Published: June 25, 2017 | Comments
When it comes down to it, customer support leaders have double duty. Not only do they provide the type of customer experience that keeps customers satisfied and happy, but they have to enable their support team to do the same.
Customer experience is gaining traction as the most important customer support focus, because of how narrowly and broadly the customer support landscape can be defined these days. Where’s the benefit in a team that is over performing on Average Hold Time when First Contact Resolution is double what it needs to be?
There is one investment that customer support leaders can make to improve every one of the metrics that make up overall customer experience: training and development. High-quality onboarding and relevant ongoing development are two areas where call center training can really make an impact on overall customer experience. By encouraging a learning culture, investing in the right tools, and making information available in the employee’s moment of need, support leaders can make a focused investment into their employees and customer experience across the board.
Feedback is the foundation of a learning culture
What do I mean when I say “learning culture”? I’m glad you asked. Software giant Oracle describes a learning culture as such:
“A learning culture is a set of organizational values, conventions, processes, and practices that encourage individuals—and the organization as a whole—to increase knowledge, competence, and performance."
In fewer words: make learning not awful. Learning and development on the job has an unfortunate history that causes most people to dread their next lesson or class. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Forward-thinking support leaders understand that if you make learning and training an enjoyable experience, the outcome is more capable employees.
Feedback is critical to a learning culture because it shows that leadership is listening to the needs of the employee. It can be as simple as sending an email to the team and asking what they want to learn about or what skills they think they need to brush up on. Starting that dialogue is key to showing your team that you value their growth.
Find the right learning tool to enable your team
There are plenty of options out there for support team enablement. Finding the one that best fits the team falls on the shoulders of team leaders. Take a minute to ask yourself a few questions:
1.) Is this process or software easy to use?
This should be the first question that crosses the mind of every support leader looking to invest in better learning and training. If the software isn’t easy to use or your training program is confusing and hard to follow, there’s a high probability that it isn’t benefitting the team like you want it to.
2.) Is this learner friendly?
This question is similar to the one above, but with an important distinction. Before deciding on a learning tool, support leaders should make sure that the goal of the learning is the employee’s benefit. Here at Lessonly, our vision is to make learning software that employees demand. When you show someone how their development can help them live a better life, while helping the company, it resonates deeply.
3.) Will this keep up with the demands of my support team?
Onboarding, training, and development have traditionally been delegated to in-person classes, shadowing, and lengthy printed documents. While there are benefits to all of these methods, the demands of a high impact contact center might not allow for entire days of employees being off the floor in a classroom. Support leaders should look for learning tools that keeps employees productive in their roles while bettering their overall skills.
Make crucial information easily accessible
What comes to mind when you think of subpar contact center experience? I’m guessing it involves being placed on a lengthy hold or being transferred from agent to agent. Getting the answer right is priority number one for customer support agents, but doing it quickly is a close second. Giving support agents access to information during a customer interaction can be the difference between a mediocre customer experience and a memorable one.
Proactive support leaders can work to turn these searches into an ongoing learning moment for the rest of their team. If your online learning tool keeps track of your team searches, you can then turn around and create more content on that specific subject to preempt some of those questions in the future. This is the type of back-and-forth between leaders and employees that makes a learning culture truly beneficial for all parties involved. Front line reps are more enabled to do their work, and the company benefits from their desire for more learning.
An enabled customer support team will lead to improvements in customer experience. An investment in making your team better is going to return that investment, and then some.