The Interaction blog has been inactive for a couple of years, so I am delighted to present our first re-launch article. Watch this space in 2019!
When creating a contact center training program, what you must keep in mind is that every person learns in a different way, so what can work for one may not work for another. That is why it’s paramount that you leave some flexibility when creating a traing schedule, in order to be able to adjust should the need arise.
Now, what is the first thing you need to do?
Think about the time.
Of course the key word is organization. The old saying “The ones that can’t do, teach” is not true. You should actually be able to do the things you are teaching, or at least know how they work. When organizing contact center training, it's a good idea to think about how long it took for you to understand the concept or process you are explaining.
Now, that said, the length of a training depends on multiple factors. You have to consider first of all the amount of information that you have to pass on, then of course the average time before you actually need the person you hired to start working. Moreover, if you work for a big bank as I do, you probably have to consider the set up time for getting systems access for the new recruit.
In my experience an effective contact center training should last at least two weeks: one for the actual teaching and one for shadowing.
The first week should not be all talking; the passing of information should be supported by interactive activity. What I find useful are the two way questions to keep them listening. Questions help think and solidify what you just discussed, plus they keep the new recruits on their toes, especially if you have more then one at the same time: a good friendly competition to see who answers first and correctly works wonders!
It's also a good idea to break the routine with some practical tests, just to understand if they are following everything you are saying, or if they just pretend to. Because one thing is talking about it, but another is writing it down. You should also prepare some kind of “end of course” test, which should contain more or less everything you explained. In that way you will have a comprehensive view of the level of understanding they have of the whole job process. Should you work with particular software applications , it would be a good idea to test their practical knowledge on those as well before you leave them to work on their own.
Once the explanation is done and the test is passed, hopefully with flying colors, they should at least have a week of shadowing.
They get to see how the job is done, learn useful tricks and procedures from an experienced agent is the best way to dissipate any lingering doubts they might still have.
Now, if you follow your schedule, after two weeks they are fully prepared and ready to leave the nest and work on their own., Just remember weekly or even daily checks are very important to keep them on track and to make sure that they are doing the job properly. Should they not, coaching sessions on a particular subject or procedure should do the trick!