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How to Create a Modern Contact Center Professional Learner's Toolkit

The demands of a contact center professional often leave limited time for personal and professional development. Jane Hart's blog, "Learning in the Modern Workplace," introduced me to a strategy that allows me to learn while working. Her blogs and publications provide a list of tools that enable even the busiest contact center professionals to make time for learning in the modern workplace.

Eleven years ago, Jane Hart founded the Centre for Learning and Performance Technologies. She compiles the sought after annual "Top 100 Tools for Learning" list from the votes of learning professionals worldwide. She is the Editor of the Modern Workplace Learning Magazine and the author of How to Become a Modern Professional Learner.

Learning Toolkit

I am an avid follower of Jane on Twitter and read every new post on her blog, but it is the publication of Jane Hart's Top Tools for Learning that often enhances my practice as a trainer.

After publishing this year's list, Jane Hart developed A Modern Professional Learner's Toolkit for 2018. These are tools such as social networks, web course platforms, news and curation tools, and communication and collaboration tools, all of which support lifelong learning.

In this post, I will share the tools in my "Modern Contact Center Professional Learners Toolkit," with links to the resources I use to ensure I continue in my pursuit of lifelong learning to positively impact training at FCR's contact centers.

Join Sheri at ICMI Contact Center Demo 2018. She'll be leading a session on accelerated new hire training in the contact center. 

My Modern Contact Center Professional Learner's Toolkit

I enjoy finding tools that enhance my practice as a trainer and continually improve agent training.  My toolkit grows every week and includes curation tools, productivity tools, tools for graphic design, tools that inspire me, and more. This post will focus on the following tools: social networks, podcasts, learning platforms, contact center specific resources, and a diverse list of materials that are a must for all modern contact center professionals.

Social Networks

Twitter has allowed me to expand my network while in my pajamas at home, between meetings at work, or while traveling. It is like having a vast network of like-minded professionals in your pocket. There are plenty of Twitter Chats on contact center topics, including #peopleskills with Kate Nassar 10 am ET on Sunday or #ICMIchat with Erica Marios of ICMI each Tuesday at 1 pm ET. With Twitter, you can meet up with individuals who have the same challenges and questions you have, and exchange ideas and encouragement.


Listening to podcasts is one of my favorite past times. I had to implement a "Podcast Rule" to ensure I wasn't spending too much time listening to fascinating stories on This American Life with Ira Glass, NPR TED Radio hour with Guy Raz, or Invisiblia with Alix Spiegel and Lulu Miller. The rule…on my way to work I listen to a podcast focused on the topic I am working on that day. For instance, if I am facilitating a class with my internal training team, I will listen to Leading Learning, Learning Now Radio, or Training Insights.

On the drive home, I choose to listen to inspiring podcasts. Some of my favorite podcasts are Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom, Super Soul Sunday with Oprah, or 10% Happier with Dan Harris.

Learning Platforms

Lynda.com has content for learning customer service skills, software, business, and just about any other area of interest. This link will let you try Lynda.com for thirty days. Lynda offers individual courses and learning specializations. I enjoyed the "Become a Customer Service Specialist Learning Path" that included sessions facilitated by customer service experts Jeff Toister, Leslie O'Flahavan, and others.

Coursera envisions a world where anyone, anywhere can transform their life by accessing the world's best learning experience. Learners can choose individual courses or join a specialization if they want to master a specific career skill. A specialization is a series of rigorous courses including hands-on projects based on real business challenges. A few specializations that are worth considering include Career Success, Introduction to Project Management Principles and Practices, and Inspired Leadership.

Contact Center Specific

ICMI offers a wealth of knowledge on their website including webinars, forums, blog posts, and white papers. And as I mentioned before, they also host a weekly Twitter chat on Tuesdays at 1 pm ET.

I follow the work of Jeremy Watkin and am an avid reader of his blog posts at Customer Service Life, Customer Think, and FCR. Jeremy provides insight on the quality process, customer service, contact center leadership and emerging technologies.

Com100 offers a blog that provides insight on contact center best practices including best practices for chat, customer service, and more.

Relate.com provides insight on myriad topics related to customer service and relationship building. I always leave their website surprised, enlightened, and ready to try something new.

Must-Have Miscellaneous Tools

Snapchat isn't just for teenagers sending funny photos to friends. This tool allows the user to edit and annotate photos.

Screencastify is used to create short screencasts. This tool allows my team to share new processes in record time, with minimal disruption to customers.

MindMeister is useful for mind mapping while creating workflows with clients, contact center leaders and/or trainers.

Adobe Spark allows me to create web stories, animated videos and social graphics with free templates.

What tools are in your modern contact center professionals toolbox? Vote for the top 2018 learning tools here and become part of the conversation.

Happy learning!