Guide to customer service training for new or struggling agents

Leverage our built-in customer service training features to coach new or struggling agents for both email and voice support.

Mai 18, 2021
Picture of call centre staff showing supervisor his screen

Labour shortages are growing across industries and geographies, and customer service leaders are struggling with high turnovers. In the face of staff attrition, managing customer expectations and new-joiners prove challenging—particularly during peak seasons, or when tenders are won. 

Where quality of service is paramount, training new agents up to par emerges as a key priority.

A three-pronged approach to customer service training

FocalScope’s help desk software comes with built-in features to facilitate effective training in a three-pronged approach:

    • Effective on-the-job training (OJT)
    • Supervisor interventions when required
    • Performance monitoring

The best part? All of this can be done virtually.

1. Provide effective OJT for new or struggling agents

The old adage „practice makes perfect“ applies: Agents need hands-on learning to get exposure on the different types of customers and requests out there. You can maximise their development by listening to live calls and provide real-time feedback, or debrief afterward with notes on what went well, and what didn’t. 

Call recordings and transcripts are useful for training as well. FocalScope automatically records calls and, using speech-to-text technology, transcribes them on the spot. With this, you can collect both positive and negative examples to illustrate the dos and don’ts of customer service.

Create your own customer service training manual

Collect a range of best practice call recordings and transcripts and compile these case studies into your own training playbook for new-joiner orientations, but also use them as a refresher course for tenured agents to drive continuous improvements. 

2. Intervene when the situation calls for it

Since it’s entirely possible for trainee agents to encounter complex situations or tough customers, it’s important for a supervisor to be able to step in. Early interventions allow you maintain customer satisfaction and service quality, while providing learn-by-example opportunities for fledgling agents.

Putting new agents in Training Mode allows a supervisor to review and edit every email handled by their trainee agent before it goes out to the customer. Here, the supervisor has a chance to correct any mistakes, adjust language, and provide feedback on the changes made.  

For live phone support, supervisors can whisper or barge into active calls they are monitoring, or when a trainee agent pings them for help. Agents may need assistance answering unconventional questions, handling unreasonable demands, or de-escalating a tense situation.

Snapshot: Examples of dashboards and reports commonly used for managing agent performance.

3. Monitor agent performance in the long term

When it’s time to remove the training wheels, it helps to still keep a watchful eye on your agents‘ overall performance. Leverage dashboards and reporting to track KPIs like average email handling times, CSAT and NPS scores, first call resolution (FCR) rates, and more. 

Noticed an underperforming agent?

Try listening to their recent call recordings to uncover root causes behind poor scores—be it inadequate product knowledge, speech clarity, or service speed. Pinpoint specific areas for improvement, and tailor training to tackle these points.

Explore FocalScope’s training features

Tried and tested, our customer service training features have allowed our clients to quickly orientate new agents. For some, like Agape’s call center team, customer service agents can be onboarded and trained up in just one day.

To learn more about our customer service training features, please contact us for a demo today.

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