How to Build a Resilient Call Center
Call centers deal with a lot of change! Especially in the year 2020. Everyone has had to think about redundancy, business continuity plans, staffing, work from home, and a whole host of other issues.
But have you looked at how resilient your training program is to change? Can it deal with changes in:
- People (new hires or attrition)
- Location (On-premise vs. Work from home)
- Process (the procedures your agents need to follow and the answers they need to provide)
In this article, I am going to share some highlights about how to measure the resiliency of your training program and how to improve it. If you would like a more in-depth discussion of this topic, be sure to check out our 30-minute webinar recording, "Building a Resilient Call Center Training Program.”
How to measure the resiliency of your training program
Let's break this down into three groups: People, Location, and Process.
- When you hire a new agent, how many weeks does it take before they can function independently without needing constant training or coaching?
- When you need to cross-train agents to meet changing needs, how many weeks does it take for them to become independent?
- When a trainer leaves your organization, how long does it take your training program to recover?
If you answer more than 1 to 2 weeks to any of these questions, then you would have a low resiliency to changes in people in your organization. Any change in people causes a major disruption.
Most call centers have had to adapt to a remote training model at some point over the last year.
- How much longer does remote training take?
- What is the impact of remote training on your metrics?
- How much longer does it take agents who were trained remotely to become fully proficient?
The answer to these questions will give you a good idea as to how resilient your training program is to locational change.
- When a major procedure changes, how long does it take to re-train your agents?
- When the software tools your agents use change, how long does it take your agents to adapt?
If the answer to either of these questions is in weeks instead of days or hours, then your call center is not very resilient to changes in process.
What do I do if I want to improve my resilience to change?
The key to increasing resiliency is to:
- Systematize your calls
- Eliminate memorization
If you look at each of the changes mentioned above, they can all be easily navigated if agents aren't required to memorize policies or procedures. If instead they can be guided through every call — knowing exactly what to say, ask, and do without putting the caller on hold — then your call center can easily adapt to any changes in people, location, or process.
Does that sound impossible? It's not. We have worked with multiple call centers that are proving that when you remove memorization from your training you increase the resiliency of your call center.
We have had multiple customers that have seen training times drop from 6 weeks or more. Cross-training time at one client dropped from 3 weeks down to 1 day.
Call centers that have had to switch to a remote model have reported no increase in training time or decrease in metrics.
And call centers that are dealing with processes that are constantly changing are no longer having to retrain their agents. Changes in process that used to take up to 2 weeks to ripple through the call center now happen instantly.
It all comes down to removing the need for memorization. It is a different way of thinking, and a different way of working, but it can help your call center be prepared for any change that comes at it.
How can I learn more?
If you want to dive a little deeper into this topic, check out our 30-minute workshop, "How to Build a Resilient Call Center.” We talk about all of these concepts in more depth and give free tools to help you systematize your call flows.
If you would like to learn how we can help you build resilience in your call center, then schedule a time to meet with our team. We would be happy to share additional insights into how call centers are removing memorization from their training processes.