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Make Training Count Tip 8: Match Call Center Training Delivery to the Need

Continuing my series, Make Training Count: 10 Tips to Increase ROI, here is my eighth tip:

The training delivery method matches the need. Is the method chosen (e.g., formal, informal, online, classroom, e-learning, etc.) appropriate for the learning objectives?

Here is my upfront disclaimer on this tip:  This tip really warrants much more than a blog post to do it any kind of real justice. Entire books and courses exist to address this process; however, I will do my best to provide some guidelines and additional resources.

Additional resources: 

ASTD (American Society For Training & Development) 

Training Magazine

I will also make the assumption that an effective needs analysis has been done and training is the right solution (see Tip # 1:  Training is in fact the right solution. Training can’t “fix people.”) to meet these parameters:

1. Costs

2. Needs of the learner

3. Learner characteristics (number of people, current skill level, geographic location(s)

4. Needs of the organization

5. Time- including considerations such as how quickly and frequently material need to delivered.

6. Existing technology and infrastructure

7. The work environment

8. Types of content

All of the above should be considered; therefore, the right training method will vary from situation to situation and organization to organization. However, there are some general guidelines (meaning they are not black and white!) regarding the types of training methods to use based on the learning needs of the participants and they are as follows:

1. Web-based or computer based training is best used when:

    a. You need to get the information out fast and to a large number of individuals (particularly geographically          dispersed).

    b. Cost is an issue.

    c. The process, procedure, task or information changes often.

    d. You have a small group of individuals and can’t have everyone attend the session at once.

2. Live instructor led training is best used when:

    a. A high degree of interaction is required.  For example, when teaching soft skills like customer service, selling skills,     etc.

    b. The process, procedure, skills and/or tasks being taught are complicated or have a significant number of steps.

3. Job aids (process maps, flowcharts, tip sheets, procedural guidelines – online or paper based) are best used when:

    a. The process, procedure, task or skills will not be utilized often and/or soon after the original training session.

    b. Is critical to the job.

    c. Requires a high degree of accuracy and some speed.

    d. The task, process, procedure has many steps.

    e. The steps will not change frequently.

4. On the Job training is best used when the process, procedure, task or skill to be learned is:

    a. Simple.

    b. Required to be performed by only a few individuals.

    c. Best practiced and learned in the “real environment” using the tools, systems etc. that will be required to be successful.

5. Blended approach is best used when:

    a. Not all the material has to be taught by a live instructor.

    b. When demonstrating what is “learned” is the classroom is best (i.e. taking some live calls with a coach double jacking).

    c. When you are reinforcing certain aspects of training. (A job aid, online resources etc. can be useful here.)

Bottom line:  We can put almost anything online these days and that may be the right approach for the learning need.  So to truly get the most from the time and resources investing in training ensuring you choose the right method or mix of methods is critical to ensuring your get the return on that investment.

Click here to view my ninth tip: Build Training Time Into Your Plans.