Allan Kay, our Training Manager, reflects on the joys and frustrations of implementing a training programme for a contact centre.
It all seems oh so simple to begin with. You work with the administrators to create a structure for the training and create profiles. We cover the main items in call recording, how to search and replay, evaluate and then set up the reporting. Add a fantastic quality management system and “Bob’s your Uncle!” – REALLY?
On your marks, get set…..GO
Obviously, I’ve simplified this, but when a new installation of software takes place, it feels (to some) that this is how easy it should be. By teaching the ‘admins’, hundreds of operators will be fully capable of performing above their points threshold in perpetuity.
The drive to launch and improve responses can lead to short-cutting the most significant part of creating a highly performing team – the initial scope. Some can ignore new and innovative parts of the functionality of the system for the sake of speed
“I’ll never use the cruise control function in this car – don’t show me how to use it” – and then 3 months later your new job has you on every motorway in the UK.
The organisation which is bold to begin with, embracing every facet of the software, reaps the reward in both in terms of performance and reduces the need for further training.
One size doesn’t fit all
Every contact centre is different. Pressures from clients, external Ombudsmen and internal Boards leads to differing standards in scoring and quality management (QM). To match that, training will flex to meet the needs of every organisation.
In QM, we can tailor questions to create a bespoke scoring system. We can set up analytics to collate group performance, not just the success of individual operators.
Vitally, we can work with internal Learning & Development staff to create programmes which suit the different learning styles and levels of knowledge that are in the organisation already.
It is about working with me to scope and create the best possible training plan which will improve individual and group performance AND maximise the value of the days where a face-to-face trainer is present.
The Game’s Afoot
The new system starts and we all lived happily ever after. Of course not.
Even with the best preparation and launch, staff turnover kicks in, human error takes place, and many skills taught are not used quickly enough to be retained. That is life in a contact centre. To add to the confusion, a new software update is launched three months later, and further training is required.
The speed of change can seem overwhelming, but it need not be.
Well-scoped and implemented training plans will need modified, but not overhauled. An agile response to performance management, reviewing the systems and not just staff, will also lead to great success.
Best of all, if you work closely with an excellent supplier (ahem – SVL Business Solutions– shameless plug) then this constant change need not have the impact you might fear.
It’s good to talk
A blog shouldn’t be one-way traffic. Link-In with me and in the comments section (or by InMail) let me know your current major training problems and I’ll respond to you personally.
As a special deal (I’m feeling generous today) I’ll offer a free one-hour webex session to the organisation who gives me a really “juicy” challenge.
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