April 20, 2017
When a new agent is hired in the contact/call center, management needs to orient, train, and prepare the new agent to take calls as soon as possible. It’s known as an onboarding strategy, and it dictates the first few weeks or months of the start of an agent’s tenure at the company. Usually, there is an enormous amount of information to teach the new agent, so there is little time to spare. To make the process as streamlined and efficient as possible, we recommend following these onboarding best practices, and it all begins on day one.
Onboarding Best Practices on the First Day
- Don’t Waste Time with Paperwork: For most jobs, the first day consists largely of completing paperwork with the HR department to finalize all the legal requirements before the employee truly begins working. This is a huge time sink. Instead of wasting a day, deliver much of this paperwork to the new hire immediately after they have accepted the job offer. This frees up the first day to begin other training activities.
- Acclimating the Agent: The goal of the first day according to our onboarding best practices is to focus on acclimating the agent to their new environment and introducing them to the team. Some contact/call centers prefer to use ice breaking exercises, while others prefer personality profile training, so the agent can get a sense of everyone’s personality quickly. Take the new hire out to lunch, try to get to know them a little better, and make them feel welcomed, encouraged, and appreciated.
- Prepare all Necessary Materials: Waiting for your new hire at their future desk should be all of the necessary materials for the agent to perform their duties. Office supplies, a headset, computer, phone, and whatever else is required should be waiting for the agent when they arrive.
- Keep it Light and High Level: In our onboarding best practices, actual job training is not the focus of the first day, but training can still occur. On the first day, avoid delving into procedures, policies, and call scripts. The agent should not be listening to calls at all on their first day. Instead, teach the new agent about the company, their industry, and perhaps the customer service philosophy of the contact/call center. This will provide the agent a baseline understanding of the goals of the contact/call center without overwhelming them on their first day.
Welcoming a New Agent
The onboarding best practices for the agent’s first day is all about welcoming them to the contact/call center. While the contact/call center shouldn’t waste time training the agent, it is still possible to overwhelm and rush them onto the phone too quickly. That’s why taking the time to learn about them, acclimate them to the environment, and demonstrate that there is a future in this contact/call center is so important at this early stage. It provides a welcoming foundation of positivity upon which to build.
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