Adaptation of contact center operators Part 3. Education

How to successfully onboard an agent and a sales manager in a contact center. How to conduct effective training.

Adaptation of contact center operators Part 3. Education

This is the third part of a series of articles on the adaptation of managers and call center operators. Do not miss the previous ones: in the first part we talked about preliminary events , in the second – about interviews . In this article we will talk about the next stage – about training. Read how to organize effective training for sales managers and contact center operators.

Goals of adaptation in training

The general idea is to start integrating the newcomer into the corporate culture, without waiting for the moment he starts working independently. Goals:

  • Provide a level of psychological comfort for the newcomer so that he can best master the curriculum and accept the content of the contact center work culture. The consequence from the company's point of view is to reduce the outflow of staff at the training stage (for groups of 4 or more people, an outflow of 25-30% of students can be considered conditionally normal).
  • To form in the beginner a clear idea of the behavior that is desirable and undesirable from the point of view of the organization, that is, “install in his mind” clear “rules of the game”.

Learning structure

A beginner must master three training blocks:

  • Product
  • Sales and customer service techniques, including scripts (conversation scripts)
  • Work in CRM/telephony

Competently teach in this order, but it is often violated. Logic: the ability to work with CRM is a technical skill. With knowledge of the product and sales techniques, you can work even without CRM. In addition, learning to work in the system tends to be delayed and there is little time left to develop the really necessary knowledge and skills within the framework of a limited training course. Therefore, CRM is the last one on the list. In addition, CRM training with real product knowledge is easier. If sales techniques are learned first, it can be difficult for an intern to “transfer” them to a real product later. Therefore, logically, the product should come first, then sales, then CRM.

Requirements for the right curriculum

According to observations, in 80% of companies curricula are missing or poorly drawn up. Here are the requirements for a good proper curriculum:

  • For every 10-15 minutes of classes, the plan should have a separate specific item that says what is being studied, how and how (using what) you can check the learning outcomes for this item. That is, for every 8 hours of classes, the plan should have 32+ points. Less detailed plans do not work.
  • At least 50% (or better – 70%) of the study time should be allocated to the development of skills. Accordingly, the theory is from 30% to 50% of the time.
  • Each new school day should begin with an intermediate test of knowledge and skills that were mastered on the previous day. Critical! Knowledge is tested by tests and surveys, and skills are tested by practical tasks. It is impossible to check the ability with tests, this is a gross mistake (just as it is impossible to check the ability to ski with tests).
  • The curriculum should contain short stories about examples of desirable behavior (contributes to the social adaptation of trainees).
  • For each 8-hour day of training, the plan should include at least 6 practical exercises.
  • There should be a final exam with clearly defined criteria for assigning a “passing score”: passed or failed.
  • The curriculum should not imply the “sit, do nothing and watch” models, this is a critical mistake, which by the end of the training will “filter out” all the initiative guys, but those who like to “sit and watch” will remain (negative selection will occur).
  • The curriculum should be provided to all trainees at the start of training.
What we check How do we check Passing score
Knowledge At least 100 questions about the product/service 95% completely correct answers
Skills At least 10 test exercises, incl. at least 8 exercises simulating work with clients 8 or more exercises completed without critical errors

Curriculum harmonization

Ensure that the curriculum is coordinated with direct supervisors of managers or operators. It is very important that they clearly understand its content and can make comments and suggestions for updating and improving it, as well as (important!) requirements for emergency change. Otherwise, there is a far non-zero risk that the training department will start transferring incompletely trained personnel to them. Therefore, it is important to periodically (once every 3-4 months) the personal presence of someone from the management of the sales or telemarketing department in the classroom in order to identify deviations in training from actual needs and give feedback to the trainer.

study room

Requirements Notes
Wet cleaning and airing twice a day Provide a dressing room. Fur coats and dripping umbrellas in the study room are no fun. Trainees should be aware that cleaning is being done. It is advisable to keep a cleanliness log next to the entrance with marks about the cleaning time. We demonstrate the company's attention to detail to the interns. Let me remind you that an example of an approach to any task, even to such a simple one as cleaning, for an intern = a command for action. By the way, especially in large organizations and firms that work on weekends, ensure that the toilets are clean by the beginning of the Monday morning shift. If the company requires changeable shoes to be worn in autumn-spring-winter, the interns must also wear them.
Comfort I really once saw slightly warm batteries in a training center in a large bank in winter. And the case is far from isolated. Although it seems that it is easier to provide. Need chairs with writing pads
Walls must work Additional motivating/adapting factor:

  • Place on the walls of the training room portraits of senior and middle managers of the company or sales department or contact center, as well as other managers and leading specialists (not necessarily from the contact center or sales department) indicating their positions, periods of work (leaving the company “good” – also possible), as well as major achievements (for example, “personally supervised the opening of a branch in St. Petersburg”, “attracted Gazprom as a client”, etc.). Portraits should be professionally done and approximately in the same style, frames should look high quality, the placement should be chosen so that the inscriptions are easy to read, but so that the portraits themselves do not distract students' attention, for example, from a blackboard or a projector screen. It is also necessary to obtain written permission from all participants in the shooting to use their images. Your legal department will prepare it without any problems. Naturally, employees with real and truly outstanding achievements should get on the “wall of fame”.
  • If the "gallery of fame" in the interview room reflects "current" "operational" achievements, then the wall of fame in the training room should be "global", summing up significant results. Approximately 60% of its volume can be occupied by managers with significant final results (“best telemarketing specialist in 2015”, “salesperson who exceeded the plan for 3 years”, etc.)
  • It would be great if the trainer also briefly tells the newcomers about these people and their achievements during the introductory course. What we achieve with this is clear: on the one hand, we convey to the audience the idea that the company appreciates the results of employees, and, on the other hand, through the story we immerse people in the production culture of the organization. The method is good because it is inexpensive, and it works almost forever (do not forget to supplement the “opening day” once a year).
  • Post a large, professionally designed company org chart. Be sure to include the goals and objectives of each department. If the organization is large, indicate the number of departments (should sum up to the number of employees in the company that is announced to the candidate at the interview).

Roadmap of knowledge and skills

The Knowledge and Skills Roadmap is an attachment to the curriculum and should be given out to trainees along with it (or can be given out in blocks within each day of class). This is a table, the rows of which correspond to the training exercises, and the columns are the skills for the acquisition of which the exercises are performed. Here is an example of a fragment of a map in the sales area (if there is a “+” at the intersection of an exercise and a skill, this means that the exercise is needed to form the skill):

Exercises Skills
pass secretary Establish contact with the LPR
"Full name" + +
“I hit the right place” +
"Bridge" +

For service operators/managers, a roadmap is also being built. Ideally, a description can be attached to each exercise. The meaning of the card is to show the trainee what, why and in what order he does.

Some Useful Fun

To form the desired behavior among interns, shoot a video similar to this one or use it (thanks to the guys from MTS Ryazan). I recommend this video to everyone, it is funny, understandable and well remembered. Plus, it's short.

“Installing” the desired behavior

You can also offer a very good way to "implant the understanding of love for the motherland in the trainees' minds." It makes sense that during the training process, the trainer tells the operators real stories from the life of the company that show what behavior is desirable and what is not. Here is an example of such a story (by the way, it really took place, I testify, I worked in a company where it happened): Once in a call center, two operators – girls about 22 years old – were caught in peculiar conversations with male subscribers: text , which they spoke, went strictly according to the script, but the intonation … It was real phone sex. Both were asked to write a statement "of their own free will." The most interesting thing is that when the employees were told about the breakup, they completely denied their guilt, arguing that no one told them that they should not talk like that on the line. How much to tell? In practice, about 25-30 different stories per training course are enough for beginners to realize the boundaries of what is acceptable.

Motivational scheme for learning

If the company pays a tuition stipend, the amount of the stipend must be linked to the completion of the training tasks that are provided for in the plan. You can adjust the amount of payment by the coefficient “Completed training tasks correctly and on the first attempt / completed training tasks” or classify training tasks by degree of difficulty from 1 (easy) to 3 (difficult) and make fixed payments for completing tests and tasks of each type. Conditionally: for the correct performance of a simple task – 100 rubles, for the correct performance of a complex task – 500 rubles. The stipend must be paid in addition to the salary after working a full month, if the trainee at the final exam receives admission to independent work. Learning objectives should be specified in the Roadmap. “Cutoff from the bottom”, that is, non-payment of the entire scholarship if a certain number or % of assignments are not completed, is not required. Additionally, as a non-monetary incentive for training, simple ratings can be used – either by the number of correctly completed tasks (there should be a division into sub-ratings for theory and practice), or by the number of points scored by trainees, depending on the complexity of the tasks completed. Ratings can only be applied in strong groups and only starting from the fourth school day. If a company uses a rating system for already working managers, then newcomers, after admission to independent work, do not need to be included in this rating – they are demotivated. We need to wait until they reach the target values of individual indicators.

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