Product training is critical in the call center industry because agents should be knowledgeable about the products or services that they offer before acting in behalf of the accounts or the company who outsourced for their services. Knowledge of products and services is essential before one can effectively provide technical support or market the product or service.
It also strengthens communication skills of agents because they know what they are talking about, increases enthusiasm as they become aware of its benefits, improve confidence as they learn to trust the product and helps in overcoming objections from customers or competitors who have knowledge of an alternative product that the company offers.
One of the major pointers in conducting call center product training is to know where to gain product knowledge. Call center companies should correctly identify proper resources for conducting the training including marketing literature, sales agents who have hands on experience on marketing the product, testimonials from users, among others. Another way for agents to know more about the product is for them to be given the opportunity to use them. Experience is always the best teacher.
A second important hint in product training is the identification of what information should agents need to know most about the product. There is tons of information about the product but as sales agents or customer service representatives, the most important things that agents must know about the product by heart should be the pricing structure, the different models available, and instructions on how to use the product and servicing or warranty information. In some instances, it is also worthwhile if the agents are familiar with product comparisons with competitors.
Product training is an ongoing process and should therefore be regularly conducted to keep agents abreast about changes in the products, as well as business and market trends. The training program is not necessarily conducted in a classroom. Companies can incorporate training in the system and conduct online training for companies. Much like any endeavor, agents should be guided with clear expectations as to what the training is all about to provide focus and direction for agents.
Because agents are employees who have work to do, training programs should always consider the time value of money. Training should be brief but intensive. However, a single product training does not ensure that agents learn about product comprehensively and quickly. Not all people are gifted with the ability to memorize things in a short span of time. It is therefore important for trainers to be hands on during the transition period when agents start to implement the new learning that they obtained from the training.
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