Published: January 01, 2018 | Comments
From fashion to food, pop culture to consumer behavior, everyone is looking
for the next big thing. The search for upcoming trends is so prevalent that
a Google search for ‘trending’ results in millions of videos, news stories,
tweets, and blog posts. But thousands of people across the globe are
impacted by one specific set of trends—the future of contact center training
in the coming year.
Contact center training has evolved a lot over the years, and it’s becoming
more sophisticated as better technology and tools hit the market. These
changes and trends are important to understand: They help leaders stay
ahead of accelerating expectations from both contact center agents and
customers—which is key to contact center success. Here are five training
trends to watch—and consider implementing—for a successful 2018:
Optimize training for speed
Speed should be at the heart of every contact center training experience. Most
contact center leaders associate speed with ramp time from new hire to
full-fledged contact center agent. While this is key, contact centers should also
focus on the level of change inside the organization. Teams need to adapt
to create and provide training that reflects these changes quickly and
efficiently. The ability to adapt and provide productive learning about new
info, products, procedures, and services defines call center success. These
changes are never-ending, and contact center agents need to know how to sell
and support them. Therefore, training must reflect updates in real-time.
Contact centers who provide on-going training to keep up with the
ever-changing world around them will stay ahead of customer needs and
perform at a higher level than those who don’t.
Customize training for each learner
One-size-fits-all training is no longer sufficient to meet the unique needs
of agents. They expect and require training that meets the needs of their
specific job role and function within the contact center. To do this leaders
must shift their focus from creating a blanket training program, to
producing customized learning paths for each contact center role. These
journeys should also incorporate the entire learning experience—from new
hire to a seasoned team member. Every employee is on a unique journey and
brings individual goals, strengths, and opportunities for their call center
team. Customized training paths that focus on both onboarding and ongoing
training will drive higher employee engagement and better business outcomes
than ever before.
Bite-sized training works
“Microlearning” is a new buzzword in the training dictionary. It provides
training that is broken down into bite-sized pieces in order to educate
agents without requiring a vast time investment. These training sessions
are focused on a single subject and typically range from five to 15-minute
Looking for creative ways to boost employee engagement or improve agent training? Join Lessonly this May at ICMI Contact Center Expo.
Today, employees devote one percent
of their time to learning, but check their phones 150 times a day.
Microlearning is ideal for contact center agents who are very busy fielding
calls, engaging in chat sessions, and responding to emails. This training
technique doesn’t take much time to deliver and can be delivered during
agent idle time. Furthermore, microlearning lowers the barrier of learning
engagement. While most typical learning experiences focus on too many
things during too long of a time period, microlearning is easy to digest
and allows agents time to properly reflect on what they are learning—right
from their desks.
Increase social learning
98% of companies
want to support the sharing of good practices and knowledge across teams
via in-house social networks or functionality. Social learning aids
training by making it a shared activity among contact center agents. Adaptive
technologies such as chat boxes, forums, and Slack can reinforce critical
learning concepts for agents while on the job. This is also key because
employees tend to be more successful when they work and learn in group
settings. This type of setting provides motivation, promotes team
camaraderie, and improves an agent’s ability to learn and perform.
AR/VR as a practice tool
While augmented and virtual reality is nothing new in the gaming world, it
is gaining popularity in the training world. These cutting-edge
technologies provide useful applications in educational training sessions,
especially for contact center agents. Instead of watching videos, or listening
to a recorded interaction, leaders can place agents in roleplay situations
where they gain hands-on-experience and practice their skills. Imagine
placing an agent in an augmented or virtual reality that is high-stakes,
emotional, and stressful. This low-risk scenario provides an excellent
opportunity for learners to demonstrate their skills and gain key insights
into emotional intelligence—a key factor that can make a break a customer
interaction. AR and VR are fantastic opportunities for agents to practice
and perfect their skills that will result in improved customer satisfaction
and rep performance.
These training trends may come and go after 2018. But, one thing is for
certain: agents and teams that apply these training movements in the
new year will prime their contact centers for long-run success—and that fad
never goes out of style.