Do you have the good intentions of getting through your agents’ annual training programmes, but never seem to get there? By December you know you’re just not going to make it.
Every long-term strategic plan, mid-term staffing projection and short-term staffing view has a provision for training built into it. Whether this is to create time for mandatory training, regulatory training, product updates, soft-skill training or just regular coaching, every contact centre has the best intentions.
When service levels are squeezed, training is often the first casualty with operations looking to react quickly to minimise the impact. Often this results in the cancellation of off-phone activities to maximise available staff to ensure service levels have the best chance of recovery. As a result agents with planned training time are used to plug the gaps caused by the redeployed agents.
Soon enough even with those best intentions your staff feel the promise of improved coaching and development is not being kept. Performance issues go unchallenged and both the customer and agent experience can suffer.
It’s hard to have the confidence that in the next 30 minutes call volumes will not spike and cause a service level crisis. Putting agents back on training can make supervisors feel very uncomfortable after dealing with a surge in demand.
Only by predicting what is going to happen in the future can this step be taken with the reassurance that service levels will be protected. This is the heart of proactive real-time management – being able to predict what’s around the corner. When a contact centre undertakes proactive real-time management, agents’ training programmes are not only completed, management’s promises are also kept and customer get the great service they deserve.