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Article : How To Design, Develop And Deliver Effective Training

When I ask Contact Centre Managers what they want most - the number one response is - a team of competent, self-sufficient people who can operate without constant supervision or assistance.

However, most people aren't born with natural ability or winning habits. These skills must be taught or acquired. Furthermore, the learning process is never finished regardless of experience level or tenure. There will always be new product launches, new marketing strategies, new policies and new procedures.


Jane Finn
Managing Partner,
Contact Strategies

Customers will become more demanding which will tax the organizational, communications and interpersonal skills of your people and frankly, in this day and age of information overload - people will simply forget what they know.

Training is a necessity, not a luxury in today's complex call centre environment.

But, training can be expensive. Training can be time consuming and time spent away from the phones can negatively impact service levels and customer satisfaction. To maximize the time and effort you invest in designing, developing and delivering training, consider the following when planning and executing your next formal or informal session.

STEP 1: NEEDS ASSESSMENT

Training activities fall into three categories: orientation to the company or the work group for new employees, training in the knowledge and skills required to do the present job successfully, and training in subjects that will further an individual's career development.

Unfortunately, few call centres have standardized procedures for assessing initial or remedial training needs. Often training is informally linked to customer input. Angry customers and bursts in call volume frequently prompt a flurry of training activity.

To ensure that your training and coaching programs are effective and produce the desired results, begin by determining:

  • Who do you want to train?

  • What do they already know?

  • What do you want them to learn?

  • What should they be able to do when they complete the session?

  • Handle more calls

  • Promote new or additional products or services

  • Clearly explain costs, considerations, policies and procedures

  • Better utilize systems and resources

  • Cross-sell or up-sell

  • Assume new responsibilities

  • Manage more complex transactions

  • What behaviours will you need to change, influence or reinforce to ensure that participants meet your Call Centre's goals, standards and expectations?

  • How are they measured and how will the training impact performance?

  • Improve sales results

  • Fewer complaints

  • Reduce errors and re-work

  • Improve the quality of contacts

  • Increase productivity

  • What personal benefits will trainees realize by participating in a training or coaching session?

  • Increased earnings

  • Less stress

  • Enhanced career opportunities

  • Improved job satisfaction

To validate your assessment and insure that training will meet the needs of your people and your call centre, it is recommended that prior to developing the curriculum, time should be spent reviewing a series of customer transactions and all hard copy data that relates to individual and group results. Concurrently, the facilitator should meet with managers, supervisors and agents to obtain their input and buy-in.

Too often training is viewed as a panacea but it cannot cure all the ills of a troubled call centre. If call volumes are excessive, if the centre is understaffed, if product quality is deficient, if system support is inadequate or if processes and procedures are not customer and user "friendly" - training alone will not result in improved call quality or increased customer satisfaction.

STEP 2: DETERMINE CONTENT

Training should do more than simply impart information. In addition to providing product and service specifications or procedural requirements, training must also be geared towards helping employees master the skills, the "how-to's" and a complete understanding of your business and industry to ensure that they are fully productive, proficient and satisfied in their job.

Remember, every training session is an opportunity to not only increase knowledge but to also:

  • Communicate the corporation's strategy, vision or mission

  • Reinforce goals, standards and expectations

  • Influence behaviours or redirect activities

  • Refine and enhance soft skills such as:

  • Planning

  • Listening

  • Probing

  • Recapping

  • Closing

  • Problem Solving

  • Time Management

  • Demonstrate how their actions impact other areas of the business - sales, marketing, finance, operations or distribution

  • Reinforce personal work disciplines

And perhaps most importantly, it provides a non-threatening environment where people are allowed to test new ideas, apply new concepts, ask questions and practice their skills.

STEP 3: DETERMINE DELIVERY METHODS

  • Improve sales results

  • Fewer complaints

  • Reduce errors and re-work

  • Improve the quality of contacts

  • Increase productivity

  • What personal benefits will trainees realize by participating in a training or coaching session?

  • Increased earnings

  • Less stress

  • Enhanced career opportunities

  • Improved job satisfaction

To validate your assessment and insure that training will meet the needs of your people and your call centre, it is recommended that prior to developing the curriculum, time should be spent reviewing a series of customer transactions and all hard copy data that relates to individual and group results. Concurrently, the facilitator should meet with managers, supervisors and agents to obtain their input and buy-in.

Too often training is viewed as a panacea but it cannot cure all the ills of a troubled call centre. If call volumes are excessive, if the centre is understaffed, if product quality is deficient, if system support is inadequate or if processes and procedures are not customer and user "friendly" - training alone will not result in improved call quality or increased customer satisfaction.

STEP 4: FOLLOW UP

Classroom training is valuable, but there is no substitute for the on-the-job coaching those managers and supervisors can provide as they work with their team members. Call monitoring and coaching is essential to strengthening skills and ensuring that policies, practices and procedures are adopted and utilized.

Make sure that you spend time with your representatives "back on the line".

  • Be available to answer their questions or provide additional coaching.

  • Listen to their calls either remotely or by plugging in at their station.

  • Record calls for in-depth review and spend time jointly evaluating both hard and soft skills.

  • Document your observations regarding strengths, weaknesses and trends.

  • Provide regular, consistent and timely feedback.

  • Give freely of your experience.

  • Ensure employees receive specific instruction to redirect efforts and activities behaviours or close knowledge gaps.

  • Praise, recognize and reward desired behaviours.

Remember, the purpose of training should always be to improve individual performance and thereby improve total call centre performance. People are your most valuable resource. The time you spend training, mentoring, coaching and monitoring is the best investment you can make for your people, your customers and your Call Centre!


About the Author

Jane Finn is a Managing Partner of Contact Strategies, an independent consulting firm specializing in the design and development of quality assurance and performance management programs. Our clients include cataloguers, financial institutions, healthcare providers, government agencies, telecommunications and utility companies located throughout Canada, the US, India and Asia. Jane's passion is helping her clients find ways to bring out the best in people through training, the implementation of best practices and proper human resource management.

Today's Tip of the Day - Consider Your Center As A Production Line

Read today's tip or listen to it on podcast.

Published: Friday, August 9, 2002

Printer Friendly Version Printer friendly version

2021 Buyers Guide Inbound Call Handling Services

 
1.) 
2Ring

2Ring Gadgets for Cisco Finesse
2Ring Gadgets for Cisco Finesse, offered in three bundles (standard, enhanced, premium), empowers supervisors and enables agents to become more efficient.

Supervisors are able to handle everyday tasks on their own from within Cisco Finesse: reskill agents, view detailed information about agents and customer interactions in real-time, receive alerts about important call center events (RONA, Calls in Queue, ..), send messages to agents, or even change wallboards on the fly. Be flexible to provide help when needed.

Agents gain all the features that they need to serve customers faster - repetitive tasks are automated, alerts about important call center events pop-up on top of all the appli...
(read more)

2.) 
3Fiftynine

Branches
Calls are received by the right person or department. The right corresponding information is shown to the agent which makes that appointments are handled quicker and more secure.

3.) 
Agara

Agara is an autonomous virtual voice agent powered by Real-time Voice AI. It is designed to have intelligent conversations with your customers, vendors, and partners without any assistance from human agents. It can handle a wide variety of calls including inbound customer care calls, outbound lead generation calls, appointment scheduling calls, and overdue payment recovery calls.

Agara is available for several industries including banking, insurance, retail, e-commerce, airlines, and telecom. Powered by advanced Real-time Voice AI that understands speech in real-time, automatically determines the right process to follow and guides the caller along in the process with natural conversation.

4.) 
Call Center Studio

Call Center Studio
Call Center Studio is the world’s first call center built on Google and is one of the most secure and stable systems with some of the industry’s best reporting. It is one of the most full-featured enterprise grade systems (with the most calling features, one of the best call distribution, outbound dialing features and integrations—including IVR, AI Speech Recognition, blended inbound/outbound calling and includes Google’s new Dialogflow and Speech API. Call Center Studio is the absolute easiest to use (with a 10 minute setup), and is the price performance leader with lower equipment cost and less setup time.

5.) 
Connect Assist

Contact Centre Services
We’re a specialist Contact Centre business and market leaders helping socially focused organisations deliver quality support to their clients and service users. We do this by providing 24/7 helplines, software solutions and consultancy services.

Since launching in 2006, we’ve operated at the sharp end of customer service, supporting some of society’s most vulnerable people. We’ve pioneered in our space to become a specialist in helplines, whilst using the most advanced communication and database technologies available.

Our social mission has remained a constant throughout, providing many meaningful career prospects and growth opportunities to people within our local communities and fur...
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6.) 
Jointly International Inc.

Front Office Solutions
Front office is your Company’s first line of customer interaction and serves as the mirror of your business. Focus on your core business and let our competent staff handle your various front office needs such as:

* Customer Service via chat, email or phone
* Technical Support via chat, email or phone
* Helpdesk
* Virtual Assistant/Receptionist
* Answering Service
* Lead Generation
* Appointment Setting
* Verification
* Surveys
* Debt Recover, Collections

7.) 
MattsenKumar LLC

Contact Center Outsourcing
By catering valuable, usable and enjoyable customer service, businesses can increase their CSAT Score and Customer Retention Rate. We help organizations to provide quality customer service through varied channels like email, phone and live chat. Ensuring quality after-sales support is our USP and we rely on proven approaches to ensure quality customer service.

8.) 
OpsTel Services

SPEED
The SPEED solution solves for service level issues while cost optimizing the environment with automation.

Provides an enhanced way to speed up & optimize invoking temporary agent skills configuration changes into the contact center environment.

Speed allows you to schedule both future changes & temporary changes that auto-revert back to the original state when scheduled time expires.

Speed features:

*Automated / Scheduled Temporary Agent Skills Configuration Management
*Immediate Temporary or Reoccurring Schedule Skills Configuration Changes
*Easy to Use/Operations Administration Focused
*Descriptive Monitoring Activity Dashboard
*Detailed “End to End’ Audit Trail and Performance Monitoring

9.) 
Vads

VADS Inbound Contact Center
VADS Inbound Contact Center Services provide live operators who answer incoming calls as you would yourself. A team of professional script writers is available to help you script a greeting and experience programmers will set up a time and money saving program. Our unique approach to call center services is client-focused, and takes each project’s unique needs into account to our client’s satisfaction. We offer solution as part of our service to keep you in touch with your client and drive sales.

- Customer Service
- Walk In Center
- Service Desk

10.) 
Technosys IT Management

Customer Support
Technosys IT Management Bpo, the business process Outsourcing, gives end-to-end transformative administrations for its customers over the globe. The organization's coordinated IT and BPO arrangements approach empowers it to open business esteem crosswise over ventures and administration lines, and address business challenges for its customers. Using inventive business perfection structures, progressing profitability changes, process reengineering, mechanization, and front line innovation stages, Technosys IT Management empowers its customers to accomplish their cost diminishment goals, enhance process efficiencies, upgrade viability, and convey unrivaled client encounter

11.) 
Tru29 Outsource Solutions Inc.

Front Office Solutions
Any part of your business operations that requires constant end-customer facing task is an essential part of your business.

This task requires a good customer experience results for every customer interaction. Our extensive experience in handling Front Office related tasks can help you focus on your core business while being cost-efficient at the same time.
 

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