We like to do two types of ongoing training. The first is our F.E.E.D. program of continuous coaching. We provide each of our agents feedback every day. We find it helps improve the customer experience and productivity while keeping the entire team focused on improvement as an expected, positive goal.
Keep in mind, ANY training pulls the agent away from production to learn something. During a training period, agents will have productivity that is lower than the typical production rate. Depending on the type of training required, agent productivity could dip to as low as 50% of the production rate. This training time should be budgeted into the overall cost of the call center operation.
At GCS, we also like to do refresher training. This is where you have agents in refresher training for a certain number of hours each quarter or a percentage of the time. Refresher courses help reinforce the agents’ knowledge of the client, products, and policies. Plus, this is a useful time to train agents on new developments, like a change to the system, a new sales initiative, or a change in policy. Refresher training also impacts production time and should be budgeted as well.
Remember, the training should increase production, reduce errors and escalation, and other benefits that typically outweigh the cost. Plus, the employee is often energized by the training. They see it as the organization making an investment in their career and it reinforces their understanding of the customer relationship as important to the organization.