Call Center Training Solutions

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Posts Tagged ‘agent skill improvements’

A Little Practice with Agents Goes a Long Way

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

Is your coaching getting the results you want?  If agents struggle with your recommendations when they put them into practice on calls, they will stop using the new ideas and fall back into old (bad) habits quickly.

Practice Means Demonstrating

To remedy this and to make sure agents are prepared before they hit the phones with all the new coaching, we recommend two demonstrations, right after the coaching is completed. 

The first demonstration should be you role-playing with the agent while you play the agent role and demonstrate the skill you are coaching them to use (the agent plays the customer).  By letting agents see the skill in action first, virtually every question they may still have will be answered.   Oh, so that is what you meant.  Yeah, I can definitely do that.

In the second demonstration, the agent role plays with you, this time with the agent playing him/herself and you playing the customer.  This is now your chance to see what the agent learned from your coaching.  It is also a great opportunity to tweak and clean up any rough edges before the agent gets back on the phone and uses the skill with a real client.

Tips to Improve Your Practice Sessions

  • Just before you conduct the role plays, remember to  set the scene so the agent knows exactly what is going to happen in the role play.   Adam, I am going to play a customer who just had a bad experience using our product.  I­ve been trying to put the product together, but after two hours of trying, I have realized that an important part is missing.  I want you to pick the dialogue up right at the–.  This will eliminate any confusion about where to begin or what type of call the agent is dealing with. 
  • We also recommend starting the role play at the approximate point in the call where the skill takes place.  No need to conduct an entire eight minute role play/call, from the Greeting, if you are practicing Late-Call Objections or the Call Wrap.  Although this seems obvious, we have seen role plays take eight minutes when they should have taken no more than thirty seconds.
  • Prior to providing the coaching, always let agents know that you are going to do a little practice with them, a little role-playing, after you have spoken.  We call this  the warning.  We warn agents that they need to pay full attention because they will be using the skill in just a few moments. 

Practice makes perfect and perfect practice makes perfect performance.  Do not skip this important step to your coaching.  The one-minute investment will pay off on the very next call if your agents are fully prepared to demonstrate new skills with excellence.