Proper training and onboarding for support agents not only helps them get up-and-running faster and more efficiently, but it can also be the difference between an average and a great customer experience. And now, with support teams predominately remote, providing agents with the training they need has become even more essential.
Inexperienced agents need more in-depth training like call scripts, platform demos, and lessons on best practices. Experienced agents will already have the conversational and product knowledge and may only need support platform training.
Remote agents aren’t disadvantaged by not having onsite training, It’s just more important that their training is structured and contains all the best practices to be successful.
Use an Accessible Cloud-native Platform
Agents need to be able to access their support platform easily and from anywhere. As opposed to installing multiple applications, let agents sign in through an internet browser. With an internet browser and steady WiFi connection, agents can access all the tools they need to service customers no matter where they are.
Additionally, the support instance can be customized and set up for that agent’s needs. Supervisors will be able to monitor actions in the platform, ensure security compliance, and be able to help agents when necessary.
No one likes to sit and watch videos and then answer a set of questions for hours. Instead of this style of onboarding, supervisors and Human Resources should use interactive training. Interactive training enables agents to actively learn about the platform, best practices, and more.
An entry-level agent is going to be presented a lot of information and will get overwhelmed if it’s just thrown at them. Interactive lessons will help them learn the context and gain a better understanding. Experienced agents can have more platform-specific training to help them learn about all the relevant options to help resolve issues efficiently.
Leveled Training and Targeted Coaching
Agent onboarding isn’t a one day or even a one-week event. It’s an ongoing process to bring agents up to speed on your company’s support standards. Supervisors should have an onboarding schedule that compounds previous lessons to educate new agents on the entire scope of the information they need.
With interactive training, supervisors can see where agents need more support and can offer more training to address these points. Standardized training won’t produce an agent with the exact same skill set every single time. It will actually produce the opposite with agents needing more training across a wider range of issues.
Live Agent Training with Video
With a dispersed team, it can sometimes be difficult to see how agents respond to different situations in real-time. Live training gives supervisors the opportunity to coach agents through unknown situations. By using video, supervisors can also see how agents physically react to these situations and give feedback. Even though agents won’t be recorded on a daily basis, seeing physical cues can be helpful to train agents.
Access to Documents and Resources
Agents need access to resources that will help them with their job. During onboarding, they should be given links to relevant information sources and shown different resources exist. While it might not be possible to review them all, knowing the information exists and linking it can assist in an agent’s own self-service problem-solving skills.
Call Recording, Monitoring, and Reporting
When agents are training, supervisors should record calls to check and review the interactions. Going through practice calls can hone how agents approach different problems and learn how to rely less on using a script. Agents need to go through different types of calls and scenarios in order to become familiar with the issues they’ll commonly deal with.
Monitoring calls and creating initial reports gives supervisors a rough baseline of the agent’s ability. These records will help agents gain more experience and allow supervisors to track progress and results.
Tips from Experienced Agents
Experienced agents will always know the best platform tips and tricks and are a great source of knowledge and experience new agents can lean on. To help new hires, schedule one-on-one meetings between new and experienced support agents to get to know their coworkers and also get some hints. It may be awkward in the beginning, especially if they’re remote, but this will help create open communication between the team early on.
Engage New Agent Hires
Newly hired remote agents may already feel distant. It’s essential for supervisors to give them all the tools and training they need to be successful. With creative and engaging training, agents are learning through more dynamic lessons, training with live video and recording help identify areas for improvement, and engaging experienced team members early helps create a better atmosphere.
Remote work will always be challenging at times and it’s up to supervisors to alleviate this as much as possible while building and managing efficient and effective support teams.