How a VoIP Phone System Helps You Train Your Customer Service Team

No matter your industry or size, a quality customer service team is the cornerstone of a successful business. They’re the ones who connect with customers, provide support, and give your company a warm, caring voice. When customer service is executed well, it can guarantee loyalty for years to come.

However, that level of customer service isn’t easy to achieve, and learning how to provide it doesn’t happen overnight. That’s why giving new agents the best training possible should be among the top priorities of any customer service team. 

Believe it or not, your phone system actually has a massive impact on how easy and efficient it is to train new customer service agents. Old analog systems provide very few (if any) training-specific features and require trainers and trainees be in the same location to even use them. 

Meanwhile, modern VoIP phone systems are packed with features designed specifically for customer service teams. And yes, many of those features are either directly or indirectly geared towards training new agents and getting them up to speed as quickly as possible. 

To show you how, we’ve put together this handy dandy list of the top ways a VoIP phone system helps reduce the learning curve for your customer service team. 

Live Calls Are The Best Teacher

When it comes to getting new customer service agents up to speed, no practice call or simulated scenario will ever be as effective as the real thing. There’s a flow to support calls, a give and take between offering assurances and asking questions, that you just can’t get from pretending with your coworkers. 

That’s why business VoIP systems like FluentStream allow trainees to listen in on live calls and experience how your veteran agents handle business. The customer won’t be able to hear them, so your trainees can ask as many questions as they want without bothering anyone else on the call. 

Then, on that glorious day your trainees can start taking calls of their own, they won’t have to do so alone. You can also join the call, without the customer being able to hear you, feeding answers and advice to make sure your trainee doesn’t panic or leave the customer on hold forever. 

No more made up scenarios or general tips that will hopefully help. With a VoIP phone system, you can use any real-world call as a training tool and review as many calls as your trainees need to know your customer support process like the back of their hand. 

Train From Anywhere

Especially these days, training new customer service agents is rarely as easy as locking them in a conference room with a box of bagels until you’ve gone over everything. 

Teams are much more spread out, or even fully remote, requiring managers to get creative with how they properly train and equip new agents. Luckily for… well, basically everyone, VoIP systems like FluentStream come with a simple (virtual) tool kit to make remote training a breeze. 

Gone are the days of anxiously checking a tracking number to make sure your new hire’s phone isn’t delayed due to a snowstorm halfway across the country. Leverage softphone apps for laptops and cell phones for making and receiving calls anywhere.. 

The best part is, because VoIP calls aren’t tied to phone lines or locations, all those same on-call training features we discussed earlier can still be done remotely. 

Tools To Find Improvement Opportunities

Few things frustrate a customer more than calling a support line and not getting the level of service they expected. When that inferior experience comes courtesy of your new trainee, it’s expected on your part, but no less annoying for the customer. 

We at FluentStream have faced this problem with our own award-winning support team (yes, even superheroes need time to master their powers), so we built a whole suite of tools to help customer-centric businesses like us! 

Adding post-call surveys to the end of your support calls gives customers a chance to review their experience without having to be confrontational. They’re a fantastic improvement tool for any team, but especially for new trainees. Even if a call seems like it went well, adding a survey option makes sure your new agents are catching mistakes they may not even know they made. 

As with nearly everything that happens on your FluentStream system, post-call surveys can be set up to notify a manager whenever a trainee receives negative feedback. Then it’s just a matter of scheduling some 1:1 time to go over the call and see where it went wrong.

Automatic Recording For Easy Review

No matter how good your trainees are, they’ll inevitably make mistakes. And when they do, it’s a good thing business VoIP systems let you enable automatic recording on your extensions. 

With automatic recording, there’s no he-said-she-said or blind “the customer’s always right.” mantra. Instead, it’s easy to review the call and give pointers on how to handle similar situations in the future.

Don’t have time to review calls with your trainees as soon they happen? Don’t worry! All your recordings are stored in the cloud, ready and waiting for you to pluck them back down to earth and help your customer service agents get even better. 

Advanced Reporting to Track Progress

You did it… 

You hired a new class of customer service agents. 

You trained them to the best of your abilities. 

You sat with them on calls while they found their footing. 

And now it’s finally time to release them out into the wild. 

It’s a beautiful thing, but it can also be quite scary since you now have much less visibility on their progress and how they stack up to your other agents. As you’ve probably guessed by now based on all the previous answers, that’s where a VoIP phone system like FluentStream comes in. 

When all (and I mean all) your call data is stored in the cloud, tracking the performance of your trainees is as easy as looking at a dashboard on your computer. Ours is called Insights, and it gives managers a customizable window into how their agents are performing both individually and as a unit. 

At a glance, you can see how many calls your trainees are taking, how long they spend on each call, how long it takes them to answer, and most importantly, how those numbers compare to the rest of your team. 

Yes, for better and for worse, VoIP systems give you the power to continue training long after the official training period is over. 


For even more info on how a FluentStream system can improve your customer service training,  contact us at sales@fluentstream.com or by calling 303-GO-CLOUD and selecting Option 1.

Across the country, stay-at-home guidelines are being lifted and slowly, one by one, companies are starting to invite employees back to work. Things may not be back to normal, whatever that word even means anymore, but they’ll certainly be closer to the work environment we’re used to. 

Working from home posed numerous new challenges for businesses, but it also provided an opportunity to try out new ways of “working." 

Some of these, like taking a work call without wearing pants, are better left for when you are working from home. But there’s no need to throw the baby out with the bathwater. There are plenty of productivity ideas that you’ve been experimenting while at home that can enhance your ability to work when you are back in your office. 

1. Write Yourself Daily and Weekly Task Lists

In our 10 Trusty Tips for Working from Home, we discussed how setting agendas ahead of time leads to higher productivity. While your office has probably fewer distractions than your home, writing manageable task lists at the start of every week and every day is a great way to stay focused no matter what curveballs come your way.

It’s called hyperbolic discounting, and it works the same way that making a shopping list beforehand helps keep you from buying unhealthy or unnecessary food. Especially during the excitement of returning to the office, it’s equally important to stay on-task and not over-commit. Having concrete, achievable goals laid out for both your day and week is an easy way to accomplish both.

2. End Your Day by Starting a Fun Project

Whether you’re working from home or back at your desk, starting a new project can be daunting (especially first thing in the morning). If you’re like me, you tend to procrastinate by getting a cup of coffee, chatting with the receptionist, getting a second cup of coffee, checking ESPN, getting a third cup of… you get the idea.

Instead, try to plan out and even start new projects at the end of your day so you can dive right in the next morning. The fewer mental hurdles there are between you and productive work, the less likely you are to stumble over some distraction or another.

Plus, this strategy allows you to look at your projects with a fresh set of eyes before you get too far to change course if needed. Especially when it comes to editing or long-term planning, I find that looking over my afternoon ideas with a morning mindset saves me from a lot of headaches.

3. Schedule Shorter Meetings More Often

As everyone adapted to the disjointed pace of working from home, it became much more difficult to schedule meetings with multiple people.

Kids needed to be attended to. Lunch wasn’t going to make itself and. And naps, well, naps needed to be taken.

By necessity, team or department powwows were boiled down to the truly essential topics and questions.

Instead of going back to the way things used to be – with meetings so long you had to order food in the middle of them just to keep employees invested – continue keeping things short and to the point. If a question doesn’t involve everyone present, save it for a direct message. If you haven’t yet made progress on a project, don’t bother bringing it up. Questions like “How was everyone’s weekend?” may break the ice, but if your team is anything like ours, they always lead to lengthy tangents.

Much like we suggest setting task lists for yourself every day, always set agendas with your meeting invites and then stick to them.

4. Keep Forwarding Your Calls When You’re at the Office

While working remotely, making sure that your calls were being forwarded to your cell phone was a necessity. Now that you’re back in the office with your beloved desk phone, is it still?

Yes!

No matter how much of the day you spend at your desk, there are still opportunities for you to miss important calls. Maybe you got bamboozled into a string of meetings. Maybe you went out for lunch with a few coworkers you haven’t seen for a while. Maybe you just decided to stretch your legs and take a lap around the office. Whatever the case, having your extension forwarded to your cell phone makes sure you never miss a thing – just like it did at home.

5. Don’t be Afraid to Set Work Time Boundaries

At home, surrounded by partners, kids, and pets all clamoring for our attention, many of us were forced to set “Do Not Disturb” hours. These peaceful, critical time blocks allowed us to buckle down and focus on projects without fear of interruption.

Don’t be afraid to do the same at your office. Coworkers constantly stopping by your desk to chat or ask questions can derail your train of thought just as quickly as a hungry toddler.

For example, I block off the start and end of every week for the administrative tasks I tend to forget. On Monday morning, it helps me set priorities for the week. On Friday afternoons, it’s the time I take to send follow up/reminder emails and be sure we’re making good progress on long-term projects.

6. Work Out Before Work

Stuck at home for months, morning workouts became mandatory if you wanted to combat the lethargy and snack intake of quarantine. They also helped wake up your brain and start every day with a win.

Waking up early to work out before your morning commute may not sound like the most enjoyable thing in the world, but it will allow you to carry the benefits back into your normal work life. I can tell you from personal experience that I’ve only been drinking about half as much coffee since I started doing yoga instead of hitting snooze until right before my morning meeting.

7. Maintain Your New and Improved Work-Life Balance

I just have a grumpy cat to take care of during these uncertain times, so I turned to our very own Marketing Director Eli Gurock to explain how the extended period of working from home has affected his scheduling.

“My wife and I plan meals and child care responsibilities for the week on Sunday evenings. When we were both working from home, we talked about who had early morning or late afternoon meetings and calls so the other knew when they’d need to put their Primary Parent hat on. 

Now that we’re back in the office, those Sunday planning sessions are just as helpful to talk about daycare pick up duties and deadlines for when we each need to be home.” 

One of the most important lessons to take from this pandemic is that sometimes it’s okay to plan more around your family and less around your office. Keep doing what’s best for you and you’ll notice how much more productive you are at work without the added stresses you left behind.

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