GoResponse Telephone Answering Service Staff

Consumer expectations surpassing agent training

Phone operator working at call centre office helping hiss colleagueNew research shows that consumer expectations levels are surpassing the training that agents are provided with in many call centres. This means that telephone answering services must ensure all staff members have relevant experience to deal with the demands of modern customers and remain competitive with rivals.

Details released by the Contact Centre Association (CCA) showed that one third of companies admitted they have skill gaps amongst their employees. However, just 5 per cent of these firms say they will increase training levels to bring agents up to the appropriate standard.

A similar disconnect of views was noted for complex interactions, with just 11 per cent of businesses saying advisors should have decision-making skills despite 60 per cent of those asked saying future agents will handle challenging consumer engagements.

Overall, this means that a rising number of consumers in the UK could find themselves talking to call centre agents who lack the skills to help with their enquiry. Industry expert Brian Bannatyne warned that broadening multi-channel offerings without the right support could put a strain on current staff.

“While simple enquiries can be resolved through self-service offering, more complex interactions across multiple channels would need to be handled by a well-trained agent. If this interaction is dealt with poorly, it could have a serious impact on the customer relationship and future business prospects,” he said.

The survey also found the two most desired call centre skills are multi-channel interaction expertise and complex interaction skills, with 76 per cent and 59 per cent respectively.

award winning