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Group system training


Hi All,

I am a fairly inexpereinced custmer service Training Officer/Manager, that has kind of fallen into the role of trainer/quality control but enjoying it immensley.

My company runs an apprenticeship scheme and as sept - Jan is our peak trading time we will be having an influx of around 134 new starters set out over around 10 weeks. They will be in groups of around 14 staff per week, adding to a contact centre that already currently has around 100 staff inclusive of managers, seniors etc.

I need to deliver induction training &  basic system training to all of these new entrants (we do have the facility to buddy up for call listening & obeservations etc) , I am feeling a little swamped to say the least.

Any good advice out there from experienced traininers/training managers who may have also come across this type of challenge

3 Responses

  1. Start with the basics

     Hey Zoe

    The way we do it in our company is we start with ‘What’s our company all about, why are we here & why do we do it’, then we move on to the soft skills modules all the customer service stuff – how to handle difficult calls, how to deal with diversity, One Call Resolution etc, then it’s all the technical stuff intermingled with the customer service skills. 

    We only train the top 20 call types that come into our business, no use in training it all and confusing people with too much knowledge, especially those ‘once in a blue moon calls’ as your trainees won’t retain the knowledge.  Train them 100% on the systems that they will use on a daily basis and they will know where to go for help to find the answer to those ‘once in a blue moon’ calls.

    In our training room we have telephones and we role play, 1/2 of the class play the customer and 1/2 play the customer service rep.  We try to make it as realistic as possible so the 1/2 playing the customer leave the training room and call from meeting rooms with queries that they have learnt about during the week or from previous weeks, when you first introduce the session don’t expect people to be over joyed at what you are proposing but by the end of an hour once everyone has had a chance to play the CSR a couple of times they are asking when they can do it again.

    Another thing we do is get the CSRs thinking that if they owned the company how would they like their CSRs to talk to their customers?  Break them into small groups of 3 – 4 and get them to go away and come up with their own recipe for what makes a great call.  During this session we get them to call other contact centre’s with a real life scenario and just listen to how other companies talk to their customers, once everyone comes back together debrief, it’s fantastic as there are always great experiences and really bad experiences and it really gets people thinking would I like to be talked to like that? 

    We also have call coaches that come in and we listen to other CSRs calls (you need ask permission of the person you are going to be listening to and make it clear that ‘what goes on tour stays on tour’) and we discuss, assess & mark them together as a group, gives the trainees a good insight into how their calls obs are marked and what criteria you use.  You need examples of great calls and unfortunately not so good calls, the not so good calls really need to come from people who no longer work at your company.  Starting a call library is a good idea.

    Hope this has helped.

    Cheers Christine

  2. Before they start


    I’m also working on my company induction process (much smaller than yours), and one of the things that I’ve started is the idea of Onboarding – sending out basic information before they come into the office, giving them general information.

    My onboarding program includes names of our company specific applications, our standard software and some basic terms that we use in-house. The idea being that I then don’t need to cover it as part of the actual induction.

    Treasure Hunts can be a fun (or more interesting) way to help them learn about the company – although it will depend on what information you want them to learn, where it can be found and of course how much time you’ve got.

    The other thing that I try to do, where possible, is get them to decide on the do’s and don’ts, then compare to the ‘official’ line. More often than not, they come up with the same items – since they’ve made the ‘rules’ it’s more likely to stick.

    Hope that helps a bit and good luck.

    — Michelle Kaye IT Trainer Boodle Hatfield

  3. Re: 134 delegates in 10 weeks…

    If you have the budget hire an external trainer to deliver every few weeks to take the pressure off you.  I am assuming that you also need to do other things…?

    I would make two lists:

    1-  Need to Know

    2 – Nice to Know

    Develop the material and training to cover the "Need to Know" as a priority and then cover the "Nice to Know". Use the buddy system you mentioned to cover off that area.

    I would also look to developing internal coaches within the contact centre that can reinforce the messages you cover on the training.

    Use plenty of experiential learning and bring in more experienced operators to deliver some modules (again helping you with your time.)

    Andrew Miller




    — Thanks Andrew Miller

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