December 1, 2016
A Passion for Educating Agents
Filed under: Educators
Director of Education and Development
Virtual Contact Center Education/Curriculum Design
A Passion for Education
Stacy was destined to teach. For the first seven years of her career, she taught in public and private schools. Then, she decided to do something different.
In 2006, she applied for a contract trainer position at Working Solutions. Stacy worked virtually as an instructor for about two years, before moving into curriculum development as an employee.
In learning, she believes the smallest things matter. “The WooHoo factor makes a difference. Because it gets you smiling and sends all kinds of triggers to your brain. It makes people happy, which opens up the environment to learn.”
Stacy said fancy educational tools are great. Learning, however, comes down to a culture with a passion for teaching and problem-solving “and making it better—every single time.”
As director of education and development, Stacy today oversees curriculum design and training for four clients. Two of them—one consumer services and the other travel—are transforming their curricula.
“We have a great team, with really smart people and a lot of experience. And we’re changing and making it better. It’s a very dynamic process.”
Stacy and her team are constantly sharing best practices and learning from each other.
“We’re here to make each other better educators. The first thing I’ll do if I need help is email the team: ‘Hey, does anyone have a great activity, because this one is so boring?’
“And then, bam, I’ll get five replies with great ideas.”
Getting It Done Together
A client that develops consumer software asked Working Solutions to provide technical support for a third-party application it had purchased and launched.
As director of education and development for this account, Stacy’s job was twofold. First, learn the client’s current curriculum. Second, transform it into something that would engage Working Solutions agents in learning the program.
“My counterpart on the client side said: ‘Good luck. I’ve been doing this for nine years and I don’t know how you’re going to do it.’”
Stacy said a lot of clients have the same concern. “How are you going to do it any better than we’re doing it. And how are you going to do it virtually?”
“My goal was to build our relationship and communicate to her that this project and its success was my baby. That I wanted it to be so successful and we were going to get it done together.”
By the end of the project’s first week, the client manager was so impressed she gave Stacy a hug.
She realized Stacy meant what she said: That success comes not only from a strong personal commitment, but also from an open and collaborative partnership.
Listening to Learn
To ensure agents learn what they need to know, Stacy sits down with the client’s own agents and studies the curriculum firsthand—like an agent.
Stacy then compares her experience with what’s being taught. Boiling it down to the essentials, she introduces fun, engaging teaching methods to improve the process.
“We start with objectives agents need to know. I tell the client to give me the curriculum and teach me just like I’m an agent. And then I ask a million questions along the way.”
If there’s a secret weapon to education, Stacy said it’s listening to what agents have to say and course-correcting quickly.
She wants to know: Are they learning? Are they having a good time in class? Do they need extra help?
“We’re constantly gauging them in each class. Why? Because the classes and their needs are all different.”