Training call center agents in-person can be challenging and mentally draining. However remote training can make you feel like a poorly equipped manager at times.
Having the right tools and techniques at your disposal can help you develop a team of call center agents that are effective. When agents are successful at their jobs they yield incredible business results.
What is whisper coaching?
In short, whisper coaching or call whispering as it is sometimes referred to is when a sales manager “whispers” in the ears of a call center agent during a call. The prospect on the other end does not hear anything the sales manager is saying. But the manager is helping the agent to guide the conversation to the desired goal.
The sales manager might let the agent know:
- When to close the deal
- When to ask an additional question
- Which information to provide
- When to hang up the call
Call whispering plays an important role in helping call center agents give contextual information to the callers. This helps to improve the overall customer experience. Call coaching helps provide information to improve an agent’s ability to engage the customer. In addition, it provides the agent with what he or she needs to solve the customer’s problem.
How whisper coaching can help train remote agents?
Call coaching is a very effective tool to use when training any new call agent or a remote team of calling agents. You can use this tool to coach your agent during the call rather than after the fact. Of course, you can go through the proper training channels before the agent starts calling. But it is likely they will need some guidance in their first few weeks of calling to hone their craft.
If call whispering is done effectively, the manager is at the same time helping the call center agent to build self-confidence in their:
- Sales voice
- Listening skills
- Ability to relay information effectively
This prepares the agent to be more efficient and to perform simultaneous tasks faster.
Call center managers and trainers can use call whispering as a time to not only offer positive and negative feedback, but to also role play and offer performance data or examples of other calls that have gone well. Additionally, you will want to set up and discuss what the call center agent’s goals are and identify and talk through some of the challenges or roadblocks that may arise.
Further, a progress monitoring plan is always a good idea. This helps both the manager and the call center agent to see how much improvement has been made and where other changes or improvements can be made. The manager and agent can also look at certain metrics together such as survey responses of the agent’s performance and how many deals were closed during a specific time period.
Tools for remote call center training
A successful remote call center will require some effort on the front end to set up and help all team members to get adjusted. With the right tools and collaboration methods at your disposal, you can train your remote call center agents to be effective and work as a team.
A standard call monitoring platform is essential when it comes to managing a remote call center workforce. Call monitoring will give sales managers the tools the need to train agents remotely, enter live calls, and offer whisper coaching as it is needed.
IT monitoring remote access software
Before remote agents even start their work, you must ensure your IT team is setup to handle and monitor accesses and networks for remote workers. This could include diagnosing problems before they become problems and any technical issues that may arise remotely.
Customer relationship management or CRM software
It is likely you already have this, but when agents are at home, they can miss critical updates from customers. A good CRM tool will ensure all information is up-to-date and accessible to agents during calls.
Call recording software
Agents have a lot to manage over the course of a single conversation with a customer or prospect. Recording conversations can give a point of reference to agents in case something is missed, or inaccurate information is gathered during the course of the conversation.
Depending on the type of work environment you currently have, it is even more important to keep an eye out for good performance. You can use metrics such as average call length, hold time, and number of transfers to evaluate an agent’s performance.
How to incentivize call center agents
Rewards or recognitions for a job well done are always welcome by employees. There are a number of ways you can incentivize call center agents.
These types of gifts make the agent feel unique and special. Go above and beyond a simple gift card or mug and show appreciation with something they will remember forever.
In the age of social distancing, holding a virtual competition can be just as fun as an in-person one especially if there are real prizes involved.
Set up a board in which agents can go and post something inspiring about a coworker. Pick one a month and donate to that agent’s favorite charity.
While coaching agents can be difficult to some managers, it doesn’t have to be. Use these tips and tools to get a handle on your remote team. And give your call center agents the confidence they need to be successful at their jobs, close deals, and make customers satisfied.