructor-led training and self-guided training. 

Deploy simulations to fast-track agent training 

Simulation-based learning models provide a safe and controlled environment for agents to practice and improve their skills before interacting with real customers. This approach helps reduce the risk of negative customer experiences and allows agents to gain experience with scenarios they may face when interacting with a live customer or prospect. Through advanced simulation training, agents are able to rehearse high-impact call scenarios using their own language rather than relying on canned scripts. They receive feedback on their tone, soft skills, and adherence to best practices, driving speed to proficiency. Incorporating real-time agent assist during simulations further enhances agents' learning experience by providing immediate guidance and support, helping them refine their skills in real-time interactions.

Create an effective knowledge management process 

Effective knowledge management plays a critical role in enabling autonomous training for call center agents. By creating a centralized knowledge base and utilizing advanced call center technologies and software to manage and disseminate information, call centers provide agents with online access to the support and resources they need to improve their skills and deliver exceptional customer service. This includes a wide range of eLearning options and content, such as video lessons, online tests, downloadable documents, podcasts, games, and software technical modules, as well as information on the brand's systems and processes, products and services, compliance standards, and soft and technical skills. With this hands-on knowledge and information available anytime and anywhere, agents take ownership of their professional growth and development, leading to better customer experiences and improved business outcomes. Moreover, implementing robust customer service knowledge management systems ensures that agents have access to comprehensive and up-to-date information, further enhancing their ability to deliver exceptional service.

Monitoring progress 

Monitoring agents' progress is crucial to ensure they retain the information they learned. Call centers should employ an LMS and other tracking tools to monitor progress and identify areas where additional support or training is needed. 

Tools that leverage speech and text analytics integrated with training materials revolutionize the learning process. Whether in training or live with customers, speech and text analytics “listens” to the conversation and presents agents with next best actions or prompts required information to be shared. Combined with gamification, agents are rewarded for taking the desired action and presented with tailored training modules based on their recent activity. In this way, modern contact center training is an ongoing process with agents continuously improving and developing their skills.  

Provide regular feedback 

Providing regular feedback helps agents see where they stand and what needs to improve. Feedback via video conferencing, email or chat applications is also helpful. AI technology such as speech and text analytics derives meaning from unstructured data and makes it possible to monitor 100% of interactions. In the past, feedback and coaching may have relied on spot checks and call listening but few organizations had the resources needed for a trainer or coach to listen to 100% of calls. Today, technology does it for you, ensuring the opportunity to learn from every interaction.  

Remote call center agent training requires a different approach from traditional training methods. With these strategies, businesses ensure their agents are well-trained and equipped to provide the same high-quality experience as agents based in brick-and-mortar locations.  

Customers expect to receive fast service using their preferred communication channel. Businesses that embrace remote work benefit from a skilled and diverse workforce and expand their talent pool beyond the catchment area of a physical location. A dispersed work-from-home team also means greater business resiliency and the ability to respond to unforeseen events such as natural disasters, regional disruptions or health emergencies. By providing consistency in CX delivery, remote teams ensure high customer satisfaction.  

To learn more about how remote agents and technologies that support agent experience and effectiveness can enhance your CX delivery, contact us. BlogAgent experience & effectiveness

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