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Agent Experience
2 min read

Why product training matters in the contact centre.

Shaun Earey
Senior Regional Marketing Manager

The role of the contact centre agent is continually adapting to changing customer behaviours and new technologies. Contact centre agents are more than problem solvers – they need to be experts in products, software, and communication. And, with high turnover rates in contact centres, investing in product training and the development of contact centre agents is not just beneficial but critical for achieving sustainable success. 

Let's explore why product training is important for contact centres and how it can benefit both the agents, customers and contact centre. 

How product knowledge improves service quality

Knowledge is power. When agents know your products and services inside out, they can guide customers more efficiently and provide quick and accurate answers. This, in turn, will ensure customers receive the help they need faster and more reliably, leading to faster issue resolution, higher productivity, and a better customer experience. And with 89% of consumers stating they are more likely to make another purchase after a positive customer service experience, this cannot be overstated.  

Now, let’s look at some key benefits of product training in contact centres. 

Faster average handle time (AHT) and higher first-call resolution rates

Contact centres have long used average handle time (AHT) as a key metric to measure success. It’s an indicator of how a contact centre is performing, and the lower AHT, the more customers they can assist within a shorter timeframe, leading to reduced operational costs.

One of the most impactful ways to reduce average handling time is adequate onboarding and continuous agent training. When your agents have a deep understanding of your products and services, they can answer your customers’ questions faster and more accurately, without having to transfer the call, put the customer on hold, or escalate the issue. In fact, according to ICMI (International Customer Management Institute), agents who receive thorough product training can handle customer inquiries up to 20% faster than those with insufficient training, ultimately reducing average handling time (AHT) and increasing efficiency and customer satisfaction.

Moreover, Aberdeen Group found that organisations with comprehensive training programs achieve a 2.4 times greater improvement in first-call resolution rates compared to those without such programs. 

Improved customer satisfaction and CSAT scores 

Another crucial measurement for contact centres is the well-known CSAT score – a customer satisfaction score indicating how satisfied a customer is with an interaction or purchase. 

Product training can improve your customer satisfaction and CSAT scores by enabling your agents to provide more confident, competent, and consistent service for your customers. When your agents have a good knowledge of your products and services, they can address your customers’ needs and expectations more effectively and deliver a positive and memorable customer experience.

Not only will extensive product training ensure improved customer satisfaction, but it can also lead to increased revenue. In fact, a study by Zendesk found that a one-point increase in CSAT can lead to a 4.6% increase in revenue. This is what we call a win-win for contact centres.

Higher employee retention and engagement  

Investing in continuous learning and development shows a commitment to employee growth and career advancement. When agents feel supported and valued through training programs, they’re more likely to stay engaged and loyal to their employer.

Product training can improve your employee retention and engagement by showing your agents that you care about their growth and development, and that you value their contribution to your business. When your agents receive regular and relevant product training, they feel more confident and empowered in their role, and more aligned with your brand and vision. They also feel more challenged and stimulated by their work and are more likely to stay loyal and motivated.

This reduces turnover rates and the related costs of hiring and training new staff while creating a culture of continuous improvement. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) estimates that the cost of replacing an employee can be as high as 50-60% of their annual salary. And, increasing customer retention rates by just 5% can increase profits by between 25% and 95%

Improved work processes and increased team performance

Product training ensures that all agents have the same level of knowledge and follow the same work processes. This consistency is essential for maintaining brand standards and delivering a seamless customer experience across all channels. By standardising practices through training, contact centres can improve quality, reduce errors, and increase collaboration.  

A well-trained team operates cohesively, leveraging shared knowledge and best practices to enhance overall performance. When every team member is proficient in product knowledge and customer service skills, collaboration becomes more effective, leading to improved problem-solving, faster resolutions, and ultimately, heightened customer satisfaction metrics.

Product training is a key factor for your contact centre’s success. It can help you improve your service quality, efficiency, customer satisfaction, and revenue, as well as your employee retention and engagement. By investing in product training, you can equip your agents with the knowledge and skills they need to provide exceptional service to your customers, and to create a strong and lasting relationship with them.

At Puzzel, we are ready to be your partner in ensuring sufficient training for your agents. Today, we offer a catalogue of 22 different training sessions that cover our products and key features of our platform. We aim to enhance individual agent performance and push the development of their workforce while supporting and creating a culture of continuous improvement and innovation within your organisation.

What's next?

We’re about to launch a new soft skills program for contact centre agents, with courses looking at key topics like Leveraging Emotional Intelligence, Engaged Listening Strategies, Supporting Vulnerable Customers, and Stress Reduction Techniques Keep an eye on your inbox to learn more!

Let’s connect! 

If you would like to learn more about this topic, I am here to help. Feel free to reach out at hello@puzzel.com or connect with me on LinkedIn.

Author: Scott Maryan
Director of Customer Adoption

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