Now, it is time to concentrate all your efforts on making this new venture a roaring success. In our opinion, the triumph of your outsourcing venture will be determined by the ability of your business solution provider to capture your brand’s value and follow your company’s procedures. Furthermore however, the ability to share information with your preferred call centre also plays a vital role. Therefore, it requires a double effort: you need to teach, they need to learn.
SMEs and big organizations outsource their customer services daily to medium and large call centres around the world and they all seek similar results – an improvement in customer satisfaction levels.
We have developed a list of ideologies that you should teach your call centre. Our team has 17 years providing best class customer support for national and international companies operating in Ireland, United Kingdom, United States of America, Australia and New Zealand. We believe that our agents are our biggest asset, and for this reason we strive to provide them with a solid training program that benefits our employees and clients alike. Sarah Foley, our Training Manager, has agreed to provide in this blog post a series of recommendations for first time outsourcers.
Q. Why training is so important in a call centre?
A. Call centres become the first contact point for new and existing customers. They provide information, answer doubts, provide re-assurance to clients and overall, increase sales and brand loyalty. Outsourcing for first time can be scary. You must trust a different organization with your most valuable asset: your clients. However, if you train your call centre properly, it will be a profitable venture for both. You can grow in partnership and integrate your contact centre team in your team: they will think like you, answer like you and become you when (and if) it is required.
Q. How to start training a call centre team?
A. Training depends of your outsourcing needs. A call centre can provide you with different services from basic message taking to fully integrated customer support. Training requirements increase with the complexity of your needs and your business type.
If you are planning a more integrated solution, the first step starts at home. You need to evaluate your business: review your internal processes, create a list of steps to follow and develop a list of frequent answered questions. This internal evaluation will help you to understand better your business and your clients’ needs. Ask also your team for additional input. All this knowledge is the first stepping stone to outsource successfully. On the other hand, if it is a basic service such as message taking or receptionist service rely on your new partners input. They will have broad experience in basic telephone answering etiquette.
Q. What about Information Technology (IT) training?
Again, it depends of your outsourcing needs. If you are planning to use your internal systems, then the Call Centre Team will need a crash course on the interface and access to a user guide. Call centre agents are IT savvy and pick up new systems quickly because of the varied campaigns that they have been involved in. Using your own systems have associated challenges but also multiple benefits. It will allow your company to integrate customer enquiries and orders with other departments such as finance, marketing and operations.
IT training is not required if you are using your preferred call centre systems. This option is recommendable if you are in a tight budget or schedule. You can always change to a more dedicated approach according to your business needs.
Q. What about clients’ values?
A. Values are a difficult thing to teach; that’s why it is important to select a business partner that has a similar organizational culture to yours. The alignment between both companies is easier if both teams work in the same direction. For example, at Arema Connect we pride ourselves on providing quality services at competitive prices. Therefore, companies that outsource to us believe in best class customer support, first call resolution and overall customer satisfaction.
Values alignment can be enhanced by integrating both teams. For example, one of our clients is planning a national event for its employees and they have invited Arema Connect agents working in their contract to attend. Actions like this improve the ‘buy in process’ and it is always nice to put a face to a voice.
Q. Any other recommendation?
Arema Connect has 16 years of experience training highly motivated call centre agents. Pat Keogh and I have had the pleasure of training a large numbers of in-house customer service representatives over the years. At Arema Connect, we strongly believe that a good training programme impacts on the future relationship between call centre and any outsourcing organization. My recommendation is ‘be accessible’. It is extremely relevant that information is quickly accessible to the agents while dealing with your customers. Let the Training Manager and your Key Account Manager manage the information flow and enjoy the process.
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