The word "training" may often elicit groans from call center agents. Most likely, this word brings to mind barely remembered hours spent sitting in a classroom watching the clock as a teacher, professor or trainer delivers a lecture. Obviously, this reaction to training isn't the fault of the act of training at all, but rather the ways which training has been delivered in the past.
There are better ways to deliver training than to simply offload information to an individual or group and, in fact, humans learn better through application. As such, contact center transformation expert West Interactive recently posted a blog entry about the best ways to foster a better learning environment.
As with physical exercise, the best way to prepare an audience for learning is to warm them up. About three or four days prior to the first proper training session, send out an activity for trainees to complete before that first class. For example, ask training participants to create a short list of questions they would like to have answered during training, or come up with a problem or scenario relevant to the topic of the session. The trainer too can warm up by speaking to an expert about the training subject and share what was learned with the class.
Furthermore, if you are to discuss a topic very technical in nature, it may be most helpful to the learning process to invite a panel of experts to sit in on a session. This offers different viewpoints, while also acting as an excellent networking resource for learners.
Lastly, the blog post suggests a technique called "think, pair, share," which encourages learners to work together. The first step comes when those being trained consider the question or problem posed, while the second comes when the trainer pairs learners together to discuss the problem further. Lastly, the trainer seeks responses from the groups, allowing for greater discussion and reflection on topics and issues.
West Interactive (News - Alert) often offers up important information on its blog. In August, the company warned of the dangers of IVR fraud to the modern contact center as a way for criminals to sneak into a company's database. In June, West Interactive president Skip Hanson sat down with TMC (News - Alert) to discuss the broad range of challenges facing today's contact centers, covering such topics as the struggle of maintaining day-to-day operations, dealing with outdated equipment and much more.
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Edited by Rich Steeves