The Evolving Methods of Training in the Contact Center
Customer expectations for service are constantly increasing, and this is the case in all industries, from banking to communications, and particularly in healthcare. It is no longer enough to simply ‘give an answer’ or direct the customer or patient to the right place.
The contact center must offer a complete customer experience where the quality of the interaction is paramount and sets the tone for a long-lasting and meaningful relationship. This is in addition to the requirements for technological efficiency, omni-channel interaction, and 24/7 availability.
For all these reasons and more, there has been a renewed focus on the delivery of training in the contact center. The methods, techniques, goals and motivations behind training have evolved to keep pace and, in some cases, stay ahead of the developments in customer and patient experience.
The traditional approach to training employees or Patient Service Representatives (PSR’s) has been built around a lecture-style delivery method. This is reminiscent of the old-fashioned classroom and more often than not included long, dreary PowerPoints and reams of paper handouts. It was modeled on an idea of education where the student was a passive receptacle to be filled with information.
However, changes in the level of skill required has forced changes to this model, where the information is not just thrown at the employee, but instead they are encouraged through various techniques to learn for themselves.
RelateCare have been implementing these approaches for over a year now, with great results.
Instructor-led training will always have a place, but the traditional one-size-fits-all approach just doesn’t suit everyone and training departments need to find ways to meet everyone’s needs so the high-level of service and skill required can be developed.
Blended Learning Approach.
The blended learning approach is designed to cover all types of learners. The key here is to not just show the PSR, but to encourage them and invite them to practice and explore for themselves. It also emphasizes the use of video, slides, lectures, case studies, and the use of software that encourages interaction and active participation.
Keeping ahead of technology.
Innovation in contact center technology is a constant. And so it is crucial that you do not become outdated in the training industry and that you keep-up with enhancements to software and methods that will ultimately make life easier for your organization. Keeping up to date with technology requires constant awareness and updating training models to ensure systems are leveraged in the right way.
As the training programs develop, the evaluation process must also develop. This is to ensure all learners are at similar stages during a program. Even though some may be more suited to visual learning over aural learning, it is still important to create a constant evaluation and feedback loop to monitor progress.
Often times in the fast-paced healthcare contact center environment, time or resources does not allow for a repeat of training. Therefore, rather than find out a person is unprepared for a job at the very end of a training program (which could be over a period of weeks) we aim to evaluate at regular intervals so changes and accommodations can be made in real time.
Taking this approach will also ensure that turnover of trainees will be kept to a minimum, as a support structure will be in place to allow those who struggle to have an opportunity to cope with their first challenge successfully.
Having a blended learning approach has made a huge difference to the training delivere in RelateCare. Our Patient Service Representatives and employees are more engaged and better prepared to deal with the complex and demanding requirements of patient and customer expectations. We hope to use this model to support our client partners wishing to move on from the traditional methods of training.
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