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Seyyed Seyyedi
Sales Academy Manager
Elena Tsikhanovich
Head of the Customer support Center
John Stock
President and COO

Article : The Importance Of Training

With the contact center becoming essential to an organization's goals for customer care and retention, the key to maximizing the contact center's business performance is to maximize agent performance and quality of service. This is evidenced by the fact that many contact centers today rate their top quality objective as: improving agent quality of service to maintain and grow the business through continually improving performance.

Agent performance relies, in part, on a contact center's ability to go beyond introductory training, and provide on-going targeted coaching. A contact center will invest several weeks of training in an agent as they join the team, but necessarily on an ongoing basis. To make sure that critical information on best practices or new campaigns is always accessible, and tailoring such information to the specific skill-set of an individual agent is critical to growing the business through continually improving performance.

The Challenges Of Training
Contact centers need to be able to go beyond introductory training and provide immediate feedback on an on-going basis that is specific to the individual needs of each agent. And this approach is, in effect, agent coaching. Supervisors, however, don't always have the time to provide such coaching to their agents. With a calendar full of day-to-day tasks they don't have the resources to provide immediate and ongoing feedback. Nor do they always have the requisite inputs to provide focused feedback that is tailored to a specific agent's skill set, making this impractical and cost-prohibitive.

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The Advancement Of E-learning Solutions
The key to answering these challenges is an agent coaching solution that is fully integrated with a customer interactions capture and analysis solution. This type of solution provides the ability to create personalized coaching packages and push them to agent's desktop. Agents can then independently review the coaching package, let their supervisors know that they have reviewed, send back comments, and re-visit the information whenever needed. They can also send comments or questions to a supervisor, or request a face-to-face training or coaching session through the system.

With an integrated coaching solution supervisors don't need to wait until the entire team's schedules coincide to provide face-to-face meetings, nor do they have to repeat group sessions on a one-to-one basis. Agents can receive feedback and tips on their performance while the information is still relevant, making the coaching much more effective.

This kind of approach maintains a constant flow of information and on-going, open dialogue between supervisor and agent.

Packages are created quickly and easily enabling immediate feedback on an on-going basis and which is relevant to the individual agent. Full integration means that packages can include input from a variety of sources, such as recorded calls, evaluations, customer feedback on interactions, off-line files with information on new campaigns and procedures, or anything else agents need to be kept up-to-date.

The package can include, for example, feedback from the Clip Creator, which turns any portion of an interaction into a short clip with a supervisor's voice annotation which exports easily. This is an efficient, on-line way of communicating best practices and sharing tips with an agent who is finding difficulty in handling irate customers, for example.

Avoiding Common Training Mistakes
The most common mistake is underestimating the need to provide information and feedback on an on-going basis, not just during recruitment – translating into the need for effective coaching. Another mistake is to overlook training and coaching as a key management tool to help engage and empower agents, as well as reduce attrition. The goal should be to maximize the agent's potential by reinforcing positive choices and behaviors and improving upon those that are less successful. The opportunity to leverage focused skills assessment should be used for development vs. disciplinary purposes.

Once a supervisor identifies specific observable agent behaviors that drive customer satisfaction, it is critical to engage the agent for proactive performance improvement. A positively-driven coaching approach will result in motivated agents who will seek out every opportunity to improve their skills set and reach their maximum potential.

Agents can evaluate their own calls and sign-off on evaluations electronically. Often, when agents listen to their calls, they identify the success factors or pitfalls of the interaction on their own. And correlating quality scores to specific calls proves to be a very powerful means for agents to understand and improve performance without the need for supervisor intervention.

The Power Of Integrated Agent Coaching
In the past coaching was an off-line, one-way dialogue. Behaviors that required improvement were treated slowly, delaying potential customer satisfaction. Good evaluations often didn't reach the agents, prolonging the lack of reinforcement. But now, an integrated Agent Coaching solution provides on-line, near real-time, two-way communication. This empowers agents to respond with questions or request assistance, and be able to calibrate behaviors for improved customer satisfaction.

And once an agent is engaged and empowered the risk of losing that employee is minimized while performance and quality of service is maximized.

About NICE Systems:
Company LogoNICE (NASDAQ: NICE), is a worldwide provider of intent-based solutions that capture and analyze interactions and transactions, realize intent, and extract and leverage insights to deliver impact in real time. Driven by cross-channel and multi-sensor analytics, NICE solutions enable organizations to improve business performance, increase operational efficiency, prevent financial crime, ensure compliance, and enhance safety and security. NICE serves over 25,000 organizations in the enterprise and security sectors, representing a variety of sizes and industries in more than 150 countries, and including over 80 of the Fortune 100 companies.
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Today's Tip of the Day - Go For It!

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

Published: Thursday, August 4, 2005

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Optymyse - Digital Employee Engagement
Optymyse is a completely new way to empower, engage, motivate and retain your contact centre, call center and helpdesk agents. Optymyse is a unique neuroscience-based approach which takes care of your most valuable asset - your people and is focussed on improving mental health, wellness, wellbeing, motivation, happiness and reducing stress in the workplace.


Co-Browsing Integration
Co-Browsing is the practice of web-browsing where two or more people are navigating through a website on the internet. Software designed to allow Co-Browsing focuses on providing a smooth experience as two or more users use their devices to browse your website. In other words, your customer can permit the agent to have partial access to his/ her screen in real-time.

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