It’s no secret that consumers weigh their judgments on a company based on its success in providing optimal customer care. Today’s buyers are more impatient than those of the past; in fact, more than half of consumers hang up the phone after being on hold for less than one minute. As such, it’s imperative that agents step up to the plate to meet the demands of modern consumers. To do so, contact center supervisors must ensure their agents are sufficiently informed and trained; however, this best-practice is one that might be getting overlooked as of late.

In fact, a recent study revealed that the biggest pain point in the customer care industry is a lack of required knowledge among agents. The study showed that only 44 percent of firms have an agent-facing knowledge management solution, which helps them to better predict consumer behaviors and therefore handle them more efficiently. This is rather eye-opening, as contact center agents are at the crux of the success of customer care.

Serving up noteworthy customer care starts with strengthening your workforce. Here are the two areas that need TLC in order to improve your agents’ performance:

Recruitment: Take a good look at your candidate pool; you need to ensure you’re attracting the types of employees that will be loyal (that is, interested in long-term positions and growth opportunities), driven and dedicated to their role as an agent. Often, lending some improvement to your internal workplace culture can aid in reeling in the best-suited employees. For instance, offer more work-life balance and make maintaining positive team morale a priority. In doing so, you can hire more mature employees who are experienced and looking to make their role as an agent a career rather than just a stop along their occupational journey.

Training: It is vital to provide not only etiquette training but client specific training as well. Give your agents time to become experts before they get on the phones. While diving in headfirst might be a good idea for some jobs, the role of a contact center agent puts a company’s reputation on the line with each and every customer interaction. In this scenario, intensive training must take place to avoid unfavorable situations. Your agents should know everything about the companies they’re representing before they start dealing with real customer inquiries.

What more can you do to improve your quality of customer care? Keep reading our thoughts and advice, here.

Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the DMA and PACE. He also donates his time to serve on several University boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry, including the ATA’s highest honor, the prestigious Fulcrum Award.