I just got off the phone with my healthcare insurance provider—the third such call this week. While insurance often can be a frustration, what made it particularly aggravating was that I kept getting different answers to the same questions. What one agent told me on the phone was directly contradicted by the next.
This isn’t just the sort of behavior that causes customers such as myself to pull out their hair, it also is what causes contact center managers to pull out theirs.
Proper training is one of the most important challenges within the contact center, since these agents are the front lines that connect customers with a company. They also are where customers go for information from the company, and the relationship is more than dented a little when the agent on the phone doesn’t know his stuff.
Nothing is more frustrating than waiting on the phone and then reaching a company representative who doesn’t know his own company. Yet, this happens all the time within the contact center, partially because there is constant agent turnover.
Even if an agent knows proper procedures, a second big challenge within the contact center is ensuring appropriate behavior; during my second insurance call, my frustration bled over into the agent on the phone with me. Yet, of course I should have been the only one on the phone losing my cool.
Both these issues come back to proper training and monitoring. A good performance within the contact center starts with high standards in training, and it ends with making sure that those standards are met and perhaps even exceeded.
Getting there is easier said than done, which is why customers such as myself sometimes run across agents that fail. But with call recording, it doesn’t have to be as hard as it sounds.
That’s because while it isn’t possible to have every agent succeed in every customer interaction, with call recording it is possible to monitor every interaction and make adjustments along the way. If calls are only irregularly monitored, standards will inevitably flag and mistakes will compound themselves. But with good call recording, it is possible to keep tabs on agents and know when customers are not being served right.
It also is easier to show where improvement is needed, because with call recording there’s more than just a talk on proper performance. With call recording, agents can actually hear their mistakes—and be shown examples of successful customer interactions that avoided those mistakes. This is a powerful training tool; it is showing instead of telling.
So while mistakes will happen in the contact center, there’s no need to lower standards and accept agent failure. Instead, make sure that a good call recording solution is in place.