Quick Tips to Leverage Technology for Training Efficiency
By Susan Hash

Fixing a business or performance problem is an effective way to demonstrate the value of training. But, in some cases, the process that needs to be fixed is the training itself. In her work with call centers, Rebecca Gibson, a contact center solutions consultant with Interactive Intelligence, sees a lot of inefficient training practices that contribute to wasted resources, time and budget.

One of the most common is pulling two or three people at a time into a classroom for training on new processes or applications. Understaffed centers might feel that it’s the only way to ensure adequate phone coverage while providing training, but in some cases, it may signal a trainer who lacks the skills to use technology to share knowledge and so reverts to the classroom.

Agents can be taught simple process changes easily and inexpensively with a quick screen video of the process, or by putting an explanation in a PowerPoint template, dropping in a video and publishing it for people to view, says Gibson, adding that: “The technology doesn’t have to be expensive or fancy.”

Webinars are another effective alternative to classrooms, especially for centers with multiple sites or remote staff. “Webinars offer a high ROI for call centers with restricted budgets because they allow access to expert information, while saving on travel costs for both staff and the speaker,” says Mike Aoki, president of contact center training firm Reflective Keynotes. “A well-designed webinar will include great audio visuals, a workbook, and interactive activities such as polls, chat, Twitter discussions and Q&A.”

Rapid development tools, such as Adobe Captivate, Articulate and Udutu, allow internal subject-matter experts to leverage their knowledge and “to quickly and easily create Web-based tutorials with interactive features, quizzes, narration and demonstrations,” says Gibson.

“While you may rely on the training department for the majority of your formal training, these types of tools give you the opportunity to present information more effectively,” she says. “Rather than pulling people off the phones for a rushed team meeting or sending out a complex email, you can send a link to a 10-minute tutorial with a video demonstration of how use a new application or process. Team members can view it throughout the day, and it can be added to your new-hire training curriculum.”

SNAPSHOT: Wyndham Consumer Finance Inc.

In a contact center, it can be difficult to keep employees motivated and challenged on a daily basis. Because the work environment can be fairly regimented, employees may feel intimidated to voice their opinions. They often feel that offering suggestions is a waste of time because no one will do anything about it, which, in turn, makes them feel hopeless and unmotivated. And if no one cares how the employees feel or makes an effort to listen, then why would they want to do their best to make the company as successful as it can be? Wyndham Consumer Finance took this question to heart. Company leaders decided to implement changes to make employees' concerns a priority and to ensure that they know that their opinions are valued. How? By engaging frontline agents in the process using Six Sigma tools that allowed them to take ownership and responsibility of their own work and to drive a continuous improvement culture.

Read the full story here.


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