Three Tips to Virtual Call Center Agent Success
August 23, 2013
By Susan J. Campbell
, TMCnet Contributing Editor
Call center agents are a must-have in the customer service division of the company. But, how do you ensure that the agents you hire will meet the expectations you have for great customer interactions? Perhaps even more importantly, how do you ensure that once you get a great agent in place, he or she will stay for the duration?
Hiring for the job, while also ensuring job satisfaction, is a challenge in any industry especially the virtual call center. To be effective, this type of environment doesn’t want a revolving door, where most of its HR budget is spent recruiting, hiring and training to replace the steady stream of employees who walk out the door.
A recent 8x8 (News - Alert) blog highlighted this challenge for the virtual call center, turning to Service Failures author, Jeff Toister for answers. An expert in effectively and efficiently hiring new call center agents without sacrificing customer care or job satisfaction, Toister shares his insight with a number of industry leaders through keynotes and popular conference events.
Pulling from his expertise, 8x8 has three training tips to help remove the revolving door so you can focus on delivering great customer service. Let’s review these tips and how they may help make a measurable impact in your environment.
1. The Shadow System
While this system is often deployed for students who are considering a specific career field, it can also be an effective tool to demonstrate what you want out of the agent’s performance. Emulating top performers is a great method. It not only promotes the behavior you want to repeat, it also streamlines training. It also reaffirms the value that senior agent brings to the table. Confidence and motivation are bolstered for both the mentor and the mentee.
2. Performance Monitoring
This step in the training process is not to interfere with the agent’s work, but to give them the opportunity to immediately improve upon areas where they are struggling. If an agent struggles with calls, especially at a particular point, the live monitoring done by the supervisor ensures he or she is right there, ready to break into the call and help the agent when needed. The agent is rescued and learns something in the process.
3. The Game Plan
Agents need a call model to use for handling every call with consistency and quality. This ensures customer questions are answered and resolution is achieved. The model includes elements such as the customer’s core need, his products or services, history of the customer, available solutions and next steps. Using a call model, the agent is better prepared to be more efficient and equipped to improve call metrics.
The ultimate goal is to deliver the best quality customer care, while also supporting a satisfied agent base. If you can accomplish both in the virtual call center environment, you’re well on your way to success.