July 9, 2013
Training Around Vacations Giving You the Summertime Blues?
Filed under: Entrepreneurship
Ah, summer! That time of year when we all head to our favorite place and enjoy time with family, friends, and loved ones. Unless your company has a moratorium on summer vacations, you may find yourself in the unenviable position of continuing “business as usual” even though there are many folks out enjoying a summer vacation. This makes it difficult to keep moving at the rapid pace that is now the norm of doing business. Especially if you must support a new product or service launch, and have the need to provide important training to agents.
What is a contact center to do? You can’t postpone launches because it’s vacation season. And you can’t wait to train all the agents at once due to the rollout. The most effective way to beat this training issue is to go virtual…and self-serve.
Virtual training has a multitude of benefits, including allowing access at any time. It is the self-serve model that empowers contact centers to provide outstanding training during any peak time. Whether it is to accommodate summer vacations, seasonal upswings, or ongoing maintenance, providing training in easy-to-understand bite-size pieces ensures that all agents have access to and are trained on the latest and greatest.
There are some best practices to consider when deciding how and when to use this self-serve virtual training model. Consider the following as you roll-out self-serve virtual training:
- What is the topic? Placing user information, latest updates, product specifications, and other critical data on virtual self-serve training models not only allows for agents to review at will, but also gives the center an opportunity to make updates as they become available. The agents can then be notified of the updates and review new “mini-trainings” on those topics. This keeps the information accurate and fresh, improving customer experiences while increasing agent knowledge quickly.
- How long is it? If the training is lengthy (say more than one hour), and cannot be broken up into shorter, interactive modules, then a live virtual training session is probably best. However, quick training with good gamification and lots of interactivity via questions and tests are ideal for self-serve training.
- What is the frequency? Self-serve is great because agents can go through the training at their convenience. However, there must be a way to ensure that the learning objectives are being met, so either design the virtual training with assessments and other measurement tools or sprinkle in an instructor-led course to break up the self-serve program and check for learning achieved by the agents.
- When was your last review? Often we use a “set it and forget it” thought process when designing self-serve virtual training classes. Sure they are great for those soft skills that you want to drive home or that legacy product that is never going to change. However, soft skills require a refresh, particularly as the technology changes. Furthermore, older classes should be evaluated from time to time to ensure that all learning styles are accommodated and that the information, even on a legacy product, has not changed.
Virtual self-serve training classes are convenient and effective, as long as they are designed with the agent in mind. Ensure that every course is interactive and encompasses all different styles of learning. Also, make sure there are benchmarks for ensuring the learning has occurred. Finally, set up metrics so that all the agents understand the importance of completing the courses in a timely manner. Then sit back and enjoy a summer of effective training!