You may consider seasonal agents as temporary personnel, and maybe even don’t pay the necessary attention to the hiring and training process, but you should always keep in mind that they will play a vital role in your company as they will be the link between the brand and the customers, even if they will only work with you for a few weeks or months at a time.
Short-term staff is a great solution to high-volume seasons, but they should be trained and feel supported by the account manager and the other agents.
This is where proper training comes in as a necessity to guarantee the customers satisfaction and a constant great service; people should not be able to tell the difference between a permanent agent or a seasonal one.
Here are some tips that can help you get through the training process more fluently:
Make It Simple
Specialization is key. Focus on seasonal previous information and determine the company’s basic, most frequent queries during that season. Then, help them master one task at the time. Easy access to software can make things more organized for temporal agents.
Also if an agent gets a more complex query he should be able to go directly to an assigned manager to deliver a fast solution or answer to the customer, this helps keep the service levels high (and quick).
Make sure temporal agents understand all the activities and responsibilities they will be performing and when it is best that they avoid specific issues. They should have all the information they need, the do’s and don’ts. They should have agents dedicated to resolving all the temporal agents’ unassigned tasks and show them the proper way to transfer the call to save time.
Offer Unique Training Schedules
Most of the agents are hired to work late at night or weekend shifts, but the training is usually offered monday to friday. Having similar training schedules to what reality will bring can help the agents avoid missing the training sessions and prepare them in real or sample scenarios; since most temporal agents may have other jobs or responsibilities, this schedule adjustment to the projected shifts schedule can benefit them and help you determine if they are capable of handling the hours.
Make Them Feel Welcome
Example is key, so treat new hires the way you expect them to treat your customers. Make them feel as part of the team, involve them in the company’s activities and provide them with all the information possible about what the company does and wants to accomplish. This is vital to motivate and make them focus on ways to contribute to the company.
Develop a creative and supportive training environment. Use visual aids and have support available for interactive activities. Make the training process fun, this makes the learning process easier and gives the new agents a good impression about our company.
Seasonal agents can become permanent ones or even brand ambassadors if the proper training and motivation is given.
Be a Role Model
Agents will use your example as a guide, directly or indirectly. Being on time, having a good attitude, being polite and even the way you communicate with them is being recorded by them as the model of right behavior.
So if you want your agents to give the best customer experience you should provide the best training experience.
Choose the Right Leader
A well-adjusted and veteran manager is the best way to go when choosing a team leader in charge of the new temporal agents. It sounds easy to lead this team of seasonal agents that will be developing limited tasks, but it can be tougher than leading a permanent or veteran team, because they will definitely need more coaching and support.
You need someone in this position who knows the job and is good at solving all types of queries regarding the account or the brand. A knowledgeable and experienced agent can provide guidance and will guarantee that the temporal agents feel supported and secure to engage a good relation with the customers.
The team leader participation should start in the training process to reassure the new agents, which will help develop a higher level of trust and reliability towards him. Have the leaders start the training session with some positive words and some key facts about the company. Making the team leader participate in role-playing sessions can give the seasonal agents a better understanding about the job they will be performing, what they can expect from customers and will help them establish a better vertical communication channel.
Blend the Training Resources
A helpful approach is providing temporal agents with hands-on exposure to the software, role-plays, virtual activities, e-learning, audio books and videos. Nowadays there is a wide range of training possibilities available to fit all types of possible seasonal agents. Younger ones will have an easier way to adapt to all tasks and activities related to technology, but others may find it easier to read a manual or listen to an audio book. So use all types of exercises and possible interactive activities mixed with hands on training to assure a better understanding of the activities the agents will have to perform.
Develop additional manual and frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the tasks you assign new agents (or experienced agents with a new account), so they can easily access these resources and have more unusual or uncommon queries solved fast and effectively.
Make diagrams of the communication process, provide easy access to key details of the job and the vital company information as well.
Let the seasonal agents know they are supported by the company at all times. Let them know who can help them with determined tasks or give them information that allows them to do their job as great as possible.
So, to have success in the seasonal training process of the new agents, make them feel they are a part of the company, because they are, regardless of the duration of the entire process. Train them, coach them and motivate them, so they will feel identified with the brand and give the customer the flawless attention they deserve.