Contact Center Pipeline August 2022 August 2022 - Page 19

Rather it should be a critical part of an agent ’ s daily work . Learning must adapt to the agent ’ s workflow and schedule .
While technology-based learning has been growing in popularity over the last few years , it exploded with the need to move agents home . While some companies have been managing by leveraging Webex or Zoom to deliver content as they have historically in a classroom , others have embraced all that learning management systems ( LMS ) offer .
Best practice learning environments have adopted a “ blended ” learning approach that combines online learning and online interaction opportunities with traditional , leader-led classroom methods ( classroom or via webinar ). It is not only more adaptable to the reality of the environment but also has a greater chance of fully engaging the learner .
Importantly , in a blended learning environment , classroom instruction and remote learning can each play to their strengths , as seen in this example .
The key to creating a successful learning journey is to leverage a wide variety of channels and techniques that gives the learner a view into the actual job experience . For example , your new hire training may look something like this :
• Welcome / Intro to Company – Live Webinar or In-Person Classroom
• Soft Skills – eLearning
• Product Knowledge ( Basic ) – eLearning
• Roleplaying - Telephone
• Spend time in the field ( branch , clinic , store )
• Spend time on the phones ( simple queue )
• Product Knowledge ( Advanced ) – Classroom or Webinar
• Policies , Procedures , Advanced Systems – Classroom or Webinar
• Final Comprehension Testing – eLearning
• Classroom instruction provides a critical “ human touch ” key to team building , culture development , and learner engagement .
• Group interaction helps employees learn from one another , which supports knowledge retention .
• Given that learners are face-to-face , it is easier for them to work in a team / group setting .
• For work-from-home agents , system training can be conducted on the same system they use for their day-to-day work , making simulations more realistic .
• Classroom delivery requires employees to gather physically , which significantly impacts workforce scheduling and the cost to deliver .
• Given that the classroom is leader-led , economies of scale are essential ; it is costly / challenging to run sessions with just 1-2 learners ( even though the need may be there ).
• Given that hands-on learning is a crucial component of any learning experience , having a computer lab available for training can be costly .
• Notably , classroom instruction relies on a person to deliver the content , who may ( or may not !) be a high-quality instructor or be having a good day . The learner experience can be inconsistent .
• Final Competency Testing / Roleplaying – Telephone
When designing content , it ’ s much more efficient to do it in a way that addresses both online learning and classroom instruction .
For example , you may have a group of 20 new hires that you will want to train all at once ( blended learning ). Two weeks later , you may need to train just three individuals , and you can ’ t wait for the next training session ( predominantly online learning with a peer coach ).
Or , you may have a classroom of in-person learners with one or two virtual agents ( present in-person while live-streaming to remote learners ). Flexibility in learning delivery will become even more critical over time .
Many organizations have purchased off-the-shelf learning that leverages generic content and examples to bring online learning into contact centers on a tight budget and even tighter timeline .
While this is better than having no online learning at all , it can derail your learning efforts . If you want agents to retain the knowledge , then the learning content needs to align as closely as possible with the actual environment they will be working in .
Contact center agents have a lot to remember and learn . Introducing customer service skills that may work well in a face-to-face retail setting won ’ t always translate well into a contact center . Likewise , hearing examples from a banking environment can only confuse an agent who works in healthcare or home services .
• One of the most significant advantages of online learning is that it drastically reduces cost ( at least 50 %) over traditional instructor-led training .
• Classroom size is no longer an issue .
• Although the ROI is solid , initial costs can be high and set-up time-consuming . ( Also see # 2 )
• Online learning isn ’ t well suited for every topic and can lack engagement without careful design .
• Learning is consistently delivered and can be more readily adapted into multiple languages .
• The learning can be spread out to accommodate workforce schedules , with agents progressing at their own pace .
• Most LMS support multimedia ( text , images , video ) and robust testing , driving greater learner engagement .
• Importantly , learners can be tracked and tested as they progress through the course .
• If you are not mixing up the delivery approach , online learning can contribute to social isolation ( particularly not great for a new hire ).
• While online learning is great for ensuring comprehension , careful consideration must be given to evaluating competency .
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