9 Ingredients of an Agent Competency Framework

Does your Customer Service organization have an official Agent Competency Framework?  If the answer is either, “No,” or “What the heck is that?”  keep reading!  If the answer is “Yes,” keep on reading too, and you might be able to improve on your existing framework.

What is an Agent Competency Framework?
An Agent Competency Framework, simply put describes the steps, actions, activities, measurements and timelines in the overall effort to develop an agent’s skills, behavior and knowledge. The framework also service as a method to help your agents understand what you expect from them in their role and what is required if they want to advance in their career.  Each organization should define its own framework to suit their goals and objectives, corporate culture and values.

A large portion of the value of this framework lies in the fact that it provides a consistent approach. Everything is structured and done in a specific way and it is done in the same way each time. Consistency is king!  Also, as the framework is described, it can be easily communicated, everybody should know what the process is, and what will be done to execute upon it.

What is in an Agent Competency Framework?
As with many strategies or ideas, they are worthless if they aren’t executed. These nine ingredients to implement an Agent Competency Framework for Customer Service will provide this starting point and guidance towards developing your own framework.

  1. Define clear performance goals.
  2. Introduce progressive job roles (trainee, junior agent, agent, senior agent, etc.).
  3. Develop Targeted training programs and certification criteria for each job role.
  4. Define clear criteria for progression, quality gates and milestones.
  5. Define roles and responsibilities.
  6. Monitor if knowledge is used effectively.
  7. Measure quantitative performance.
  8. Seek customer feedback.
  9. Coach your agent and define specific steps or courses for them to advance.

Key tools that will support your efforts when you assess your agents (the Quality Gate) are Workforce Optimization and Performance Management. To read more and download the white paper, Six Essential Capabilities Your Workforce Management Solution Ought to be Delivering.

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