I have been asked to update our contact center’s new-hire training program. What are some things I need to consider when developing a new program?

8/29/2015

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Question
I have been asked to update our contact center’s new-hire training program. What are some things I need to consider when developing a new program?

Answer

Contact center representatives are the “voice” of the organization to its customers and prospects, and the voice of the customer to the organization. Contact center representatives need to be well-versed in the organization’s products and services, policies and procedures, as well as its culture, in order to be properly positioned to represent the company to the public. Agents require effective communication skills so they can confidently and effectively interact and communicate with customers, members and prospects, increase sales, and build brand satisfaction and loyalty. Contact center representatives also need to understand how to access and navigate the company’s systems and screens to enable them to quickly identify and interpret the information they need to mitigate risk and accurately respond to inquiries. They need to incorporate all of these skills in real time to create a seamless, consistent and outstanding customer experience across all touch points. Contact center representatives require a formal training program that is highly interactive and experiential, to provide them with the knowledge, skills and, as importantly, the hands-on practice they need to help them succeed and thrive within a contact center A comprehensive contact center new-hire training program should typically include the following components:

  1. Course syllabus – provides training logistics and admistrative topics
  2. Course description – sets training and performance objectives and expectations
  3. Course curriculum – includes a detailed plan laying out the instructor’s content for each module, as well as materials, resources, and processes for knowledge and skills transfer
  4. Trainer’s manual – provides a complete and detailed instruction guide for the course instructor; this includes interactive exercises and skill assessments for each module to assess efficacy of knowledge transfer and job preparedness
  5. Trainee’s manual – contains all course materials and exercises, and gives employees a place to write notes
  6. Contact center policy and procedure manuals – this is often a knowledge base
  7. Contact center systems reference guide – this may be online help
  8. Job aids that have been developed as quick reference guides

We recommend that the training programs be jointly developed by you (and other domain experts in your organization) and a third party who specializes in developing customized contact center training programs. Keep in mind, however, that after the program is developed, you will need to establish a process for maintaining the program and its materials, and keep it up to date.