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Optimising call centre agent performance with compliance training programmes

14 Apr 2021 | Lesson Desk Team3 min read

Many important decisions made within companies come down to the question of risk versus reward. While taking risks may bear extreme competitive advantages, other risks are simply not worth the detriments they may bring along. When it comes to managing your company's call centre, disregarding regulatory and brand compliance is one of those risks that should never be taken. By digitising compliance training, companies can reduce the potential for error and have all information on hand for employees to access at any time to remain compliant.

'Compliance' is a broad term used to define various regulations that affect businesses and their employees, such as health and safety, affirmative action, industry, corrupt practices and social responsibility. It is essential that these regulations and standards are upheld so that companies can reliably build and maintain trust with others, and for both businesses and their employees to be protected from possible legal threats and hefty penalties. Like any business, call centres have numerous regulations and expectations to adhere to, which may vary depending on the companies' industry.

The costs of non-compliance are especially significant for the insurance industry. From Solvency Assessment and Management (SAM) regulation, through to government's Twin Peaks approach to monitoring the financial and insurance sectors, Treating Customers Fairly (TCF) and even the Protection of Personal Information (POPI) Act, non-compliance can be extremely high from both a financial and reputational standpoint.

Not only can these financial penalties be devastating to your organisation's bottom line, but they can damage your company's overall culture, reputation and license to operate as well. Customers may be hesitant to do business with you or might have a hard time trusting you if they are aware of your poor reputation. This is especially applicable to the insurance sector, as customers want to do business with those who they can fully trust with their money. If expectations surrounding sensitive topics, such as personal data, are met timeously and competently, building a strong relationship and trust in your business company will be effortless, which will result in customer retainment.

Call centre agents who fail to adhere to regulations could severely damage your customer service initiatives. If they are not taking care of requests properly, have very little soft skills, or are just not equipped to handle certain situations, it could inevitably lead to frustrated or angry customers. Even top agents might accidentally break minor rules if they are not entirely comfortable with knowing the security risks involved with handling private information. With digital compliance training, agents can upskill themselves consistently and on-demand without the need for their facilitator to always assist them.

Your call centre workforce is also most likely to consist of a mix of new, fairly experienced and seasoned agents. With such varying levels of staff to train, it is imperative to present all agents with refresher training every few months. This keeps compliance top-of-mind, reinforces its importance, and ensures employees' understanding of why procedures exist and why these rules should always be followed.

Agents who are unaware that they are breaching compliance regulations due to lack of training or who are scared to report problems may put companies at higher risk of legal action. How management handles compliance and security reporting policies can also have a major impact on morale and work performance. By creating an environment of inclusion and respect between agents and management, your employees will feel comfortable enough to approach you with any mistakes that might have conducted or concerns they might have regarding compliance regulations. This way, businesses can fix issues early that might have caused penalties in the long run.

Call agents are the front line of your call centre and, therefore, an essential part of the business. This is due to their client-facing nature and how they help drive business in a way that other departments simply do not. By investing in them through developing a strong compliance training programme, you will not only save your business copious amounts of money with regards to fines, but will also allow for better-engaged employees, greater customer satisfaction, increased sales, and ultimately a powerful brand reputation.

Implementing an effective compliance training programme that can be used on a continuous basis can help take the burden off of supervisors while providing deep insights into your agents' performance. By being able to identify possible compliance and customer service knowledge gaps, management can provide further training, which in turn will also contribute to increasing your employees' engagement and keep them performing their best.

Due to the unpredictable nature of legal regulations, it is absolutely imperative to run regular risk and security assessments within your business to ensure that compliance operations are running smoothly and that your agents are performing in their roles correctly. With regular compliance training, companies can easily keep employees up to speed with new and updated regulations, reduce the overall time spent on training, simplify procedures and minimise security risks.

Continuous compliance training can reinforce an employee's knowledge, while interactive assessments can help increase employee competence and the application of knowledge shared. This results in your workforce feeling more confident in their own knowledge and working roles when providing customer service and navigating their way through the world of regulatory compliance.

For more on how Lesson Desk can help you optimise your call centre performance and compliance with effective digital compliance training programmes, contact our learning and development specialists today at learn@lessondesk.com.