9 Onboarding Tips for Contact Center Agents

July 6, 2021

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A strong onboarding program is essential for any business. It sets up employees for success and can support retention. This is especially true for contact center agents. Whether onboarding takes place on-site or remotely, these onboarding tips for contact center agents are sure to make the process seamless and effective.

Why Onboarding Matters

Onboarding is the first experience new hires have, and it sets the stage for future engagement and retention. According to a survey, great onboarding improves employee retention by 82 percent and productivity by over 70 percent. Conversely, a negative onboarding experience results in employees being twice as likely to seek other jobs.

Turnover is expensive, so to keep this from happening to your contact center, you should develop a strong onboarding strategy that prepares employees for their role and acclimates them to your company culture.

The Best Contact Center Agents Onboarding Tips

Every onboarding program will be unique based on your business model and culture. However, some fundamentals can improve the process and drive engagement.

Develop an Onboarding Strategy

The first tip to better onboarding is documenting your strategy. It will be useful as you scale up so that the experience is consistent. Your plan should include:

  • Defining what agents need to know about the company, products, and its customers
  • How you’ll deliver training
  • Communication best practices for sharing information
  • Setting expectations for new hires
  • The documents and resources that should go in your contact center knowledge base

Set Expectations Before Day One

When someone begins a new job, they often have little information about what happens next. Before their first day, you should develop welcome materials that map out some of the activities and training for the days ahead. This allows employees to be prepared and not feel anxious about what to expect.

Create a Knowledge Base

New hires need resources that are easy to access. Organizing information into a knowledge base is a good solution for this. This repository can include steps and processes documents and other media like videos.

If your training materials aren’t in a centralized hub, employees could waste time hunting for them, which is frustrating. Instead, use a secure file sharing platform that’s cloud-based. Aggregating content in this approach assures that agents can access it from anywhere with an internet connection.

Include Interactive Training Exercises

Call center agents spend their time interacting with customers, so they need practice. Instead of only providing passive ways of learning, you should supplement this with more interactive options.

You can develop various modules that create real-world experiences so that agents build their confidence through every interaction. In addition, having different types of training supports lots of diverse learners.

Match New Hires to Mentors

Having a mentoring program for your call center agents could make them feel comfortable and accelerate their learning. Call center work can sometimes be isolating because interactions are primarily with customers, not other employees.

Assigning a veteran mentor to new employees helps bring them into the fold. Those mentors can foster growth and offer support. They can also answer questions about processes, challenges, and culture.

Extend Onboarding Beyond a Week

Onboarding shouldn’t last just a week. The first week will be more intense with training on how to serve customers best, the company’s products or services, and call center software. As agents begin to settle into work and find their rhythm, don’t stop acclimating or coaching them.

The mentor network will go beyond the first week, and training opportunities should continue for all agents. While independence and initiative are great attributes for agents, you shouldn’t leave them to fend for themselves.

Inform Agents of Performance Metrics that Matter

Contact center software enables the tracking of many KPIs (key performance indicators). Thus, it’s crucial to advise new hires of these metrics that matter so they can have insights into how you gauge contact center performance.

The data you collect from call center operations should be shareable with your team. It’s valuable information that can support better outcomes. In addition to metrics, your supervisors can also listen to calls and then provide collaborative coaching to agents that highlight what they are doing well and areas where they have the opportunity to improve.

Ensure They Have What They Need for Success

Contact center agents all require fundamentals for success. The knowledge base and other training materials are a big part of this, but so are the operational aspects. They need robust software that makes their job easier, along with a computer ready to go and a professional headset. If your agents are remote, be sure to ship them these things ahead of their start date.

Check-In with New Hires at Intervals

If you want to understand if your onboarding process is effective, ask those going through it. For example, you can survey your new hires at 30, 60, and 90 days to understand how they are doing. They could offer feedback that helps you address gaps or confirm you’re handling onboarding effectively.

Empower Your Contact Center Agents with Engaging Onboarding

Happy, well-trained, and valued employees are key to company success and positive customer interactions. That all starts from the moment they begin work. With these contact center onboarding tips, you can build or enhance your program.

Don’t forget about having the right technology. Explore how our contact center software works and how it supports agents.

The Intermedia Team

Intermedia helps businesses of all sizes connect better – through voice, video conferencing, chat, contact center, business email and productivity, file sharing and backup, security, archiving, and more – from wherever, whenever. And, as a partner-first company, Intermedia goes to work for our channel partners to help them grow their revenue and maximize their success.

July 6, 2021

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