Well, there is a Sticky Secret to delivering Call Center Training that really works!
In this second of my 3-part series, I’m sharing two more of those secret ways to make your call center training sticky. And sticky training delivers results! (You can read Part 1 HERE).
Step 3: Don’t Just Talk Theory
Once upon a time, my customer service team participated in a truly intense workshop on listening skills. By the time the workshop was over we knew all the science behind listening. We knew at least a dozen detailed listening techniques. And everyone passed the test with flying colors. Hurray!
Unfortunately, what our call center reps failed to learn is how APPLY that training to their most common calls. They understood the concept but were unable to easily implement in real life scenarios.
After investing 2 hours, they just went back to doing what they were doing before! That was the easiest path for them. And who doesn’t want to take the easy road?
What went wrong? The leap from theory to application was too big. It required them to think about the theory and figure out how to apply to their micro-world. And they just didn’t have time to do that on their own. They had to jump on the phone and grab the next call after training was over.
What should have happened? There should have been actual case studies based on real experiences in our call center included in the training. Not just one case study, but dozens of them so the reps could put themselves in the scene and believe they could actually apply the theory.
So although I insist upon including theory in training, in this case it would have been better to spend 30 minutes on theory at a higher level and then really dived into examples of application.
Step 4: Practice, Practice, Practice.
Without a doubt this is the most critical step if you want sticky training! Practice with real life examples from your call center. Help your reps believe the solution you are presenting will work when they go back to their desks. And show them that it will require minimum effort on their part.
Research suggests that you will get better results if you include more than one type of practice exercise in your class. It doesn’t seem to matter what type of exercises you use. What matters is that you approach practice from multiple directions. The result is increased engagement and significantly higher knowledge retention.
For best results always combine 2-3 exercises.
For example if working on soft skills: you could start with an old fashioned fill in the blank paper quiz combined with group discussion of specific scenarios.
If working on computer skills: try practicing as a group on the overhead screen and then everyone individually completing a scenario on their own computer plus a third exercise circling the correct information on printed screen shot.
If you only make one change to your training classes, make this easy to implement adjustment and you will find a big improvement in your results.
2 More Steps to Come
Stay tuned, in my next post I will share two more ways to make your call center training sticky. If you missed the first two steps you can read it HERE.