Customers demand excellent communication skills. Call centers need to hire effective communicators. These are two critical conditions that on shore or offshore contact centers require when testing English skills and hiring the best talent.
However, while most call centers use traditional communication assessments for screening, these carry two enormous risks:
- Excluding best talent
- Selecting poor communicators
This post looks at three useful ways you can follow to enhance your recruitment process and ensure your call center assessment test is helping you meet customers’ demand.
#1 Test for Call Center Skills
Using assessments that look at general English skills or conducting informal assessments using standard interview questions are only some examples of test practices that result in hiring poor quality agents.
Make sure that your communication tests at recruitment are probing the specific skills required for success in customer interactions.
Research into this field has identified particular communication skills that are more closely linked to achieving high CSAT, Resolution and NPS results. Two of these crucial skills are:
- Discourse: Clear and logical explanations or instructions that are easily understood and do not require customer effort to comprehend and decipher.
- Interactive skills: Exhibiting appropriate tone and register, intercultural awareness, and the ability to manage. customer emotions, to repair communication breakdown and to adapt to the customer’s communication style.
Analysis of over 100 calls at a leading global contact center showed that agents who exhibited benchmark skills in discourse or interactive were also those who achieved at least 25% higher NPS (Net Promoter Score) than their colleagues.
#2 Stop Error Counting
Not all errors are equal and not all errors are worth counting when it comes to evaluating the necessary communication skills for customer service in a contact center environment.
Ensure you are assessing language as it is used. This means that you should evaluate language based on the overall experience of speaking to the person and how they were able to communicate in a relevant context. Gauging overall comprehensibility, a candidate’s language choices, and their ability to explain and interact are far better predictors of performance, than scoring based on errors or specific words used.
#2 Use Live Assessors
Even though automated language testing allows for faster communication assessment, an overreliance on it will not give you a full picture of a candidate’s communication skills in a dynamic, conversational context. Researchers agree that though automated tests provide busy recruiters with data quickly, the technology is capable of assessing only a very limited slice of a candidate’s ability to communicate.
Only a live assessor, who can evaluate tone of voice, nuance, confidence and adaptability, can reliably test the communication skills that your customers expect.
For example, for assessing speaking, live assessors are able to evaluate intercultural adaptability, by discussing complex and sensitive topics and seeing how candidates handle them. They would also be able to ask questions that require quick thinking to judge confidence and spontaneity.
When it comes to writing, live readers can pick up on the candidate’s ability to identify implicit tasks in emails. Unlike text recognition systems, they would also be able to assess for coherence of explanations in email responses. Last, but not least, readers can see if all queries have been effectively and fully addressed, thus avoiding follow-up.
With these three factors in mind, you are one step ahead in assessing the skills that are necessary for call center success.
BUPLAS (Business Performance Language Assessment System) is an end-to-end solution that assesses the aspects of communication that are critical to achieving success in customer interactions in the contact center industry. Sign up now for a free company assessment so that Future Perfect can help you bridge the gap within your organization.