HR Management for CX

6 Fun Call Center Soft Skills Training Material And Activities

According to a study by CCW, training is the No. 2 priority for contact centers in 2018, as they believe tools and training play crucial roles in driving the agent experience.

You have to be diligent if you want to improve your agents’ performance with call center soft skills training activities. Skills like communication, questioning techniques, self-awareness, empathy, and dealing with difficult customers don’t change easily.

You can make a difference, though, if you have the right approach, activities, and training materials.

1. The Art of Questioning

Your agents can’t help customers without getting all the needed information. That takes skill in asking the right questions. Use call center training activities that develop effective communication.

Once agents learn to get to the heart of the issue effectively and efficiently, their calls will go much smoother.

Soft Skill Activity

Have one agent draw a picture of a house. Then, the second agent must draw the same house without seeing the first agent’s picture. All the second agent has to go on is information they get by asking the first agent questions.

After drawing the house, compare to see if they match up. Then talk about the efficiency of the questions. Some questions may have been inefficient because they were too specific, such as “Are there three windows?” If there weren’t, that required another question.

Other questions might have been too general, like “Is it an ordinary house?” Discuss how efficient questions get to the issue faster and more reliably.

This activity requires very minimal call center soft skills training materials. All you need is paper and pencils. If you want to do it in front of all the agents, use large sheets of paper and markers.

2. How Not to Do It

Sometimes, the best way to show your agents how to give good customer service is to show them how not to do it. This helps them avoid responses that cause frustration for the customers. It’s also a fun call center soft skills training activity that most agents enjoy.

Soft Skill Activity

Choose an agent to role-play a call, taking the position as an agent. Tell them they are to respond in the worst way to your questions. Then, act out the part of a difficult customer, and let your roleplaying agent say whatever they feel like saying. Respond as a customer would when treated that way.

After you complete the call, have a group discussion about what happened. Ask all the agents to point out the exact mistakes the agent made.

Discuss why those responses were unhelpful. Finally, ask for responses that would have worked better to solve the customer’s issue.

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3. Dear Call Center

It’s hard for your agents to provide good customer service if they aren’t clear about what pleases customers. Call center training activities that help your agents think about this subject can make them better call center employees.

Soft Skill Activity

Tell everyone they’re going to take the place of a customer. Then, ask them to remember a successful call in which they satisfied their customer. Have them write a complimentary letter thanking the company for giving them great service.

Have each agent read their letter. Point out the things most people are doing well and make suggestions for any improvements needed.

4. Close-Knit Call Center

To have a great call center, your agents need to relate to each other. Teamwork is always easier when the agents have things in common. Choose call center training exercises that not only remind agents of their connections but also help them make new connections.

Soft Skill Activity

Have everyone stand in a circle. Give a ball of yarn to one person. Ask the person with the yarn to say one thing about themselves. Then ask if there’s anyone else that fact applies to. If so, the person with the yarn holds onto the end of the yarn and hands the rest of the ball to the first person they see holding up their hand. Next, that person says something about themselves. When they hand over the yarn to the next person, they hold on to the string. Keep going until the yarn is tangled in a web in the center of the circle.

This activity can be fun for the agents. The yarn web seems to take on a life of its own as agents move in and out of the circle to pass on the yarn ball. They also get to know each other better. Remind the agents they’re connected and that makes them a better team.

6 Fun Call Center Soft Skills Training Material And Activities

5. See It From Their Side

Call center agents deal with a variety of people and situations every day. What they may not realize is their customers are dealing with their own situations. Call center training activities that help your agents see the calls from their customers’ side help them develop greater empathy.

Soft Skill Activity

Ask your agents to think of a difficult customer they’ve had in the last week. Then have them think about what the customer might have been going through in their own life that caused them to be disagreeable or easily frustrated. Have the agents create a backstory for their customer. Read some of the stories for the group and remind them that empathy can help them avoid customer relations problems.

6. Taboo

Customers don’t always understand what call center agents are telling them. So, the agent has to think quickly to rephrase their response and try again. Flexibility in communication is important, and you can teach it through call center soft skills training activities like this one.

Soft Skill Activity

Print out a transcript of a customer call. Highlight three words in the transcript. Then read the transcript to the group. Now, choose an agent and instruct them to avoid saying the highlighted words as they read the transcript aloud. They’ll get practice in thinking quickly and communicating more effectively.

Soft skills don’t always come easily, but with the right training exercises, you can help your call center agents develop their communication skills, patience, teamwork, and other soft skills.

Do training skills like these often, and key performance indicators like customer satisfaction will improve dramatically over time.

How do you develop your call center soft skills?

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