CallTalk Caramels: Investments in Employee Training… Are you getting bang for your buck?
CallTalk is a monthly internet radio program featuring the most innovative managers and thought leaders in the customer contact field, interviewed by BenchmarkPortal CEO, Bruce Belfiore. “Caramels” distills key moments from these interviews into practical, bite-sized nuggets to inform and assist you as a contact center professional.
Call center leaders want well-trained employees who are good performers, but they need practical training solutions that can be implemented quickly, without breaking the bank. IF they can be assured that the investment will yield the desired results; call center leaders are willing to invest in high-quality training, even in tough economic times.
BenchmarkPortal research has identified best practices that will result in optimal learning programs:
- Create performance-based training. This is training designed to focus on job tasks and goes beyond topics such as corporate policies or use of software applications. Advantages include:
- new hires are exposed to what they’ll be expected to do on the job and the way they are expected to do it
- reduction in job shock – – and it builds confidence
- Turning “job-fear” into job satisfaction, which keeps attrition rates down
- Deploy learner-centered training. This is training that keeps learners actively engaged. Learners should:
- practice the skills they’ll be using on the job
- be given multiple opportunities to put it all together by participating in scenario-based activities that require them to use their customer service skills and system navigation skills, while adhering to policies
Always try to minimize lecture time and maximize practice activities. Avoid content overload. When cramming occurs, the effectiveness of training is lost.
Consider how to improve your training programs by working with an instructional system designer. Most high-quality training programs are developed by experts in the field of learning. A skilled instructional systems designer can work with internal staff to get superior business results.
Use performance support systems; this technology is designed to help agents find task-based information at the time of need. A performance support system provides user-specific just-in-time information. That information might be a flow diagram, a step/action table, or sample scripting that allows agents to bring a timely and correct solution to the call.
Emphasize teamwork and collaboration. Create a cross-functional project team that consists of content experts who know policy and procedure, training developers, trainers, quality assurance managers, and agents. Their focus should be a collaborative effort to ensure that business processes, policies, procedures and software applications are all in alignment with company goals and strategies.
Do your training activities yield solid business benefits? Performance-based, learner-centric training approaches have a track record of producing the results managers require.
Tip of the Month: Focus training on job tasks first, and on knowledge second; new employees will make an easier transition from the classroom to the call center floor.
This CallTalk Caramel was compiled and edited by Bruce Belfiore and Kamál Webb. It was drawn from a CallTalk episode with Susan McDonald Osborne, entitled “Investments in Employee Training… Are You Getting a Big Bang for Your Buck?”. To listen to the entire episode click play below.