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What should contact center agent training systems focus on?

Some contact center agent training systems miss the mark. When choosing technology, managers must be in tune with the frontline's needs.

When it comes to contact center agent training and staff performance management, it's all about focus. Contact center managers' focus can move around, typically from month to month or quarter to quarter, so they have to go back and evaluate their training process multiple times; it's never finished.

If your company wants to invest in technology for agent training, make sure you're looking at technology through the eyes of the agent; try to understand them, spend time with them. The decision-makers need to be connected to the frontline at the agent level.

Training is changing and the classroom format will always be in play, but there are new types of platforms out there. A lot of that is an extension of what is happening in the workforce optimization market. So, managers can identify that a particular agent has a problem through a quality management scenario and then managers need to be able to push training or specific insight to them to try to support them and improve what's happening around that interaction.

Agent training really begins to make a difference in the organization when it's tied to information that comes from the customer through surveys. It's about the ability to understand that, on this particular call, the customer indicated that something is a problem; now it begs the question, "From a technology perspective, what can I give to that agent? Is there a training I can provide to them that is specific to that issue? From a coaching aspect, how can I make sure that I have the right training to support where we're struggling?"

Whether those struggles are soft skills, product- or service-related or if the agent simply doesn't understand how to use the system, that's how you make a difference in the contact center and that's where technology is allowing us to go.

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