- Remote training is here to stay
- With the right contact center software, trainers can overcome the challenges of remote training
- You can make remote training more effective and fun by including gamification and leveraging pre-recorded calls and on-screen interactions
Experienced contact center supervisors are used to training their new agents in person. Yet, health restrictions as well as the rise of the cloud contact center means agents can and should work remotely. How can you train them effectively from afar?
Here are the top tips for training contact center agents remotely, so your agents are confident, comfortable, and effective.
Remote training: a future fixture in the contact center landscape?
A global pandemic shuttered contact centers in 2020, forcing agents to work from home. At the same time, demand for contact centers skyrocketed. It became unsafe for agents to work in offices, yet there was still a need to hire new agents to meet demand.
Remote training solved those problems because it enabled training without compromising health. Yet, what will happen once health restrictions lift? Will we see an end to remote training? Probably not. A September 2020 JD Power survey showed that 86 percent of customer service organizations plan to offer a work-from-home model going forward.
Remote contact centers won’t be a blip on the radar, then; they’ll become a permanent fixture in the contact center landscape. As such, trainers and agents will have to adapt to remote training.
The challenges of remote training
Many experienced trainers feel uncomfortable with the idea of remote training. They’re used to being in the same room with newly-hired agents. Trainers are accustomed to reading agents’ body language to tell if they’re paying attention or if it’s time to go on a break.
These trainers know what to expect out of an in-person training session. A remote training session, on the other hand, could present some unexpected and unpleasant surprises. What if the technology doesn’t work properly? And how can you tell if someone is paying attention if that person has turned off the webcam?
How to overcome the challenges of remote training
The answer to effective remote training lies in using the right technological foundation. Cloud contact center software facilitates remote training by offering a secure, reliable platform for video conferencing and providing collaboration tools.
Offering a secure, reliable platform for video conferencing
When you’re training new agents remotely, you want to make sure nothing will interrupt you, especially not technical glitches or security breaches. Market-leading cloud contact center software has 99.999% uptime and stringent security defenses to ensure that you can deliver training without any hassles.
Providing collaboration tools
Having a secure, reliable video platform is one part of the equation. The second part of the equation involves collaboration tools so you can share content with your agents during training.
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What kinds of collaboration tools facilitate effective remote training? Screen sharing, file sharing, and chat all allow you to deliver effective training.
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Tips for remote training
How can you ensure you leverage your contact center software for successful remote agent training? Here are some tips:
- Use polls, quizzes, and virtual exercises to ensure agents are learning the material
- Incorporate gamification
- Utilize pre-recorded calls and on-screen interactions
- Ask for feedback after the training
- Hold one-on-one refresher sessions if necessary
Use polls, quizzes, and virtual exercises
One of the benefits of remote training is that you can use digital tools such as polls, quizzes, and even virtual exercises. These can grab and hold an agent’s attention. Drop a link to these sites in the chat so agents can access them, and you’ll gain insights into what they’ve learned.
“Gamification” applies game-style mechanics to non-game scenarios (such as training). What does it look like in practice?
You might do a training exercise and whoever performs the best receives a virtual badge. A leaderboard can track scores, and you could even have players progress to multiple levels.
Gamification can be an effective training technique because it engages employees in a way traditional training doesn’t. It encourages them to become emotionally involved (who hasn’t gotten excited when they’re winning, or disappointed when they’re losing?). Moreover, you can see in real-time how well the agents have absorbed the material.
Some contact center software incorporates gamification features into day-to-day operations, which motivates employees.
Utilize pre-recorded calls and on-screen interactions
Today’s contact centers handle multiple types of interactions; customers may call, but they’re also chatting, texting, and even holding video conferences with agents.
Cloud contact center software can record telephone and on-screen interactions so that managers can understand how employees perform (and coach them on how to do things differently, if necessary). These recordings can be used for training purposes through screen sharing. They’re excellent tools to show agents what to do in challenging situations.
Ask for feedback after the training
To understand how effective the training was, ask for feedback. You can drop a link to a survey into the chat, and agents can fill it out at their leisure.
Asking for feedback is crucial; it helps you understand what parts of the training the agents found helpful, which parts could have been delivered better, and which parts don’t add value. You can tailor future training accordingly.
Hold one-on-one refresher sessions if necessary
Everyone learns differently, and some people might benefit from one-on-one review about particular subjects.
The right contact center software also features unified communications functionality, so you can hold video conferences or telephone calls to go over particular subjects.
RingCentral helps you offer effective remote training
RingCentral’s cloud contact center software allows you to train your new agents remotely without compromising on quality training. Video conferencing, screen sharing, and a reliable platform means that you can deliver material face-to-face without worrying about technical glitches or security breaches. To learn more about RingCentral, get a demo.
Originally published Feb 03, 2022, updated Dec 30, 2022