Communication is at the heart of all successful businesses — especially for businesses with high call volumes. For many people, however, communicating over the phone is unnatural or awkward.
Therefore, you need to invest significant time and energy into training your staff appropriately. You need to teach them how to digest contextual information about a caller while speaking on the phone. You need to be on-hand to guide them in real-time, offering ongoing training tips as and when needed. You need to leverage AI to analyze transcripts in an instant, unearthing key insights and communication best practices that can be fed back into your training program.
This sounds like a lot. Thankfully, however, it can all be handled within the CallRail platform — giving you a one-stop-shop to effectively train your sales/customer service reps on phone-based communication.
Let’s dive into the 4 ways CallRail helps you do this.
The keys to effectively training your staff
There’s no magic wand here — you can’t simply tell your staff to be more effective communicators and suddenly expect different results. Instead, you need to adopt a precise, highly methodical approach to improving their communication skills.
Consider the following four steps:
- Train call agents to use customer insights to provide timely and personalized customer experiences
- Provide live, on-the-go training that only call agents can hear
- Conduct post-call analysis to identify areas for improvement, which which can be used to provide individualized training
- Leverage AI to rapidly unearth common trends that occur time and time again, and use these insights to better pinpoint what you need to cover in your staff training sessions
This will ensure that your agents are fully up-to-speed as soon as they pick up the phone to chat with a customer, that they’re given real-time tips and pointers during these calls, and that all calls are analyzed (both on an individual and macro scale).
By successfully implementing these five steps, you’ll transform your staff communication training going forward: leading to more effective call agents and happier customers.
What’s not to love?
Let’s dig into these steps in more detail. We’ll explore why each strategy is beneficial, how you can implement them within your organization, and highlight tools that will make these training strategies as effective as possible.
1. Train call agents to use customer insights to provide timely and personalized customer experiences
It’s easy to forget that most people you talk to have an existing relationship with your company already. You may have never spoken to them before — but they’ve likely already interacted with your business through their customer journey, whether it’s clicking on an online ad, reading a blog post, or speaking to a sales rep.
Customers don’t want to go through their entire life story every time they speak to a call agent. In an ideal world, your sales and customer service agents would know exactly who they were, why they were calling, what their pain points and customer needs are, and what they would like from your company.
But that’s only the first step. Providing this information to call agents is one thing — but ensuring they can quickly skim through it to identify key insights is another matter entirely. This obviously has to be done in real-time. Your call agents don’t know who’s going to call next, so it’s not as if they can quickly get up to speed on their next caller’s context before the phone rings. Instead, they need to be comfortable simultaneously digesting this information while still speaking to the customer on the other end of the line.
This is pretty tricky. So how can you make sure that call agents can synthesize this must-know information while chatting away as normal? Practice. As cliche as it is, practice truly does make perfect. It takes considerable time and effort before you can be comfortable holding a conversation with a customer while also reading — and digesting — everything your company already knows about them.
But there’s another key element that mustn’t be ignored: how call agents access this information. In an ideal world, your sales and customer service agents would know exactly who callers are, why they’re calling, what their pain points and customer needs are, and what they would like from your company.
That’s why we created Lead Center. This all-in-one portal not only helps you manage all customer interactions from one single place, but it also gives you need-to-know details regarding every caller at a glance — including caller ID data and a detailed visitor timeline.
Know exactly who callers are when they ring your company. Dive into their customer journey, identify lead classification details, and pore over all previous interactions they’ve had with your company. This will not only make your life considerably easier, but will also allow your staff to spend more time actively listening — instead of simply umming and ahhing until they’ve found the information they’re looking for.
Having this level of context behind every caller will transform your customer service. You’ll be better equipped to serve prospects and customers alike from the get-go, without having to ask why they’re calling or whether they’ve spoken to anyone else previously. Your prospects and customers will be able to ring up, confident in the knowledge that they’ll be treated according to their individual context — instead of just speaking to an agent who painstakingly works their way through a generic script.
Train your staff to quickly digest contextual information about callers while on the phone, and provide them with a platform that instantly gives them all these need-to-know insights. If you do, you can’t go wrong.
2. Provide live, on-the-go training that only call agents can hear
Contextual information is just the first piece of the puzzle. It’s great if sales reps and call agents know more about a caller as soon as they pick up the phone — but if you want to move conversations forward, you can’t solely rely on what you already know.
As reps and agents move into uncharted territory, covering topics that the caller hasn’t previously mentioned, they run the risk of making mistakes. This is only natural, especially when it comes to more inexperienced reps or call agents. For example, perhaps they don’t pick up on the caller’s subtle cues. Instead, they persist in explaining the benefits of a certain solution that the caller already has, knows, and loves, rather than understanding that this is an opportunity to upsell the customer.
This is where live training comes in. If you want to optimize your calls as fully as possible, and guide reps and agents through calls in real-time, then you need a tool that allows you to provide this sort of on-the-go training. However, you also need to make sure that only your reps and agents can hear this on-the-go guidance — it’d be incredibly unprofessional if the caller themselves were to hear this behind-the-scenes back-and-forth.
Tools like Lead Center allow you to listen to conversations as they’re happening. Keep a pulse on whether or not your staff is following the training you’ve provided. If they start to deviate from the script, or if they’ve missed subtle cues that the caller is giving, you can provide on-the-spot training via whisper messages that only the sales reps/call agents themselves can hear.
There’s a big difference between your staff thinking they’ve understood your training and actually putting it into practice during their calls. By providing on-the-spot training, you can guide your staff’s approach at all times — ensuring that they’re putting lessons learned into action.
3. Conduct post-call analysis to identify areas for improvement, which can be used to provide individualized training
Of course, your managers won’t always be able to hop on every call to provide on-the-go training and pointers. Instead, you need to record all calls before analyzing how they’ve gone after the caller puts down the phone. Think about it: there’s a reason why professional sports teams rely so heavily on replays — it allows them to analyze plays, identify areas for improvement, and train their players accordingly.
Tools like Call Recording allow managers to dig into all their teams’ calls: identifying parts that went well, things that need to be worked on, and potential areas that should shape how you train your staff going forward. For example, if you consistently see leads asking the same question time and time again during a discovery call, then you might want to draft up answers to these FAQs before sharing them with your sales team. You could even go a step further and come up with a series of sales scripts based on different parts of the funnel, analyzing previous calls to determine which approaches have been proven to work in the past.
Likewise, the same approach can be rolled out to your customer service agents. Perhaps there’s a common problem that customers seem to be encountering, and despite your agents’ best efforts, customers are still struggling to resolve the issue. Analyze your team’s calls retrospectively and pinpoint which areas seem particularly tricky to explain over the phone. Then, go back to the drawing board and devise more effective ways to communicate potential solutions — before training your staff on these new approaches.
4. Leverage AI to rapidly analyze hundreds of calls, unearthing common trends that occur time and time again
Call Recording does a fantastic job at allowing managers to dig into their teams’ individual calls in more detail. However, managers — or anyone else involved in training staff — cannot spend all day, every day poring over endless transcripts. Instead, they need to find a way to rapidly analyze hundreds of their team’s calls: identifying key trends that always pop up and using these insights to make their training even more effective in the future.
People are fantastic communicators. We’re brilliant at intuitively picking up on cues like a customer’s tone-of-voice before responding appropriately. However, we’re not nearly so good at analyzing large datasets quickly, accurately, and at scale. That’s where artificial intelligence (AI) comes in.
AI-powered tools, such as Conversation Intelligence, give you everything you need to transform your staff training process. Instantly analyze all call recordings before identifying moments in the call script that seemed to make the prospect/customer happy, unhappy, where they seemed confused, or where they sounded interested. You can directly link specific parts of your call script to particular customer outcomes — working out which phrases or keywords work well, and which don’t quite cut it. These learnings can then be fed back into your staff training, ensuring that reps/agents focus on the right sort of keywords and topics in the future.
Alternatively, immediately tag calls as a ‘training opportunity’ if certain key phrases or words aren’t met. In the past, you would have to manually transcribe calls and analyze them before identifying areas for improvement. Given how lengthy and tiresome a process this is, it’s likely that certain things would slip under the radar — so you might accidentally miss a particularly important training point. With Conversation Intelligence, however, you’ll ensure that nothing is ever missed.
For example, you can set up instant keyword spotting in just a few clicks, thanks to the newly released Automation Rules feature. As well as showing potential areas where you can improve your keyword bidding strategies, it also helps show you the language that customers speak — allowing you to mirror them going forward.
Mirroring is a particularly effective tactic, whether in sales or customer service. It makes people feel like you’re echoing what they’re saying and that you’re on their side. Even the most subtle mirroring can have profound impacts. Imagine that you’re chatting with an international client who keeps on referring to ‘wardrobes’ instead of ‘closets.’ By spotting this and making sure you mirror their language, you’ll align yourself more closely with your prospects or clients — and you’ll be a more effective communicator as a result.
Or perhaps there’s one customer service rep who doesn’t understand why customers keep on hanging up the phone in a disgruntled fashion. With Conversation Intelligence, you can instantly analyze all their calls to spot areas where they went wrong. For example, maybe they’re a naturally dry and sardonic person — they’re keen on sarcasm and, to be honest, having a chuckle gets them through long days. However, when they’re on the phone with exasperated customers, this tone makes them appear like they’re not taking people’s problems seriously, which is a massive customer service no-no.
As well as identifying underperforming agents/reps, you can also pinpoint their high-performing colleagues by filtering calls by agent and then viewing how frequently they mentioned specific key terms. Ensure that you’re not wasting valuable time and energy retraining agents who are already doing a good job, and focus your efforts on employees who genuinely need the help.
AI-powered tools like Conversation Intelligence allow you to derive more insights, more accurately, more easily, and more quickly than ever before. Move away from time-consuming manual analysis and rapidly put critical insights into action.
Take your communication to the next level
Effective communication takes effort. While some people are naturally better communicators than others, this doesn’t necessarily translate into the world of business — especially when customers and prospects all have different preferences, goals, and contexts.
That’s why training is so crucial. If you want high-performing sales reps and customer service agents, you need to provide optimized training regularly. Train your agents to comfortably digest the contextual information you’ve provided them while speaking to callers on the phone. Listen in on conversations as they’re happening and offer up on-the-spot training tips to guide agents and reps towards a successful outcome.
Or, if you’re unable to listen in to every call, provide post-call analysis to identify parts that went well and areas that need to be improved. Leverage AI capabilities to instantly analyze hundreds of calls, deriving common macro-level trends that occur time and time again, before feeding these insights and recommendations on how to approach different scenarios, back into your training program.
Unleash your team’s potential by training your staff on the most effective communication strategies for each caller and situation. Implement tools that’ll help you do this at scale, meaning that you and your team can focus on what truly matters: communicating effectively with customers.