When it comes to delivering exceptional customer experience, effective and engaging training is vital for the development of high-level talent. This applies to both in-centre and work-at-home teams.
There is a host of differences between physical and virtual contact centres that need to be accommodated, including the training process.
Although many companies feel that it is beneficial to train their virtual agents on site, allowing them to immerse themselves in the culture of the physical centre team and giving the trainers more control over the training experience, this isn’t necessarily the case.
Virtual training environments offer a streamlined, effective, convenient and enjoyable training solution for work-at-home agents, while helping the organisation to foster a better learning culture and increasing employee engagement.
The benefits of virtual training for work-at-home agents
Flexible facilities and equipment
Unlike traditional classroom training environments, a virtual training environment enables equipment and facilities to accommodate any number of trainees. In a traditional, in-centre environment, for example, the number of agents that can be trained at any one time is dependent upon the number of computers and headsets available. Virtual training eliminates this restriction.
No classroom restrictions
When training groups of employees or new recruits, organisations often find that they have to spread out or plan their training sessions in line with the availability of facilities and classrooms. A virtual training environment removes this barrier, creating unlimited learning spaces that are always available.
Easy and convenient access
From the agent’s point of view, virtual training is highly convenient, removing the need for travel or for a specific amount of time to be spent in a specific location. This is particularly beneficial for work-at-home agents, many of whom will work part-time, or during the evening or night-time.
Training environment mirrors working environment
For work-at-home agents, virtual training familiarises them with the environment they will eventually be working in. This removes an obstacle when moving to production and aids knowledge retention and understanding, allowing them to more easily transfer what they learned into practice.
Increased engagement and participation
Organisations sometimes have concerns about the levels of participation and interaction involved in virtual learning, compared to a traditional classroom environment. However, trainers use a wide variety of ways to interact and engage learners within a virtual learning environment, allowing learners to engage in much the same way as during in-centre learning.
Achieving successful virtual training
Implementing the virtual training environment for your work-at-home agents can seem somewhat daunting. However, as technology advances and becomes increasingly embedded into daily lives, this creates fast, convenient, and engaging virtual learning platforms with greater impact on outcomes.
Creating a blended virtual solution
Effective virtual training isn’t just about e-learning. It’s a blended solution that brings together different models of learning and a range of techniques that fit with client business needs and training objectives, while being accessed through a variety of preferred learning methods.
Competent virtual facilitators
Training virtually is different to in-centre training, so it’s important that trainers are competent virtual facilitators who are skilled and experienced in this type of training.
In an in-centre environment, for example, it’s far easier to ensure full engagement from every trainee than it is through a virtual platform. With this is mind, trainers must develop the skills and behaviours they need to keep their trainees fully engaged all the way through the learning experience.
A virtual training platform enables trainers to do everything they would naturally do in an in-centre environment, from hosting quizzes and sharing videos, through to taking agents into a breakout room for one-to-one conversation or break-out activities, and additional training. From the agent side, they can raise their hands to ask questions or make comments and offer up side bar conversations for clarification.
When it comes to preparing agents for work-at-home production, virtual training can be incredibly beneficial. To find out more about how virtual training can help benefit your organisation, please get in touch.