Adaptation of contact center operators Part 5 Starting independent work

How to organize independent work of agents who recently joined the company. Agent adaptation.

Adaptation of contact center operators Part 5 Starting independent work

This is the final article on the topic of adaptation of operators and sales managers. Topics of previous articles on adaptation of new employees:

  1. preliminary activities.
  2. Nuances in the interview.
  3. Training .
  4. Team communication.

In this article, we will tell you how to organize independent work for sales managers and operators who have recently got a job in your company.

Rite of Initiation"

We use a simple but fun rite of passage. Introduce the newcomer to colleagues, other operators in the group:

  • The introduction (and, if necessary, an introductory briefing) takes place before the start of the work shift
  • The newcomer is introduced first, then colleagues are introduced to the newcomer
  • When a newcomer is introduced, they talk about his achievements in the learning process.
  • When they introduce colleagues, they explain the main achievements of each of them in their work and say on what issue they can turn to. It is advisable to make a note.
  • Colleagues congratulate the newcomer on the successful completion of training and obtaining admission to independent work. The most experienced operator of the group (but not the supervisor) gives the newcomer a symbolic gift. Usually these are all sorts of cool things, but in the simplest version, we order a cup with the newcomer's name and corporate symbols.
  • After the first call handled by a newcomer, I usually tell a story about an operator who, after a long preparation on a very important project, brilliantly received the first call and … lost consciousness (a real fact, only the receiver hit the floor).
  • But the operator must make the second call to the general director or another top manager of the company (or accept it from him), of course, without knowing about it. At the end of the conversation, the director should introduce himself and also congratulate the operator on the start of independent work (by the way, in the process of processing a contact it is always very interesting to watch the facial expression of the trainer), the trainer is present at the procedure.
  • After that, the employee receives a personal headset and is considered accepted for the position of operator/manager.

Newbie workplace location

If possible, locate the newcomer's workplace as far away from existing employees as possible (but not from the mentor/supervisor), ideally in a separate room. The reason is that even the most experienced managers make sales mistakes, and newcomers tend to copy these mistakes (“well, Vasya says so”). Sometimes the situation looks like the department is infected with a mental fungus, so employees actively copy the wrong behavior from each other and “spoil” newcomers.

Individual development plans

Having individual (rather than generalized) development plans (IDPs) for a beginner is very important for adaptation. The IWP should be compiled by the manager together with the newcomer based on the results of providing him with feedback on the work by the manager. The IPR form can be any, but it must contain specific goals, clear criteria for evaluating the result, actions to achieve the goals and control dates. As far as dates go, I recommend a plan sample rate of 3-4 manager business days after the first two weeks of work, and daily before then. We use both graphical and tabular representation of the IPR (the schedule must be programmed, for departments that consist of more than 3 people it takes a long time to build the schedule). The graphics are convenient for displaying indicators, and the table is for fixing tasks. In principle, tasks can also be displayed on the chart, but it turns out to be overloaded. Everything looks like this: IndividualIndividual Naturally, the achievement of IPR goals does not occur on its own, but with the direct help of a mentor or supervisor. Here are the approximate time spent by a senior employee on “servicing” an IPR newcomer: затраты

"Grace period"

Some organizations, after allowing a new manager to work independently, establish a “grace period” – the time during which individual performance does not affect the variable part of income and the newcomer receives money, as if the variable part of his income was fixed at a certain level. I am against this approach and I believe that if the training is well-organized and the trainee has become the final exam, then he should be “in a helmet, boots, just like everyone else”. However, there are exceptions. You can set a “grace period” of 3-5 business days if:

  • The project is very rich in information (such as banking).
  • The nomenclature line of products / services of the company – more than 100 positions in those product groups that the manager serves.
  • The manager has to work in more than three information systems in parallel.

Continuity of learning

Often in smaller companies that have limited available time for qualified trainers, this is a problem. On the other hand, even with the right training people, it can be difficult to get operators or salespeople out of the "production cycle" to get a full training: someone has to make calls, take calls, and make sales every day. In addition, not all the information received during the training is assimilated. Depending on the type of training, the level of training of the trainer and the nature of the material, the effectiveness of classes may not exceed 20-30%. In addition, even ideal training does not provide stable skills, but only knowledge and skills that later have to be consolidated by practice. Therefore, the necessary additional “mechanics” that would eliminate these shortcomings. Solution. On a daily (this is important) basis, the responsible employee performs the selection of educational material. The responsible employee can be a coach, and in small companies – the head of the sales department or commercial director (after all, it is their direct responsibility to manage the qualifications of subordinates, and they themselves are likely to discover something new). Educational materials in this case are videos of qualified sales professionals posted in the public domain. For example, the Youtube channel of an excellent professional Yevgeny Kolotilov includes a selection of more than 400 videos. But in a “pure form” you shouldn’t bring the videos to your subordinates, at least because watching them still takes time: usually 10-15 minutes. The videos must be downloaded and cut so that the rest is one thought, idea or one technique. For example, about a very effective method: -Is there a discount? – I can give you an estimate. Eugene talks for about 5 minutes, while the description of the essence of the reception does not take more than 30 seconds. A short thought is easy to understand and remember. It is easy to include in the arsenal of methods of the seller. It is convenient to assemble a collection from short videos, which can then be used for a quick additional pumping of beginners' skills. When the videos are ready, they should be distributed to the workplaces of managers (great if they have a corporate personal account). When they arrive at work, salespeople can view the video of the day and start making calls. With a competent approach, in 3 months their “arsenal” will include about 50-60 tools that will cover the vast majority of practical situations. Important! The foregoing does not cancel other types of regular classes, for example, analyzing mistakes with the leader.

Payment for regular training

There is a practice of paying for hours of periodic training at a reduced rate. This leads to the fact that managers resist training and sessions with a supervisor / mentor: “why do I get paid less, I'd rather call”. And you need to deal with it, because business is still interested not in calls, but in the conversion of contacts into transactions. Therefore, for training hours, a beginner should receive, based on [average | projected] income with 100% implementation of the plan. If this rule is not followed, the employee is demotivated to study.

Need for business knowledge

Business people are well aware that customer knowledge helps to expand the customer base and reduce churn. Some elements of this knowledge, for example, in relation to customer behavior, may be needed by a sales manager or contact center operator to select the most optimal behavior or nature of sales arguments. The source of information on the issue is usually the marketing department (if your contact center is outsourced, be sure to talk to the customer's marketers). Examples of knowledge: On average, 92% of the transitions of individual customers from Internet provider No. 1 to provider No. 2 are due to reasons P1, P2, P3, P4 (in descending order of their importance). or According to a study conducted in January 2017, Moscow customers who spend on mobile communications from 2,000 rubles / month. consider possible savings of less than 400 rubles / month. as unimportant and unimportant to them personally. It is better to transfer this knowledge to managers in small portions for better memorization.

"Sound of the Day"

In a simple version of this technique, each manager at the end of the day has the right to submit their best or most interesting conversation to management for consideration. During the mini-competition, one best file is selected per day (it is important to establish objective evaluation criteria), which the next day, at the beginning of the shift, is brought along with a video on a new topic to all managers of the department in the context of “look how competently the manager Vasily spoke with the client yesterday ". If the conversation is long, it is also cut off, leaving only the moment of the seller's "finest hour" in it (it is advisable to always do this). In this form, the scheme is quite working and gives a powerful motivational effect. But it can be further modified by asking sellers only for conversations where the technique they are familiar with was used. Additionally, you can ask them to fill out an electronic questionnaire of 2-3 questions to get feedback on whether the technique worked, and if not, why they think it happened. In general, the time for studying materials for self-education should not take the manager more than 7 minutes a day. Practice can be developed by holding mini-competitions “sale of the week” and “sale of the month”, in the evaluation of the results of which the company’s management must necessarily participate (by the way, this is very interesting, fun and also has an excellent motivational effect). The director does not spend a lot of time, it is not a problem to evaluate 4-5 files per month and choose the best one. It also opens up a lot of scope for the introduction of gamification techniques and the construction of rating systems that are aimed at solving the problem of “motivation without investment”.

Evaluation of the results of professional adaptation

For most cases, a simple table will do: Grade Assessing the results of social adaptation If you want to understand how a newcomer has adapted to the group, you can measure the index of his sociometric status (SIS). Additions:

  • The AIS of a particular employee should be measured no earlier than his 45th-50th work shift. If you have several newcomers, it is wise to wait until everyone has "accumulated" a sufficient number of work shifts.
  • In the ISS group, it is better not to measure more than 3 times a year.
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