BPA Featured Article

An Unconventional Approach to Training Call Center Agents

By Kelly McGuire, TMCnet Editor
December 15, 2009

While there are many necessary steps to take in order to properly manage and accurately track a company’s call monitoring system, including the decision of how much – and what – to monitor, according to 3rd party remote call monitoring provider BPA International, there are other pieces of the call center puzzle that need to be put in place.

Just as important as staffing successful agents to conduct the calls, as well as having the appropriate management in place to ensure a smooth operational system, training is a must.
Lisa Renda, CEO, BPA International, told TMCnet in a previous interview that training needs to accomplish multiple objectives including new business process needs, such as pricing changes in various services so that agents can be up to speed when discussing contracts with an agent, as well as new products.
Additionally, compliance and ongoing agent development training are other common steps to take in order to have each staff member as productive as possible.
What’s more, Renda said that training on business process needs and compliance are two of the most important in a growing enterprise.
“There are various media through which to deliver this information: small process changes can be communicated via a standardized format e-mail,” Renda said, adding that another method, namely desk site e-learning, such as multimedia, allows agents to see and hear and interact with the training environment at their desk will help increase comprehension and the ability to repeat the desired skill. 
What’s surprising about many of Renda’s suggestions is the amount of time spent training off the phone.
“One of the bigger challenges outside of quality monitoring is getting the operational team to spend the money to take an agent off the phone in order to do refresher or ongoing training,” she said. “In the call center business, there is always competition between answering the phone and educating an associate on a new product launch.”
So, if a company takes Renda’s advice, you can properly train your employees while simultaneously saving phone time and improve productivity.

Kelly McGuire is a TMCnet Web editor, covering CRM and workforce technologies, and anchor of its daily TMC Newsroom video broadcast. Kelly also writes about eco-friendly "green" technologies and smart grids, compiling TMCnet's weekly e-Newsletters on those topics, as well as the cable industry. To read more of Kelly's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Kelly McGuire