What laudable remarks were made in support of training for call centre operatives (MW December 10).
Sadly, they all gloss over the hard reality of the situation. The majority of call centre staff will not move on to centre management roles.
For many it is a first job from which they will move on quickly. Others are returners whose main focus is steady work and their families, not rapid promotion. Training is simply not the solution to staff “churn”.
The main objective of the call centre is to keep staff from getting too bored and to fill their time with a steady flow of interesting work.
Like us, several call centres have dealt with these real life challenges, not through extra training, but with better information support and work management technology.
Using the latest call centre software, one can blend calls so that slack periods are filled with outbound work, or even dealing with written or e-mailed enquiries.
Information systems have to be capable of putting the relevant information and instructions at the operator’s fingertips.
Call centre training is becoming an industry in its own right. However, I have a strong feeling that it is incapable of delivering all that it promises.