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Sunday, December 12, 2021

Contact Training as Model

 The model of the contact center as a means of effectivey deivering knowledge is interesring.

Knowledge Management: The Cure for Contact Center Agent Training Ills in the Variant-Era

Anand Subramaniam -December 10, 202108 views

According to Training Magazine, US companies spent $82.5 Billion in 2020 alone for employee training. Training is clearly not an inexpensive endeavor. In fact, it costs almost $16,900 to train a new call center agent in the pharmaceutical industry over a 12-month period, according to Cutting Edge Information, a life sciences research firm. The training process is extensive from initial onboarding to classroom training (or virtual training amid Covid) to shadowing and beyond. Cost estimation models don’t always take the entire process into account.

Despite huge investments in training over the years, why are customer and agent experiences stuck where they are—poor to mediocre at best? What is the way out of it?

Covid upends training

The “post” in the “post-pandemic” era never quite materialized—we seem to be caught in a long-tail era of variants. From a contact center perspective, it means many contact center agents will continue to work from home. In fact, per Gartner, most contact center managers believe that 30%-80% of their workforce will work from home two years from now even if the pandemic is behind us.

Many of them newly hired, work-from-home agents won’t get a chance to go through traditional training and onboarding since most of those programs have been upended by the pandemic. According to recent research, published by the ILO (International Labour Organization), an astounding 90% of companies reported that their training programs have been disrupted. Moreover, these agents won’t be able to simply walk over to the proverbial next cube for answers if they are stumped by a customer query. These queries are indeed getting more complex as customer self-service gets smarter.

While companies have had some success in getting agents to connect with customers from a remote setting and finding ways to monitor and manage them, they are falling short in empowering them with knowledge. No wonder 57% of consumers complain that they get different answers at different touchpoints when they try to get customer service from businesses, according to a survey, conducted by Dimensional Research on our behalf in the thick of the initial pandemic outbreak last year.

The problem

Training had its trials and tribulations even pre-Covid. Here are some key issues historically associated with it.

Attention span

Today’s contact center agent pool is comprised predominantly of millennials and Gen Z workers with the latter trending up in proportion. The attention span of these younger generations is far lower than that of older generations like baby boomers—just 12 seconds for millennials and a mere 8 seconds for Gen Z. Traditional training will be an exercise in futility as these workers check out and start daydreaming in long, boring training sessions.

Knowledge Retention

According to research from the University of Waterloo, most people retain only 25% of new information just two days after learning it and a paltry 2-3% a month after. If this is the case with basic information, imagine what it could be for sophisticated knowhow like situational problem solving and product advice or executing processes, which are in compliance with best practices and industry regulations!

Learning Preferences  .... '

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