Working at building and improving Customer service skills and techniques is vital in any Call Centre. It is so easy for bad attitudes to creep in and these can quickly affect how the Customer Service agent performs with your Customer. It is relatively easy to run short, motivational Customer Service training sessions to improve focus and skills. Here we give some ideas for training modules.

Customer Service skills training in Call Centres often takes place once in a Customer Service Agent’s period of employment – at the beginning! It is assumed that the agent will continue to build focus, skills and performance with experience. In good Call Centres there is often call monitoring and individual one-to-one coaching sessions to improve calls. This is good and very valuable. However, the Team will benefit hugely from occasional short group Customer Service Training sessions.

The Nature of Training Sessions
The basic idea of the training session is that a small group works together in a structured, interactive training session to improve any aspect of their role. Each session will vary in length from 15 mins cut out of a Team Meeting, to a more formal 1 hour session.
The topics will be identified as needs arise.
These might be –
1. Product Knowledge
2. How to handle their FAQs
3. How to handle specific difficult situations
4. How to handle difficult Customer types
5. How to handle internal Customers
6. How to build better relationships with internal Customers
7. How to build positive belief in their products

The Benefits of Customer Service Training Sessions
The real benefit of these is that the Team are working together on their focus and skills. They share ideas, challenge each other to succeed and compete to be the best. This motivates the Team and fosters a positive, ‘can do’ attitude.
Working together in this way, they learn new tips and techniques. They also workshop together to get the best approach for their more difficult situations. This will build their confidence, and lead to better outcomes for the Customer and the Agent.

Holding the Customer Service Training Module
It is tricky to take agents off the phone, so the practical aspects of in-house training sessions needs to be well planned. However, it can be done. If you hold Team Meetings, one meeting a month can be devoted to training. After a while, you may persuade the Team to come in half hour early for a session, or you may be able to release some at a quiet time.

Think about who should run the session, and vary this. It could be the Company trainer, but it is more likely that a Team Leader, Quality Coach or senior members of the Team would be better placed to design and run a short training session.

Some Ideas for Training Sessions-
1. Workshopping on Difficult Issues Split the group in to sub-groups. Identify one difficult issue. Have a competition between the sub-groups as to who can come up with the best approach for this issues. Have them write down each suggestion. Finally, have them role-play to test out the best approach.
2. Workshop and improve a Section of the Call. Split the call into sections that reflect your Call Monitoring system. Take one section at one training session and gather improving this section. For example, better beginnings, better ways of questioning for needs, better ways of transferring calls etc.
3. Role-play and playback to improve Timing the Call. Work in pairs to role play a typical situation. Play back some calls looking at language and timing, when to move from one stage to another. Workshop ways of improving this. Role-play to test new technique.
4. Positive Language Workshop – take typical situations where we feel inclined to use negative language. Figure out a positive way of saying each situation.
Once you are up and running with these Customer Service Training Sessions, your Team can generate more relevant ideas themselves.

Author's Bio: 

Kate Tammemagi is runs a Training Company in Ireland. She designs and delivers Customer Service Training and Customer Care Courses.