The scenario is typical in many call centers. You hire new agents, train them, allow time for them to shadow another agent and then boom – great agents.
The level of customer experience just isn’t there. Your agents don’t seem as enthusiastic as you had hoped. Even more frustrating is the continual need to repeat the same information over and over just to build the basic foundations for decent support.
The most important lesson is…world-class customer support starts with training. By training, we don’t mean the “death by PowerPoint” variety, but a well thought out, highly engaged training model that is iterative, focused, and frankly, fun.
It’s not easy to provide that level and type of training. Which is why Humach’s leadership invests heavily in robust instructional design methodologies to ensure their customers benefit from this robust infrastructure.
“We go way beyond the basic or even intermediate training philosophies to ensure that our team provides outstanding support to our clients,” says Kelly Uhlrich, Chief Operations Officer. “The results are well worth the effort and give us an opportunity to improve our client’s organizations in ways they are not able to do themselves.”
Humach’s training program for virtual agents is backed by behavioral science, and is focused on bridging the gap between psychology, academia, and practice. This takes a lot of research, education, and a significant investment in time.
“We focus on adult learning principles to ensure we lock in what we want our learners to know,” says Dezaray Hammond, Vice President of Training and Development. “Our team spends a lot of time researching to ensure we have the latest training advancements incorporated while making our customer service training programs enjoyable. You could say we are obsessed about delivering training that ensures continuous improvement.”
The Humach team utilizes the ADDIE model of instructional design – Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement, and Evaluate. In this five-part series, we will provide insight into our obsession with training so you can see first-hand our commitment to excellence for our clients and our team.
Analyze to Lay a Solid Foundation
Defining your team’s learning goals is step one, and often a step that is either missed or glossed over.
“It’s important to think about how to assess for success as a result of the training,” says Dezaray. “It’s not time to crack open PowerPoint. This is the time to truly identify and capture the desired training outcomes.”
Some steps are common sense, such as starting by identifying goals and the right subject matter experts (SMEs) to interview. However, this is just the beginning.
“Understanding the goals, identifying the mechanisms to lock in the learning, and then outlining the ideal learning environment in a documented process is key,” says Dezaray. “Where do we put in a test? What type of gamification should we consider? Where is the right place for video? It’s all part of developing a solid training model that really delivers.”
While this might seem simple, the truth is that this Analyzing step is a specialized skillset that requires an understanding of learning styles and how to adapt them to achieve desired outcomes. During this phase, the Humach team will discover the biggest challenges agents will face, the types of issues they will receive, & what makes agents the most excited. These factors truly capture a “day in the life” of an agent.
“We use the information gathered to strategically organize the curriculum so the most exciting parts of the job are delivered early,” says Dezaray. “This will capture interest and improve agent retention.”
How do you build a great training program?
“When you have a team as dedicated and passionate as ours, you are confident that you are delivering that WOW factor to your clients,” says Kelly. “Dezaray and her team are constantly researching and learning how to combine the academic and practical worlds of training to deliver top-notch customer support training.”
The ADDIE model is proven to deliver training that allows support agents to receive and retain knowledge. Retention is one of the top challenges in most training because agents are given training in a way that is overwhelming. Too much information delivered without the support mechanisms to ensure the knowledge is locked in.
“There are other learning models. We chose ADDIE because it is circular and gives us a 360-degree feedback loop,” says Dezaray. “Our commitment to training “ revolves around our passion to support all our clients with a benefit that provides continuous improvement for them, their customers, and all the support agents.”
In our next installment, we will discuss how the process moves from laying the foundation with Analyze to formalizing the learning in Design. This is where things get really interesting, so stay tuned!
For over 30 years, it’s been our mission to provide outsourced call center solutions 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!