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A New Talent Acquisition Strategy: Training

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Image: Kateryna - stock.adobe.com
As I discussed in my previous post, “Agent Onboarding: A New Strategy for the Remote Worker,” onboarding ensures the new contact center agent starts on the right foot to foster and sustain high levels of agent engagement from day one. In the final in my three-part series on agent retention, I’ll look at why training can be the biggest challenge, especially in our rapidly changing business environment.
 
Remote learning for agents that work from home (WFH) is here to stay. KPMG reported 90% of corporations “now use e-learning compared to just four percent in 1995.” What started as instructor-led online learning has matured into interactive e-Learning, video-based tutorials, and micro-learning modules that support the WFH model. COVID-19 is motivating contact centers to develop a new training strategy that includes digital learning.
 
Pre-pandemic contact center training often used slide projectors, white boards, and handouts. As time and technology progressed, we evolved into PowerPoint presentations and graphic workbooks. Learning leaders are transforming training processes by utilizing virtual training tools like live chats, just-in-time learning, video instructions, and simulated learning tools that can be easily accessible via the Internet on the agent desktop. Yet, LinkedIn reported 68% of employees “prefer when learning takes place at the workplace.” Even trainers recognize the challenges of remote learning that were apparent when delivering face-to-face training.
 
Travel bans, social distancing, and closed facilities each support virtual learning but may prove to be challenging when it comes to delivering training content. Most trainers acknowledge remote learning can be as good if not better than in-person learning. In either case, keeping the learner engaged is key to learning outcomes. The use of online chat, replayable video modules, and breakout rooms builds connectivity online. Trainers stay personally engaged and connected with learners during and after training through discussion boards, emails, phone/video calls, and one-on-one interactions. Again, this approach requires IT, learning and development, and operations to work together to develop the process and tools to support new hire training. Some organizations have turned to outsourced learning resources specifically designed for contact center agents.
 
One such company, Verequest, is helping to augment the agent training process with learning modules that empower frontline staff with the skills needed to support even the most challenging customer interactions. When choosing learning resources, ensure the modules are SCORM-compliant and can be hosted on the customer’s own learning management system (LMS), facilitates the management, delivery, and measurement of an organization’s corporate learning programs. Learners simply access the LMS to see their assigned courses, evaluations, and onboarding compliance so they can ramp up. More importantly, remote training is now automated to onboard and support new agent learning and development.
 
Retention is a tough challenge for any contact center. The winning strategy is a combination of recruiting, hiring, and onboarding plus training. Start with a solid recruitment plan focused on identifying and hiring high-performing employees who have the skills and abilities needed to deliver exceptional customer service. Further, improve retention rates by providing a great onboarding and training experience.

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