Empowering Skill-Building & Performance with a DIY-Learning Culture
Contact center employees both onsite and @home are begging us to give them tools to better perform the jobs we hired them to do. And we’re not just talking about equipment, procedures, and resources, but also ongoing, supplemental skill-building – with ease of access, and brevity, to empower self-learning that has immediate value to both learner and customer!
This is the new DIY-Learning culture. Think about it – as consumers, we can look up nearly anything on the internet, and in a minute or two we’re watching a video and learning how to change a garage door opener, plant a peach tree, or take the cover off a laptop! We are used to having access to instant self-learning!
Learning has to be FAST
It is no surprise then, that Associates working in data-driven, tech-laden, experience-demanding contact center roles need ready resources that both engage, and add immediate value to their work. Josh Bersin described it perfectly in a CLO article - "The way people want to learn today can be described in one word: fast. We want entertaining videos that make a point quickly; and we want systems that let us find and consume content with the click of a button." That's the essence of digital learning and is it is a necessity for delivering on our peoples’ just in time knowledge needs.
The best examples of digital learning that delivers engaging behavior-based content with just the right amount of specificity and brevity, are Micro-learning and Nano-learning – short pieces of content (60 seconds to 5 minutes), often designed as entertaining videos with voice, graphics, music, etc., typically targeted to a single skill, and capable of being powered by platforms that track and curate history.
Well for the past year, SYKES, one of the world leaders in customer experience management, adopted microlearning as a core component of their groundbreaking employee work platform through a partnership with AmplifAI Solutions, Inc. – a global provider of digitally enabled performance acceleration tools. The results have been stellar. Employee engagement, efficiency, and coaching responsiveness are up by double digits.
The Sykes Experience
SYKES implemented the AmplifAI solution in North America and offshore locations, with significant success. Coaching sessions have increased by over 50%, and employee speed to proficiency has increased in parallel. Moreover, employee engagement has risen in tandem, pointing to the importance of empowerment through self-driven performance measures.
In the past, L&D provided training that was specific to a role – and content was generally useful to anyone performing that role. It was typically delivered as formal classroom or e-learning, was an hour or more in duration, and was scheduled for off-phone time. It was also however, of short term value, because of the Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve; retention erodes over time, particularly if not used.
But retention, and ease of application, are both improved when learning content is personalized to everyone based on their unique performance needs. This is Adaptive Learning, and was nicely defined by Zach Posner in a McGraw Hill article, as “A field which uses artificial intelligence (AI) to actively tailor content to each individual’s needs—drawing upon knowledge domains as diverse as machine learning, cognitive science, predictive analytics, and educational theory—to make this learner-centered vision of education a reality.”
Learning has to be EASY
Through their research, CEB found that learning application increases 3x through effortless learning experiences – ease of access, ease of consumption, and ease of application. And that means we have the opportunity for terrific ROI on our time investment in making learning easier to get to, take, and use. (See Figure 3)
All this points to the fact that organizational learning still has a huge opportunity to design and deliver learning content and activities outside of classroom/e-learning/webinar venues, to better provide real-time guidance and growth for today’s digitally driven learners. Our people are starving for development opportunities that add immediate value, helping them better serve customers, right now.
In corporate AI applications like AmplifAI, the AI integrates employees’ performance data and from that identifies performance opportunities – then provides personalized micro- and nano-learnings to end-users based on their needs. The platform can also evaluate the effectivity of content to positively impact performance, and even stop offering material that does not drive improvement.
Zig Ziglar said at a seminar more than two decades ago, "Your input determines your output". That means, to get better engagement and performance outputs, despite all the increased complexities, we need to give our employees better, and different, inputs – make learning easy to access, with little effort required to build knowledge and skills, and available as part of their normal workflow. That means modeling consumer like-learning, and empowering them to take part in their own self-learning journeys. It is a worthy investment when we remind ourselves that in delivering on both the Associate and the Customer Experience, we really do get what we give!
To learn more, reach out to Melissa or Jim on LinkedIn!
Month over month gains in Issue Resolution, FCR and NPS; Month over month reductions in Handle times, ACW and Hold
👥 Winning additional client headcount
30% improvement in sales conversion
💪 Retaining talented people
8-point reduction in turnover
💰 Improving financial performance
10% increase in utilization
The future of success in your contact center is contingent on how you impact performance in ways that are both immediate and sustainable. And it doesn’t matter whether your agents are on-site, at-home, full-time, part-time, or temporary – you must deliver on performance.
Coaching is one of the most significant tools we can use to deliver on the engagement and performance of our people – but we must develop our processes, our people and leadership skills, and our technology tools, in order to overthrow the pervasive challenges to achieving greater coaching effectiveness and supercharging contact center performance!