A good call center trainer can make all the difference in any call center but more so when outsourcing processes to other countries. The reason is because of the inherent culture and lifestyle differences between the US and countries like India the Philippines and Eastern Europe. In my experience, most of the popular offshore call center destinations already have American influences. That being said, I still believe it is mission critical to have an American trainer that works directly with the agents on the call center floor to help bridge the gap.
Here are the areas where I feel having an American call center trainer in an offshore facility can help…
- Culture- How Americans think and behave
- Language- accent training, vocabulary, American expressions, idioms
- Industry Specifics- industries like customer service, software, mortgages, insurance, etc. and the terminology that surrounds them
- Basic Phone Skills- phone etiquette, voice fluctuations and communications skills
American Culture Training
Each country has it’s own culture that is unmistakably their own. Things that might come across as rude and inappropriate in some cultures could be a social norm in others. Furthermore, America itself has culture differences just within it’s own states. A call center agent should be prepared to face the differences of dialing in the Southern or Western states in comparison to dialing in New York and other Northern areas. Even American call center agents must adjust their demeanor in these situations. Understanding and emulating these cultures can have a big impact on production. An offshore call center trainer will know how to convey these cultures.
Most Americans can listen to a call center agent for just 1 minute and be able to tell exactly what country that agent is from. Indians may have the most distinct accent of them all but it’s just as easy to spot a Filipino or an Eastern European on the phone as well. The being said, each has it’s own hurdles to overcome in order to smooth out their accent and improve pronunciation of English words. Even if they came to the US it would take ten years to loose the accent but the objective is to at least clean it up and this will have a huge impact on the communication. An expert call center trainer can also help with vocabulary and idioms as Americans have their own way of talking. As an American I can speak entirely in expressions and idioms in such a way that only another American would understand. Here’s an example… “It’s hard to catch the drift when a dude is using going around his elbow to use idioms back to back.” Ever watched a British movie and just didn’t really get what someone said even though they were speaking English? The British are also famous for this. Lastly, I speak fluent Tagalog but Filipinos can do it to me too and this is why it’s important to learn idioms and expressions.
Industry Specifics Trainer
If you are dialing on an insurance process, many Eastern Europeans, Filipinos and Indians take public transportation and most will never obtain an auto, home or life insurance policy and therefore, may not have a basic understanding of how these insurances work. In the same sense, mortgages are almost unheard of in these countries so additional training may be needed to explain the basics of mortgages and home loans when dialing on mortgage processes. These are just a couple of examples but the point is that no matter what your process is the chances are that additional call center training will be needed to educate offshore call center agents about American products and services.
Basic Phone Skills Training
Anyone in the call center industry will tell you that doing business over the phone, opposed to doing business face to face is a whole different animal. Call center agents should be guided by a call center trainer to know when to talk, when to listen and when to just shut up and leave a little space in the conversation. The art of phone etiquette can be found naturally in ultra social individuals but additional call center training is required for most. In addition, these styles vary depending on inbound and outbound call center processes as well as with sales and customer service processes. One’s demeanor and etiquette over the phone can make a huge difference in the call flow.
I have been working in call centers off and on since the age of 18 and have helped launch, manage and train call center facilities in the US, Philippines, India and Romania. Please contact me today for a free consultation as an offshore call center trainer.