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Preparing Hosted Call Center Employees To Master Their Jobs

April 30, 2012
By Tracey E. Schelmetic, TMCnet Contributor

If you run or manage a call center, you'll know that training is one of your biggest challenges. Recruiting and hiring is just part one. Once you've got someone new on the payroll, how do you make sure that person is equipped for everything the call center might throw at him or her?

According to a recent blog post by hosted call center solutions provider inContact's JaNae Forshee, you can't. Not in a classroom, anyway. Forshee compares training contact center agents to playing golf. Once your top talent has been hired, she says, putting those employees out on the practice range with a bucket of golf balls (not literally, of course) isn’t going to prepare them for playing a round of 18 holes.

The only thing that will do that is actually playing the course. Call center agents need to learn by doing, not always an easy prospect, but a necessary one. While you can teach them how to operate in a vacuum, without hands-on-experience, they will never learn to “hitting a shot out of a bunker, from the rough, or from behind a tree.”

Forshee has some suggestions about how to accomplish this.

First, let employees practice. Managers should know how to create activities and an environment that allows employees to practice their new skills. Next, they need to “play the course.” In the classroom, create some challenging real-world examples or scenarios that employees will encounter in their job, says Forshee.

Next, it's important to let call center employees demonstrate competency with the new skills they have acquired. Create a proficiency program that allows employees to demonstrate aptitude on the job, she suggests. Finally, she suggests that call center managers and executives “use the gallery.” Just like in golf, the gallery cheers on the leader. Use social media as a way for employees to continue their learning in an informal style.

By following these steps, she says, you can help prepare your employees for victory.

Hosted call center company InContact offers a suite of cloud-based call center solutions to accomplish call routing, self-service and agent optimization solutions.

Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli

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