The coronavirus pandemic has drastically changed our lives during the past 2 years. Businesses had to adapt to remote working conditions, virtual meetings and online staff management – and it presented countless challenges to most companies.
Many had tried to postpone hiring new employees, expecting the pandemic to finish and everybody to return to the office after a couple month. However, time was passing fast and the lack of workforce in certain positions put a burden on the existing staff. Recruitment had to start.
Most call centres operate with a higher attrition rate than other workplaces, so the need to hire and train new agents remotely was an expected outcome of the closed offices. But it’s not as easy as it sounds.
Holding a virtual onboarding is not only different because the communication happens online, but the trainers and the newcomers must adapt to new methods of presenting, sharing, speaking and questioning in order to be effective and have the same or at least similar quality outcome as the original live training sessions.
In this post we have gathered some tips and tricks on how to start onboarding call center agents remotely or how to improve the process, if you are already doing it.
- Have a standardized virtual training program in place
In order to achieve the best results, the onboarding strategy and process have to stay consistent. You need to make sure that the information being transferred is the same for every agent, everyone is being taught the same protocols and methodology.
As a first step, sit down with all the relevant departments involved in the training of newcomers and come up with a comprehensive list of tasks on what needs to be taught. Try to think of every detail that’s important and prepare the materials informative, but easy to understand without additional help as well.
- Use different training materials
Try mixing up traditional training materials, such as presentations with media (videos, call recordings) to capture the audience’s attention better and keep the session interesting.
Be sure to include quizzes and tests from time to time in order to summarize and reflect on gained knowledge, as well as reinforce it.
As part of the program, try to create an opportunity to hold individual trainings also. People naturally tend to be shy when speaking in front of a group, and it often gets worse with virtual sessions. One-on-one chats present the chance for every member to talk to the trainer privately, ask questions and discuss doubts.
- Focus on keeping everyone engaged
Probably one of the biggest challenges of virtually training newcomers is to keep everyone active and engaged during the session. Unfortunately, it’s the price we have to pay when the participants are not physically in the same room, but there are ways to overcome this issue.
Ask trainees to turn on their cameras, so you can monitor reactions, facial clues and level of engagement.
Make sure you encourage participation by asking questions, having each agent speak up occasionally. This method is not only fostering engagement, but also helps you to follow the level of understanding and gives everyone a chance to share opinions and questions on certain topics.
Aside from captivating newcomers’ attention through the training course, it’s important to drive engagement during their first few weeks of employment as well. Help them feel aligned with company values and make sure that they are recognized for their hard work.
Set individual goals, celebrate every small achievement and schedule daily check-ups in order to form a connection and set your new colleagues up for success.
- Store training materials in the cloud
Training and working remotely, disables employees to have live contact with their peers, so the flow of information is slower, simply because when you encounter a problem, you cannot just turn to the colleague sitting next to you to help you out.
Aside from providing an always available support solution (such as a chat group), make sure to enable agents to retrieve data as well.
Storing training materials in the cloud, easily accessible to all employees empowers agents to take learning into their own hands. They can search solutions for their issues on their own and seek opportunities to improve, which leads to speeding up their onboarding.
Cloud based services make storing and sharing data very simple. End-to-end encryptions keep the files secure, you can also assign role-based access, so information doesn’t end up in the wrong hands.
- Choose an efficient remote call center technology
Imagine starting a new job in a call center, learning a bunch of rules, protocols, working methods and eventually you have to tackle the CRM software as well. We can all agree, that it’s a hard task to remember all the components, where to click, what to open, how to operate, while adjusting to your new job parallelly.
As management, most you can do for your newcomers is to opt for an easy to understand, intuitive call centre software that takes the edge off of operational tasks and allows agents to focus on their actual work.
At Nexios we have a philosophy to keep things simple but effective, so navigating dashboards is as easy as surfing on social media. Don’t waste precious training time to teach them how to use a complicated software, rather utilize those hours to practice the call center craft.
Request a demo now and see it for yourself!