Contact center agent training can be a very big expenditure for a lot of organizations. For contact centers that experience higher agent turnover the expenditure is obviously much higher than for those with lower turnover. Regardless of your turnover situation, one thing is certain, the ROI (Return on Investment) on agent training is very important.
Because of the importance of agent training ROI you will find a large variation of ways that organizations actually conduct their initial or on-boarding agent training strategy. There has always been an attempt to strike the right balance between getting them what they need and getting them out on the floor.
Outside Forces on Contact Centers
One of the growing factors impacting agent training ROI is the tightening of the skilled labor market. In 2018, for the first time in US history, the number of unfilled positions in the United States economy was greater than the number of unemployed individuals seeking employment. It’s very unlikely those that are unemployed are skilled to fill contact center agent positions. Therefore, companies are less likely to have job candidates that possess desired skills.
Because of staffing needs more and more contact centers are going to find themselves needing to extend their time and initial training because of lower skill levels and new hires. This is going to make training ROI and even bigger issue.
Rapid changes are impacting virtually every aspect of business. In contact centers, these changes are often the most pronounced. The contact center is at the crossroads between company transformation, artificial intelligence, mobile devices, aging populations, younger and more savvy consumers, and a higher strategic-level importance for organizations. So, training has become more important than ever. Job candidates are not coming with modern skills and organizations must develop the needed skills.
A Hidden Opportunity
Now is the time for contact centers to really think about disrupting their traditional agent training models and investing smarter to get the greatest agent ROI. Yes, they can invest in new solutions like DashTrainer and TurningPoint but there is one thing that all contact centers can do that’s been known for decades and seldom taken advantage of – and it delivers a big ROI.
The answer to the question, “How do you get the greatest agent training ROI?” was not even a question I was looking to ask. The question came to me after I heard the answer from Penny Reynolds, a long-time and award-winning contact center trainer, during her web training seminar titled: How Do Your Call Center Supervisors Measure Up?.
In the web seminar Penny states:
“In all the years that we had The Call Center School, I think we saw the most impact and the most change at from those folks that went through a call center supervisory curriculum. I absolutely believe that is where there’s the most opportunity for education and the most opportunity for change and going in the right direction. You know I think out there in the education part of contact centers there’s a lot of money spent on frontline training in there should be. But without supervisors being equipped to lead and support and direct and coach, all that training in the world for the frontline is not going to take hold.”
Beyond The Training Event
Contact center agent training is not a once and done activity. It’s a journey. And it has very high strategic value to the customer experience and to your organizational performance. Amplifying and accelerating your agent training investment hinges upon what happens once they move out on the floor. On the floor is where you get your greatest ROI.