In my last post, I encouraged managers to use their comprehension of their contact centers as a starting point for a conversation with training personnel. I’d like to dive a little more into that theme, with a step-by-step plan for contact center training. Keep in mind that this is a rather simplistic version of plan that must really be much more detailed in its implementation; it should, however, be enough for a solid start!
1. Identify the performance gaps. What knowledge or skills do your employees need to have to best perform their jobs? Does your contact center data indicate weaknesses that can be improved through training? It is important to ensure that your needs can be addressed through training (and are not related to motivation or environment); be as specific as possible in identifying the training needs and learning objectives.
2. Identify the time you have available. Using historical data from your contact center, identify all chunks of time that could be used for training. Keep in mind that periods as short as a minute or two up to several hours (or days) could potentially be used for training purposes.
3. Talk to training personnel at your organization. They should be the experts about education and training, and they will be able to help you match learning goals with available time periods. This will likely be a time-consuming step, as you work with the training personnel to clearly identify next best steps.
4. Coordinate with the trainers to determine the best plan for rollout. This could include a wide variety of plans: an email link to short tutorials, a 1-hour refresher course, or a day-long session covering a new skill.
5. Deliver the training. Depending on the time required for the session, use your historical or real-time data to identify the best times for delivery. Do you historically have a down-time, with several slower hours? Use that to deliver longer sessions. Do agents sometimes have a few minutes between calls? Use real-time data to encourage agents to watch a minute-long video tutorial. As I mentioned in my previous post, software is available to identify these time frames and push information automatically.
6. Evaluate your training. This is where your robust understanding of data can really be useful; compare your contact center data before and after training to determine if your efforts were successful.
Of course, even if your attempts are a raging success, you will need to start the whole process again as customer expectations continue to evolve, new products or services or released, or other new skills are required!