Investing in call training for your team ranks just as important as onboarding new team members properly. The reps or agents on the phone need to be able to tell the company story just as well as the CEO while being able to create a better customer experience and handle any objection that comes their way.
If you’re looking to increase employee retention and engagement, improve the overall customer experience, and even save on resources, then call training needs to be your focus.
Here are some of the best practices when it comes to call training in a call center or with an inbound/outbound sales team.
Personalize Your Call Training Programs
Personalization takes more time, but it creates an environment that your team will want to be a part of. Each team member has their strengths and weaknesses. If you can build off their strengths with specific call coaching techniques but also show them how to improve then you’ll see a greater improvement. Plus if you’re a remote team, sources have seen a higher improvement in rep or agent overall call skills
Where do you start?
- Segment your training resources in groups. This includes videos, blogs, articles, mini-courses, product demos, etc.
- You can assign different training to reps or agents who need to focus on specific skills like first call resolution, handling common objections, or even building rapport with customers.
- Creating hyper-relevant training allows you to create small goals for each person.
Providing Both Positive and Constructive Feedback
Based on Martin Seligman’s work with positive psychology, the VIA Institute and Gallup found that employees feel more confident, self-aware and productive when focusing on strengths rather than weaknesses.
This has led to higher employee engagement, increased performance, and significantly lower attrition rates.
However, traditional workplaces focus on finding and fixing their employees’ weaknesses. The result? A negative employee experience, mediocre performance improvements, and employees who are less engaged.
While positive feedback is necessary, it does not mean that is all you should focus on. After trust and confidence is built through call coaching and training, it is important to give constructive feedback as well. Constructive feedback allows your team to focus on small improvements that they can see an immediate result from.
Here are some examples of each:
- Positive: ”It was great that you managed to complete all of your call notes and expand on next steps – let’s make sure this happens again next week!”
- Constructive: “I know you’ve dedicated quite a bit of time here and we’ve appreciated all your hard work. However, I have noticed in the past couple of weeks that some call goals haven’t been met. I know this is unlike you and I wanted to bring this issue up”
- Positive: “I’ve seen you implement those call training we reviewed last week, keep up the good work.”
- Constructive: “We love your enthusiasm and positive attitude at work, it’s refreshing! Recently, we’ve noticed how you speed through tasks quicker and they end up being incomplete or sloppy. I appreciate how you rarely turn in your work late, but let’s focus on trying to turn in quality work.”
Implement A Shadowing Program
Sometimes the most effective way to train a rep or agent is by example. And while we love when managers do this, it should also be done with your best reps or agents.
With a shadowing program, new hires can be paired with seasoned employees to experience first-hand how the pros handle a typical customer or prospect call. This kind of training session can be a great way to help them acquire the skill needed to address issues or objections in the future.
Plus including this with a formal onboarding program, you are setting your team up for success.
If you wanted to include this, but maybe a less intrusive way so new employees aren’t on live calls you can do a few things instead. You can have new hires listen to past call recordings that exemplify a positive experience as well as a negative experience.
With recordings, you can choose calls that demonstrate how to handle particular situations and problems. This allows you to target your call training as you’ve seen what works best when onboarding new employees.
Using Technology to Build An Effective Team
Now all of these best practices are great, but it’s difficult to implement them without the use of technology if your team is remote. As remote teams are the norm now-a-days, it’s important to ensure your call training doesn’t take a step back because of that.
How do you deliver a personalized training experience without technology? You can’t. It can be simple, creating a Google Drive folder specific for each employee. Or you can utilize a call training software that takes your employees through different trainings.
The same goes for feedback. If you can’t always be on every call, how are you supposed to give your team consistent feedback when they need it the most? This is where real-time call coaching software comes in. You can make an impact directly on the call, by storing all of your knowledge and team’s best practices into a live, call coaching software.
Luckily, we know a company that provides real-time call coaching software. It’s us! Check out Abstrakt and how it can help with live, call training for your team.