Call Center Operations

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June 08, 2011

Is Performance in Your Call Center Operations Enhanced? Five Ways To Tell

By David Sims, TMCnet Contributing Editor

In a recent white paper titled “Five Signs That Your Call Center Is Using Performance-Enhancing Methods,” officials from Knowlagent, a provider of call center operations designed to enhance agent productivity, note that many traditional methods used to manage agent performance aren’t working anymore, and below are excerpts of what the paper finds to be “some of the hallmarks of true, performance-enhancing training.”

Frequency: Too often training is an infrequent occasion as opposed to a consistent, systemic part of the call center operation. In a recent survey by Knowlagent, almost 40 percent of call centers reported training agents between one and four times a year. Many centers provide agents with access to a learning management system or knowledge base with the hopes that agents will go get the information and knowledge they need.

Targeting: Even if training is provided frequently, a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t provide maximum value. If the center and the agent invest time in training, it should meet the needs of both. An agent does not want to be trained on something that isn’t relevant to their needs, and the center doesn’t want to train an agent on an area at which he or she excels, especially if there is another area that needs improving.

Ease of understanding and application: Adult learning theory asserts that short learning interventions that can be immediately applied have the best chance at retention. This concept is clearly important in a fast-paced environment like a call center, where the unplanned nature of calls gives agents less control over their day than most.

Measurable impact: One of the keys to success in any endeavor is measurement, and nowhere is a culture of measurement more prevalent than the call center. Give all players a view to their performance, and an understanding of how they impact that performance through training.

Consistency: It has two applications in this context. The importance of regular communications cannot be overestimated in keeping agents informed and engaged. Additionally, the consistency of message in those communications and training is important. E-learning provides a conduit for regular communications and removes the possibility of different teams getting different messages or levels of information from supervisors, team members or even trainers.

David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Jamie Epstein

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