November 22, 2016
Educating a Distributed Workforce
Filed under: Educators
Director of Education and Development
Virtual Contact Center Education/Curriculum Design
Enthusiasm Drives Home Lesson
Jennifer Brown, an elementary school teacher, had just had her first baby and decided to stay home.
Soon after, she realized she needed to find another job. Browsing a site for work-at-home moms, Jennifer found a list of contact center positions—and applied to them all.
After hearing back from Working Solutions, she called her mother to say it sounded like a dream job.
The company often seeks classroom teachers to educate its remote agents, Jennifer said. “Our experience with engaging learners is one ingredient within our educational secret sauce. We all have that passion for learning, that desire to find solutions to meet the needs of the different learners in our classroom.“
For three years, Jennifer engaged students as an online instructor and contractor. Then, she moved into curriculum development as an employee in late 2007.
“Content expertise is one thing,” she said, “but managing a class and making it fun and engaging is another.”
A subject-matter expert knows the content, whereas a teacher knows how to manage a classroom and bring out the best within each learner.
Jennifer, like every instructor at Working Solutions, embodies both skill sets. She taps various virtual learning styles to prepare agents for successful client engagements.
In 11 years here, she has worked 34 client programs, crisscrossing every major industry. As director of education and development, she oversees curriculum design and training for seven clients today.
Jennifer credits Working Solutions University for providing edgy, yet intuitive, technology in the classroom. “It meets the need of every type of learner,” especially millennials, with a feature-rich app for their mobile devices.
On their phones, agents check grades, listen to sample customer greetings and do self-paced learning. “They access all the sophisticated tools they would have in today’s universities.”
Everyone’s career has a “famous moment,” such as when a client asks for the seemingly impossible. Jennifer’s is no exception.
This Working Solutions client, a travel management company, needed to take over increased call volume for a major airline. Its marketing campaign for discounted fares flooded the business.
The mission: Handle the overload ASAP.
Live in Two Days
Within 24 hours, Jennifer said the education team assembled an accelerated instruction timeline and program. By the second day, agents were ready to take live calls.
“It was a great accomplishment. All hands on deck.”
A cross-functional team from IT, operations and education came together, ramping up to deliver for the travel company and airlines.
Duly noted, as the client contact said: “I’ve never been in a call center where all instructors were certified educators. Going forward, I will only use certified educators to teach new students.”
Celeb Chat for a Good Cause
Forget “you’ve got mail.” Jennifer had something—or rather, someone—better. Chatting one-on-one with Tom Hanks.
Here’s how it happened.
Sponsored by The Comedy Channel, fans could talk with their favorite movie and comedy stars for a minimum donation, which the celebrity matched.
Mr. “You’ve Got Mail” Himself
The client’s web-cam technology linked stars and fans. Working Solutions agents cued up the calls, made the introductions and monitored the conversations.
Jennifer said they didn’t have quite enough agents, though, so the education team pitched in.
That gave her the opportunity to speak with Mr. “You’ve Got Mail” himself as Jennifer lined up Hanks’ next fan and contributor.
Celeb chat for a good cause. “A cool program,” she said.
“We never want to be behind when it comes to education. And education changes by the day.”