How to Recruit and Train Great Contact Center Agents

The contact center isn’t just a place where customers go when they need answers. It’s also an influential public relations tool, giving many customers a first impression of a company. A customer’s experience with a contact center can shape their future purchase decisions. Contact center agents need to be carefully chosen and well-trained in order to meet and exceed the needs of the customer.

  1. Hire Great People

It takes more time and energy to hire and train excellent agents than it does to hire the first person you sit down to interview, but the payoff is well worth it. To hire people who will excel at the job, create an Ideal Candidate Profile by assessing your best agents. What makes them great at their jobs? Hire agents with those qualities.

  1. Test Their Memory

In order for contact center agents to deliver superb customer care, they have to learn and remember so much about a business’ products or services. They also have to listen and relate to the customer. Being a good listener and recalling information is integral to the position and it’s something that can’t really be taught. During the interview stage, test their listening aptitude. Do they answer the question you asked or do they go off in another direction? Do they repeat part of your question back to you while answering?

  1. Assess Their Voice and Speaking Ability

Physical appearance shouldn’t affect the hiring of a new contact center agent. However, their voice should play a role in whether or not they’d be a good fit for your contact center. You don’t need to find someone who has a perfect-for-radio voice, but they should be able to speak clearly. While you can assess their voice by speaking with them, a more effective route is to use hiring technology like Hire IQ. These systems assess the interviewee’s voice and vocal characteristics to make sure their communication skills are up to par.

  1. Conduct Virtual Interviews

Hiring technology can also be used to conduct virtual interviews. After a candidate submits their application, they’ll be prompted to record their responses to questions. If they prefer, they can complete the interview at a later time. The contact center can then review the interview on their own schedule and assess the candidate’s answers in a matter of minutes. Overall, the process of interviewing and selecting agents is accelerated. When you’re able to quickly hire the best candidates, you won’t have to worry that they’ll take another job offer in the interim.

  1. Appeal to Different Learning Styles

Everyone has their own style of learning. Some of your agents may learn best through auditory lessons, while others may need to see something visual or have a first-hand experience to truly understand it. A solid training program appeals to all different learning styles so that each agent can get the best education possible.

Hiring great agents is an important first step, but it’s not the end of the process. In order for agents to stay great, they have to be prepared for their new role. When agents are able to deliver excellent customer service, both the contact center and the customer benefit. High-performing agents are happier, which results in a positive customer experience, which then reinforces an agent’s job satisfaction.

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