Here at Adexchange, we champion ongoing learning, in the form of training and workshops, for two whopping good reasons:
- The professional-fulfilment of our agents
- The overall success of our businesses
Targeted training can slickly oil the cogs that keep our contact centres running smoothly. The precious cog that we especially LOVE to polish here at Adexchange is the art of agent responses.
It’s a rarely uttered truth that without proper time and training on penning customer responses, many agents are left to free-rein them. In our experience, this strategy of ‘hope for the best’ can go west and leave the customer, agent, and us, as contact centre managers, feeling shortchanged. We’re big believers that investing in proper training around agent responses empowers everyone and saves us all heartache, headaches, and harrowing phonecalls. Here’s a few reasons why:
1) Training forges strong foundations
Good grammar, spelling and sentence structure is one of the first green flags that a customer will receive of a business’ professionalism. Typos are a glaring red one. If we’re expecting our agents to compose emails or jot live chat responses, they deserve and need training in effective communication.
Without language training, our agents’ communiqués can become at best long and wearing, and at worst incomprehensible. It’s hard to overstate the power of the written word basics, especially when we’re expecting agents to operate in their second or third language. Nail these basics and we get our message across with clarity, but deprioritise them and we lose customer trust and fail to communicate at all. Rather than resolving problems, we risk creating them, and that’s the opposite of our job. We’d much rather invest in the vital signs of communication, and have all the answers.
2) It protects the brand
Tone of voice is vital to representing who we are and what we do as a business. We work hard to define and disseminate it into our websites, marketing material and any pre-written content we ask our agents to deliver. But without proper training, we can’t expect our agents to carry this tone of voice into every free-hand customer interaction they have. It’s our job to arm them with the tools to be able to do this, and provide our customers with a consistent brand message and identity, no matter who they’re talking to. Giving our agents clear guidance on what kind of language to use, balancing friendliness with professionalism, and speaking within our TOV, keeps our brand intact and honest.
3) It creates a peak team
Regular writing training is extra important when we consider the high turnover of agents in our industry. New people are picking up the job all the time, and these intakes are going to need proper guidance on how to communicate in keeping with their colleagues.
Deloitte finds that companies that foster a strong education culture boast retention and engagement rates 30-50% higher than those that don’t. (learnerbly.com)
Plus, if we give people this training – we’re more likely to acquire the best agent talent, and keep their loyalty.
4) It improves efficiency
Running training regularly creates a learning culture in which our agents thrive on honing their skills. With sharpened communication skills, agents will be able to get to the heart of a problem quickly and relay to customers how it can be solved. The alternative: untrained agents composing emails and conducting conversations using guesswork, leads to angry, frustrated customers, a habit of wasting everyone’s time, and a strong risk of complaints.
Whilst the initial investment of training and workshops might feel like a leap of faith, the ROI will make itself known before long in the form of more efficient call times, fewer internal bottlenecks, more positive customer feedback and more seamless onboarding processes.
**Sure sure, but what constitutes great training?**
We recognise that quality training can’t tackle everything all at once. Over time, at Adexchange, we’ve developed focussed workshops and training programmes that laser-in on specifics like writing effective emails, live chat responses, or freehanding answers to FAQs. These topics often make up the shade which isn’t covered by the light of pre-written templates for an agent.
It’s one thing to encourage fellow contact centre managers to invest in ongoing learning, but it’s another to ensure that the training itself is of the best possible quality. Our way of doing this is to deliver workshops which are interactive, engaging, and based on actual content. We don’t believe in generic specimen material, but rather bespoke content that already belongs to your business. Using this as a springboard, we share the principles of effective communication and how to inject your brand values into every reply. Workshop attendees work in small groups, in a collaborative and non-judgmental space, to acquire the skills to be able to write their own effective content which aligns with your business.
If you’re still wary, we understand. Ongoing learning can feel like an ethereal investment, and to protect it, we regularly follow up our training with mystery shops to see how its fruits are translating to everyday contact centre life. We also deliver our workshops, and all the associated material, to your in-house trainers. This ‘train the trainers’ approach empowers your team to roll out the workshop to new agents, and refresh the training whenever it’s next needed.
If you fancy the look of us, we’d love to help rally your team. We’re available for both face to face and virtual workshops, and we can tailor our content to whatever you most need. We’re well-trained like that.