Companies are always looking for ways to grow their business without investing much money. One great way to do this is to hire telephone answering services. By exploring this option, a company frees up more time for employees to focus on other vital tasks like advertising and new customer acquisition. Outsourcing to answering services at one point only included the ability to answer calls and take messages. However, due to the growth of call center software and telecom technology, outsourcing now includes appointment setting, order entry, customer service assistance, CRM integration and more. With all of these “other” things an answering service can do, there is more room for error. Things were simpler when outsourcing was just answering calls. Today’s call centers need to make sure their operators are always at the top of their game.
Outsourcing takes place when a company uses a third party to handle some specific business need. This third party usually specializes in a particular field ensuring they will provide a professional service with lower cost & higher quality versus performing the same service in house. In a call center, you rely on the operator to represent your business, and the operator is responsible for representing the business in the best way possible. The operators are the most important part of the outsourcing model.
It is crucial that call center operators are ready to handle any inbound customer request. No one wants to hear someone fumbling for answers. It makes the business they are representing look unprofessional and will surely inhibit the growth of the call center itself. Because proper customer representation is so important, call center managers need to employ the most effective training techniques. First, your operators need to be schooled in proper communication, customer retention, and avoiding mistakes.
Since call centers are constantly advancing in terms of technology, operators must also be trained on the platform upgrades. During any training process, it is important for management to examine the strengths and weaknesses of each individual employee. By doing this, they will be able to determine what types of jobs this employee will be able to handle and can estimate what to expect out of this operator. No operator is 100% perfect and the training process can help you identify strengths and weakness and allocate the employees properly within your structure. This analysis + allocation process makes even the weakest CSR’s productive.
Another great training technique is observation. Having the operator observe a current employee will help them to learn first-hand how to handle different situations. If your call center uses overseas operators as failsafe rollover employees or as your main operator pool, it is important they are proficient English speakers. If you notice any weak spots with an employee’s pronunciation or meter of speech, you can hold speaking classes or mock calls to help improve on their accents.
Any call center employee needs to understand their job is as much about customer service as efficiency. Call handling training will help CSR’s get to the root of a customers problem quickly. Operators need to understand that any situation, especially emergencies, can be resolved quicker using the right techniques.
An operator must go through many different training programs after being hired as a CSR. And, the most successful telephone answering services engage their operators in ongoing training to stay professional. Just answering calls is not enough of a training process. There needs to be methods to assess faults and weaknesses and fix them before they hurt your reputation, or worse yet, the reputation of your customers.