Monday, October 30, 2017

An Alternative Approach to Agent Training

By Sean Hawkins

Two of the common reasons I hear regarding a lack of  agent training, are no money and no time. This answer is unacceptable simply because there are many alternative methods of training and development available. As I work in a small sized contact center, I am dealing with a smaller budget and fewer resources. As a result, creativity is my best friends. These approaches offer an exciting option for your staff.

At one point in my career, our contact center, with the help of the organization, created out own Toastmasters chapter. We found it to be a great way to improve our written and oral communication, as well as providing professional development opportunities for our staff. While this was voluntary, staff participation far exceeded our expectation.

I've also utilized the following as training opportunities:
  • Shadow
  • Mentorship
  • Webinars
  • Department Library
  • Lunch and Learn
  • Meet up groups
  • Volunteer Opportunities
Alternative training methods also lend well to the diverse learning styles. The truth is, not everyone learns the same. Experts suggest we learn in a variety of ways:
  • Visual
  • Aural (auditory-musical) 
  • Verbal
  • Physical
  • Logical
  • Social
  • Solitary 

These alternatives training opportunities may be appealing to those who do not do well in a formal setting, thus making the learning and development process more personal! Understanding how your staff prefers training, will aid in the success of your development program.

Informal learning programs provide a lot more flexibility in the way content is both created and consumed. As such, it is perfect when dealing with time constraints and budgetary concerns. 

I have over 15 years of progressive call center leadership and experience in the public, private and government sectors.

I have led or consulted contact centers of various sizes across numerous industries. Additionally, I’ve implemented new technology and products, while maintaining award-winning contact centers.

Connect with me on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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