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Our Obsession Continues… Design to Help Customer Support Agents Shine

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In our first installment, we discussed how Humach’s training programs for customer sales and support teams are backed by behavioral science, focused on bridging the gap between academia and practice.  This level of commitment is extremely rare, and truthfully takes a lot of time and focus to deliver.  We feel it’s definitely worth it to create truly great agents.

The Humach team utilizes the ADDIE model of instructional designAnalyze, Design, Develop, Implement and Evaluate.  In this second installment of our five-part series, we will continue to provide insights into our obsession with training by outlining the second step in building a solid training program – Design.

This makes sense, because excellent customer service and support are not achieved by accident. It’s by design.

“During the Design phase, we formalize the learning goals and formulate the instructional strategy for the curriculum,” says Dezaray Hammond, Vice President of Training and Development.  “Everything we do ties right back into the learning goals.”

Blueprint Before Build

Just like the Analyze phase, it’s still not time to crack open PowerPoint.

If buildings were created the way most create training, we’d be surrounded by rickety structures just waiting for them to fall. The same can be said for developing customer service & support training – without putting the right pieces into place to build a solid training program, your agents will be waiting to fail.

The Design phase is like a blueprint. You create an overall picture of your training that includes engagement to ensure success.

“You want to plan activities, determine how long each piece will take to facilitate and incorporate the right adult learning principles to make the training stick,” says Dezaray. “And, it has to be fun!”

You may think this seems like a lot of work, and you are right.  Crafting world-class training & customer experience takes commitment and time.  We’ll let you in on a little secret – the industry standard is that one hour of instructor-led classroom time takes approximately 60 hours of development time.

Think about that for a moment. Creating a PowerPoint with a slew of bullet points and the occasional stock photo does not take that long.  And is not effective.  The reality is that true outcomes-based training is a specialized field.  One that Humach is happy to commit to so that we provide the best results for our clients.

We believe you measure twice, cut once. That’s how we ensure that agents are prepared with what they need to know and what they need to be able to do as a result of training. They leave feeling confident.


The Success Guide

“At Humach, we utilize a proprietary methodology that ensures successful training programs delivered in less time,” says Kelly Uhlrich, Chief Operations Officer. “Our methodology builds in engagement, client needs, and training goals conveyed in a way that builds agent confidence while also enjoying our training.”

While it may sound simple, the strategies behind Humach’s methodology are complex, yet effective.

“We take what we learn in the Analyze phase, then start building a foundational part of our secret sauce – the Facilitator’s Guide,” says Dezaray.

Now this is more than a How-To manual.  It’s not like any Facilitator’s Guide you may have seen before.  The Guide is structured with pre-planned activities, relevant and relatable stories, and ways to actively involve learners in the process of their own education.  We go far beyond a lecture and basic ask of “any questions?” into a deeper learning process.

This is the time to really delve into what will make the training effective.  Do we use instructor-led sessions, or self-paced?  Should the delivery be some sort of blended approach? What types of activities make sense for the content? What about tests? Interactivity? Group scenarios?  We know one thing for sure – dishing out a bunch of facts and slapping on a role-play or two is not it. We do things differently and always let the content be our guide.

“Connection is key. Designing a training program that creates an experience for learners is how you make your training memorable.  When agents remember the experience, they remember what to do and how to do it when they’re on the job,” says Dezaray. “Everything is strategic.  We’ve been known to tie songs, emojis and even s’mores to the content because we know agents will hear or see these things again and be reminded of the customer care we expect for our clients.”

Once the Design phase is complete, it’s time to start on the focus of our third installment, Develop. We’re finally going to create a presentation! But wait…there’s a lot more to the Develop phase than crafting PowerPoint slides. We can’t wait to share!

For over 30 years, it’s been our mission to provide call center services that transform brands, support teams, and grow businesses. We’re here to answer all your questions and tell you about your options so that you can confidently decide if outsourcing is right for you. Ready to learn more? Contact the experts at Humach today!

Access Your Guide to Design with Science Here


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