Blog - Development

Transitioning Knowledge – Beyond Basic Training

11/08/2012

When you envision training new hires in a contact center, you think about the first few hours being all about the basics.  Typically the training goes over how to answer the phone, how to respond to a question, how to find FAQs. So how does that basic training differ from true knowledge transfer in a virtual call center environment?

The Working Solutions’ agents are experienced and do not require many of the basics. This saves time in teaching soft skills. By creating a strong profile of the ideal agent, including looking for emotional intelligence, we are able to jump into the more detailed and important aspects of knowledge transfer. Therefore, we only need to provide knowledge that is specific to a client’s engagement process.

Knowledge transfer is the meat of every training program. It is the steps, information and details needed to effectively interact with customers on every aspect of a client’s product or service. It is learning the expertise required to positively impact every customer interaction while improving the customer service satisfaction metrics.

Good knowledge transfer in a virtual call center requires multiple steps to be effective:

  1. Train the Trainer – the best knowledge transfer begins with training the trainer. This trainer immerses herself in every nuance of a client’s product or service. The trainer will have a thorough understanding of the most effective troubleshooting tactics, as well as customer interaction preferences. Plus, the trainer will understand the product or service in as much detail as any of the client’s employees.
  2. Create a Virtual Knowledge Transfer Program – the tools required to be effective in online training are different than in a classroom. It is critical to understand the most important areas of knowledge and drill down on those in multiple ways, including tests, assessments, and virtual interaction with trainers.
  3. Make It Easy – once the courses are designed, making it easy for team members to access and understand is very important. Pare down the information into bite-sized chunks that can be reinforced throughout the learning. Give multiple examples to drive home the learning.
  4. Communicate, then Communicate Again – repetition of key knowledge transfer components will ensure that the agents really understand and can answer any customer interaction appropriately. Utilizing role playing scenarios during the virtual training is a good way to effectively over-communicate while keeping it fun.
  5. Create Follow-Up Touch Points – often classroom training goes for a specific time and then is not touched on again other than on the job. One of the powerful components of virtual training is the ability to proficiently learn through the creation of additional courses that support mastering important topics.

Basic training is important and should not be skipped over if needed. However, the real power of training lies in effective knowledge transfer ensuring agents assisting customers are well-versed in every aspect of a product or service. Coupled with the strong desire to assist customers, agents will be ready to take on any challenge given to them.

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