Soft skill training is an important part of any contact centre. It helps to improve the fundamental skills that customer service agents and sales operatives require to meet targets and to maintain strictly high standards of performance. Without the requisite soft skills, a customer service team will never be able to meet the expectations of customers, and in turn this leads to brand reputation that stagnates or begins to reverse, as customers are not delivered the standards, they are accustomed to.
It is therefore important that should you be looking to hire a contact centre team, that you choose a service that has a highly trained team of customer service operatives that not only fit the brief in terms of your products and services, and brand consistency, but a team that also has all of the necessary soft skills to improve the service you provide. This can take the form of regular training courses, or individual improvement, but should be consistent, with top-down constructive feedback, call analysis, and other measures to ensure there is a consistent drive to improve standards throughout the company. If you can guarantee this, you are more likely to experience a service that enhances your brand and improves customer relations and brand reputation.
How should soft skills training be developed to make the most of your staff?
Whereas certain innate skills and intelligence remain at a similar standard or rate throughout your adult life, there are other things that can be developed and trained, such as soft skills.
The first thing that call centre operatives should be tasked with is to understand that there is a genuine way to change and improve. As soon as they have accepted this and can see that your company offers a framework in which they can grow as an individual and make a career, you can begin to implement positive change through carefully crafted professional training programmes.
Once you have laid out a plan of action and stated that your company is a place where staff can engage with learning and look at positive individual development as a way of building a career and moving up through the organisation, you should provide the necessary learning functions and processes. This can be implemented in several ways, whether compulsory or voluntary, and with time off to study, extra pay, or other personal incentives.
Training courses should always include some way to test whether your staff have understood everything being taught. This doesn’t have to be in the form of a traditional written test, but it can be. It is important that you can evaluate how successful the current process is, in order to enact genuine change.
After the training process, build communication channels where there is time for individual staff members to reflect and provide constructive feedback on their own performance but also on how they felt the training was performed.
Training has to be specific and set clear goals for all participants to reach. Without this there is little motivation to succeed, and over time you should also implement access to refresher courses to ensure that your staff are maintaining the soft skills they have previously been taught.