VIDEO: How to Efficiently Test Soft Skills
with Nancy Munro

christian montes

Host
Christian Montes
Executive Director of Sales at NobelBIz

Nancy Munro is an expert in contact center training simulations. As part of her daily activities, she needs to be able to proactively test soft skills within her agent view simulations. This is why she’s the best person to listen to and learn how to efficiently test for soft skills.

christian montes

Guest
Nancy Munro
CEO & Founder
Verbal Transctions

Christian Montes

So let’s pivot a little bit more to how those simulations go when you talk about soft skills:

What is your approach on how to actually test for soft skills? Because my understanding is that soft skills are really important in this space.

This article is part of our podcast series. Listen to it here:

1. Check If Your Agents Pretend They Know Everything

Nancy Munro

Right. So, one of our clients, a large software company that starts with an M, they’re using it to teach engineers active listening. You think about an engineer, when you call in to tech support, I don’t want to profile those people but a lot of times they think they know the answer right away.

2. See If Your Agents Know How to Listen

And so, what they wanted to teach them was, you know, really listen! So, the active listening was, the way they broke it down was like – when you reverse engineer something, it becomes more aware of what you’re doing. So, they basically said:

  • Greet the customer
  • Ask if this is a good time: we got your case, is this a good time to talk to you about this?
  • Then say: tell me what’s going on, explain to me the problem

3. Test How Agents Repeat Questions

Then the very next step is one that I think a lot of organizations miss and this is where it becomes a true soft skill: paraphrase what you just heard:

“So, what I just heard you tell me was…”

What that does to the customer is: “Oh, they really want to make sure that I clarified what’s going on. They’re listening to me. And that somehow subconsciously says they care about me and they want to get this problem done.”

Christian

Also that they understand what the problem is.

4. Check If Agents Ask Clarifying Questions

Nancy

Right. Exactly. And if they don’t it’s like “Ok! Tell me more.” – and even then, I think you need to ask a couple more clarifying questions you know with just the information that you’ve been given, it’s been clarified, you need to take it a couple of steps further.

When I asked them: do you have any recordings of somebody doing this, they said “Well, no, we can’t come up with any.” They didn’t have any to share with me.

5. Check If They Do It Live vs In a Training Environment

So now it’s become a standard process of teaching them how to do it in this way. And so, once you learn to do that in the simulator, it’s going to become second nature to you when you’re on the phone with a live customer.

Christian

Great and that makes sense because a lot of times when we’re talking about, especially technical things, making sure that the customer actually is on the same page and you’re speaking the same language. It very much makes it so that the conversation is focused, you get the right outcome, and obviously you got the lack of getting frustrated which is always important.

Summing Up

Maybe not the most obvious of ways to approach the issue of how to test soft skills, but Nancy sure has a software developer’s eye for how to do it efficiently.

Do you agree? Disagree? How do you do it in your contact center? Let us know in the comments.

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