Contact Center Pipeline August 2022 August 2022 | Page 21

LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT contactcenterpipeline . com
The key to reinforcing training over the long term , is ongoing and regular quality monitoring and coaching .
We often compare contact center agent skills to a game of “ whac-a-mole ”. No sooner do we feel that an agent has learned the skill and is consistently demonstrating it than when another poor behavior pops up . We address that , and then the initial issue rears its head again !
The reality is that nothing short of regular and ongoing quality monitoring followed up with coaching will address consistency . And without consistency , it won ’ t be easy to progress to more sophisticated skills and reliably deliver a great customer experience .
Many organizations heavy-up quality monitoring , feedback , and coaching for new hires , following formal training , and whenever there is a critical policy / procedure change . The key is to detect the behavior that needs to be corrected as soon as possible before it becomes an embedded habit that is more difficult to correct .
As the future of work changes how we all work , how we support contact center agents must also change . Like most things , the most successful approach will not be all or nothing . Instead , it will be a blend of the best of human engagement and technology support .
The pace of change and increased uncertainty have caused many contact center agents to struggle . For many , without the support of their peer sitting at the desk next to them , they feel isolated and bewildered . It is no surprise that contact center employees keep their eyes open for other opportunities that may be better aligned with their wellbeing and purpose .
Given all this , the role of learning and development within the contact center must evolve at a rapid pace .
While L & D professionals may be primarily responsible for developing and delivering great learning content , there is a need for a more significant leadership role to play in shaping the future of the contact center :
• From helping agents master the skills they need to manage complex customer relationships to introducing skills to help them be more adaptable and flexible .
• From critical thinking and complex problem-solving to coaching and management development .
Learning and development must be at the foundation of every contact center ’ s strategic plan and help to lead the way .
Sharon Oatway is the President & Chief Experience Officer at VereQuest , an organization specializing in quality assurance and training for contact centers . Sharon and her team have evaluated millions of customer interactions and coached agents and team leaders alike to deliver the best possible customer experience . ( sharon @ verequest . com ).

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