The Benefits of Training and Coaching Contact Centre Agents

Anwesha Roy

Training and investing in agents in a contact centre

The Benefits of Training and Coaching Contact Centre Agents

Training agents and investing in their development is a contact centre staple – but are either any measurable benefits to this? Research suggests that the answer is an emphatic YES.  

Both frontline agents and contact centre team leaders can gain measurably from training programs. Companies, where team leaders spend more time on training and coaching, see team leads wasting very little time on admin work. Frontline agents witness a corresponding spike in sales conversion when there is an ongoing training program.  

That’s why it is so important to embrace the role of training and coaching contact centres, also understanding how the two are different.

Benefits of Agent Training vs. Agent Coaching: What is the Difference? 

Agent training can be defined as a learning program undertaken by frontline employees (i.e., who interact with customers every day) to acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to deliver superior customer experiences and adhere to contact centre efficiency benchmarks. A typical training program will teach agents how to:  

  • Use the agent technology UI and hardware equipment  
  • Speak to customers on different channels with empathy and focus  
  • Bring adequate product knowledge to solve customer queries  
  • Know conversation cues and process flowcharts in order to transfer/escalate calls on time 
  • Meet efficiency benchmarks like call volumes, durations, etc., to maintain profitability  
  • Perform in a manner that furthers their compensation goals and career trajectory  

In a nutshell, agent training is more about hard skills and products/process knowledge that is essential to navigating the contact centre workplace.  

Agent coaching, on the other hand, can be defined as an interactive process that helps an agent (or any other coaching participant) realise their inner potential and improve performance in a gradual and sustainable manner, driven by behavioural change. After undertaking a coaching program, an agent will be able to:  

  • Better balance professional and personal goals  
  • Display empathy towards customers, peers, managers, and self  
  • Manage their time in a manner that enables cross-skilling  
  • Improve the culture fit with the organisation  
  • Understand the nuances of customer interactions and the drivers behind performance KPIs  
  • Handle conflict-prone scenarios effectively during calls as well as in the workplace  

As you can see, both training and coaching are equally important, although they perform two very different functions.  

Adopt an Ongoing Learning Approach 

An ongoing learning initiative brings together elements like agent training, coaching initiatives, mentorships, and self-paced development programs to create a holistic improvement and upskilling plan for the employee. While there are short-term targets, the agent works towards long-term goals like increasing their employability and adding more value to the organisation.  

Ongoing learning starts from day one of the agent experience, right at the time they are onboarded into the organisation. They are set performance KPIs, supported by preliminary training and refresher training at regular intervals. Based on their performance, you can also assign agents a coach or mentor to further actualise their potential.  

Ultimately, this will improve your CSAT score, bring down labour costs, drive productivity per agent, and boost revenues.  

 

 


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