Build Balanced Training for High Performance & Customer Satisfaction

When you align training of the collections call model framework with competencies that drive performance, you achieve success. The key is to balance lecture and activities within the training to reinforce the right behaviors. I’ll break down the structure of the “better approach to training” in this blog.

Use Balance as a Better Approach to Training

Your training should result in high performance levels while ultimately providing value and satisfaction to your customers and agents. So, you need to focus your training on job tasks as well as soft skills.  The important part of your effort is how you connect everything to achieve the right balance of call control and empathetic customer service.

Keep Participants Engaged by Mixing in Different Learning Activities

Design your training to include lecture, call listening, role play, knowledge checks and leader-led activities.

How to do it:

  • Lecture helps communicate the ‘what and why’ and call listening helps identify what success sounds like. Activities should include a mix of quizzes, role plays and games that practice good communication habits.
  • Gain buy-in from training participants by explaining how it will help them increase performance. Then, practice the techniques repeatedly to develop good habits.
  • Soft skill training is completed by teaching how to recognize customer triggers in phone conversations by understanding tone, speech pattern and select words. Reinforce the soft skills in the activities. I’ve used scripts to build a foundation then followed up with role play and practice. This way, participants can translate the new phrases/techniques in their own style to increase their ability to use what was taught.
  • Create job aids and handouts to use during activities. These resources will be used long after the training has been completed.


Considerations for Virtual Training

The training landscape has changed with many call center agents working remotely.  So, delivering training virtually is a must.  But because participants are not face-to-face, virtual training winds up as lecture, which can be dry and lack engagement.  Therefore, the design of the material is critical (see examples above).

How to do it:

  • Launch your content virtually with Facilitator and Participant Guides, making the train the trainer process easy and fast.
    • The Facilitator Guide should show the trainer how to facilitate a class including questions to ask and expected responses, ensuring effective transfer of knowledge.
    • The Participant Guide should be set up so the agent can follow along with the material, including places to take notes, directions to the activities and handouts.

Top 5 Tips from my Recent Training Engagements

  1. Gain agent buy-in as to why change is needed – play a call and ask, “How did that make you feel?”
  2. Role play works best – agents need to hear themselves practicing each call type. Multiple times.
  3. Establish Account Based Knowledge – how can you use customer data that you have to anticipate the customer’s needs?
  4. LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN – listen to good calls. Script them if you don’t have them; develop a call library by call type.
  5. Feedback – continue to coach and give feedback on all agent calls at least 10% per week. Build a program around feedback.
RELATED CONTENTYes, you can teach empathy and here are the steps to build an empathetic approach to collections

Once the agent is taught how to execute each section of the call model and has incorporated the effective communication techniques, you must provide real-time feedback. Check out the blog in this series Manage Performance With a Proven Feedback Cycle. 


Call Training Proven to Help Agents Have Successful Conversations

The Bridgeforce Call Model Framework provides a balance of instruction with activities that reinforce the right behaviors. The curriculum is a mix of soft skill training needed for each section of the call model from the opening to the closing.

The training includes:

  • Call Model
  • Soft Skill and Effective Communication Training
  • Call Scripts and Phrases
  • Role Play Scenarios
  • Individual Activities
  • Call Listening Exercises
  • Job Aids and Handouts

Our clients have realized positive results in collection rates, compliance quality and customer satisfaction scores.

  • Collection rates increased in payments collected, promise to pay dollars cashed, and work out programs accepted.  In the training, we teach how to overcome objections in a manner that is not confrontational by using positive language.  We also teach how to assess the customers financial situation using open ended questioning so that a realistic solution can be offered.  In addition, the closing section of the call model teaches the importance of recapping the arrangements with effective communication techniques, so the customer understands their obligation is and keeps their promises.
  • Compliance and call quality saw a lift in the ability to verify the customer and read the proper disclosures.  The call model framework gave agents the ability to organize the call in a manner that achieved the information needed to collect payments while being compliant.
  • Customer satisfaction went up by 16% due to agents’ effective communication style and their ability to make an emotional connection.  In the training, we teach how to communicate with empathy and how to make an emotional connection.  We outline what customer triggers are and how to respond and acknowledge their situation.  Even when we say “no,” we teach how to say it with respect for the customer by letting them know why we cannot fulfill their request.  We focus on telling the customer what we can do instead of what we cannot do.

If you’re ready to incorporate call model training that guarantees positive results, contact us today.

[Editor’s note: this article was written by Kristin Stolp, former Bridgeforce Senior Program Manager]

Quick Access to the Blogs in this Series:

Develop an Adaptive Call Model for High Performance Call Centers

Selecting a call framework or building one from scratch requires a detailed look at what you want accomplished on calls and identifying the skills your agents must have. I’ve provided an overview of what to do during this stage…more

Manage Performance With a Proven Feedback Cycle

You can still improve performance after the call model is built and training is complete. You must use a consistent cycle of listening and coaching.  Here are the steps to take to incorporate that cycle into your operations…more

How to Reward Success to Sustain Call Center Performance

Formal reward and recognition programs acknowledge when employees achieve the expectations set for them. Organizations with these programs are 12x more likely to have strong business outcomes.  Take specific actions…more

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