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Call Listening in Training sessions


I am a soft skills trainer for a telecommunications company, and I find that during my training sessions agents want to hear examples of calls. The problem that I face though, is that when you find a call to play (good or bad) and suggest to managers about playing calls from their agents, the response is that they would rather have calls played from our outsourced vendor (especially if they are bad calls) so that the agents don't feel picked on or embarrassed. The agents know that their calls are used for training and quality purposes; and by playing bad calls just from the outsourcer doesn't that instill a belief that the outsourcer isn't doing an adequate job? Any feedback or suggestions?

6 Responses

  1. Use examples from another section?

    I have used actual calls before in this type of training, and it works very well. The key is to pick calls that aren't TOO bad, but can be constructively criticised.

    I was lucky in that the business was large, and we used calls from teams in other locations, and faded out the names of the customer and the employee, so there was no 'come back' as they were fairly anonymous. 

    Another method I have used with some success is to make live calls in the session on speaker phone to random businesses (just to make enquiries, not complain), and then critiqued them in full group. This works well if you are looking generic call handling/communication skills, but not for real drill-down.

    Hope this is helpful,

    Louise Gelsthorpe – Power Hour: Bite size training materials

  2. Use your own examples

    When delivering training in a call centre I would use examples of calls that I and my other training colleagues made. These were real calls that were recorrded and chosen as they had worked really well or had areas that were good to discuss.

    It did take a while to get good examples, but it was appreciated by the trainees and showed that the areas that you training them in and the advice you were giving them did work.

    In regards to getting agreement from managers to use the calls, you could try appraoching the agent first to see if they are happy for their call to be used before approaching the manager, this would stop any feelings of embarrassment or being picked on from the agent. Some agents will allow you to use their examples, but it can be a a hard thing to sell to them.  

    As the other reply suggests editing out the names of the people involved in the call is good practise.


  3. Sample calls

    Why not ask the group of call handlers if anyone would mind you playing their calls to critique in training? You never know who might step forward, particularly as some like to be in the limelight. A small gift might be in order to thank them.

    Hope that helps.


  4. DIY

    Where I found a call that I wanted to use, but couldn’t get agreement for the individual to play it, I transcribed the call and simply recorded it with a colleague, who played the customer.  We left out all names and indentifying information. 

  5. Going For It

    Thank you all for your replies and suggestions. I think I will ask around, or have a survey completed to see what people think about having their calls played, and will definetly set up a process to be used. I would agree that once people get used to hearing calls being played in training then they will expect it to happen and it will become the norm.

    I have the training session next week, so I'll follow up with the outcome!


    Patty Conneen

  6. Use former employees?

    If the recordings are kept, use calls made by people who are no longer working there.

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