Amanda Green looks at why you might not be seeing the best results from your agents’ training sessions.
There is a great deal of pressure on agents not only to provide the right advice to customers but also to deliver excellent service levels.
Yet many companies find that, in spite of significant training, agents still make errors in the way they deal with customer queries or complaints.
1. People don’t truly understand what they’ve been “told”
Giving people knowledge does not mean that they truly understand how, when and why they should use it. After all, the typical multiple-choice questionnaire handed out at the end of a training course can, more often than not, only really measure the ability to select the right answer from a list of possible answers.
It does not and cannot identify whether a person truly understands in what specific circumstance they should apply their new knowledge.
2. People are 100% confident they do know – when in fact they don’t
This is often the most damaging because it’s very hard to uncover.
It’s further compounded by the fact that people will come to work believing they’re doing a great job. They will wholeheartedly believe that the advice or response they’ve given to a customer query is the right one and they will be happy and confident that they’ve followed the correct company process and procedure along the way.
When asked to attend a training or refresher course, people can wrongly believe they already know and understand well, which in turn makes them approach the course with the wrong motivation.
3. The tools and resources provided are not used to best advantage
Most organisations make significant investment in learning and development systems, tools, materials and expertise. However, these may not be designed or presented in the best way for the end user to get the most out of them.
The information provided via the intranet or knowledge management solution may be excellent, but if your agents find it difficult, time consuming or intimidating, they simply won’t use it all.
Employee assessments can highlight knowledge gaps
To achieve customer service excellence and uncover the root causes of behaviour, companies need to look not at what agents know but at what it is they don’t understand.
This can be achieved with employee assessments designed to measure agents in realistic ‘on the job’ situations. The results can help highlight knowledge gaps and unacceptable behaviour – giving managers a clear picture of the strengths and weaknesses of every individual.
Once gaps in understanding have been identified, companies can design specific training, avoiding the one-size-fits-all approach, and provide appropriate learning media and resources to address it.
With thanks to Amanda Green at Cognisco