A leading North American direct provider of bottled water to consumers, water filtration services, water dispensers, purified bottled water, and self-service refill drinking water was experiencing high turn-over, low levels of engagement, and extended ready-to-work timeframes for its call center training candidates.
The company turned to ISG for help. We partnered with the water bottling company to develop a new hire training experience for its call center located in Florida. The highly creative, engaging and interactive training created by this collaboration is now performed by ISG-trained company facilitators who have moved beyond the page and PowerPoint to foster participation, productivity, and retention from the first day.
Imagining IT Differently
The ISG consulting team was responsible for providing training experience development, facilitator training and implementation support for the company. First, our approach was to spend time with the key stakeholders to understand their insights on what the greatest areas of need were.
We then evaluated the company's training materials and observed its past orientation process from start to finish. After synthesizing the feedback with our observations on the company's former strategy, we crafted an entirely new facilitated experience that was more exciting and collaborative, and which ensures exposure to the encounters found on the call center phones from day one.
Prior to the rollout of our new hire training experience – which was to be heavily focused on experiential, facilitated, learner-based strategies, versus a standard, lecture-style training – we provided the training team with intensive, hands-on facilitator training. The goal of the training was to provide the team with new skills, tools and ideas for effective delivery of the redesigned new hire training experience.
ISG spent one week, worked with the training team prior to the new rollout, to hone their new skills as facilitators while simultaneously adopting the redesign, so they could directly interact with the material as they would in the coming weeks of the first training class. We developed a learner-centered, day-1-immediate-practical-application, and top 10 Call driver-focused new hire training experience that leveraged a scavenger hunt model consisting of:
- A “Base Camp” where housekeeping, general information and adaptive learning begin.
- "Customer for Life" observations guided by prompts and questions to identify specific scenarios and situations associated with the top 10 call drivers while observing veteran customer care associates.
- Finds, where the trainees debrief their "Customer for Life" observations, their takeaways and additional questions through facilitated discussion and peer-to-peer learning.
- Collecting knowledge, where essential, detailed instructional materials were created for review and covered through demonstration and application in the classroom setting.
- Adventures, where the trainee is observed by a trainer to demonstrate competency and mastery of the top 10 call drivers, as they go on their own customer care adventure.
Finally, we spent the first two weeks of the new hire training experience rollout observing, supporting, and providing feedback to the trainers while collaboratively working to identify areas for growth and adaptation.
Future Made Possible
- The company's call center new hire training experience now generates the buzz necessary to attract, engage, train and retain the top call center talent in Florida.
- The associates who complete the training are now fully understanding of the skills necessary to be successful in their roles.
- The training experience from ISG has instilled confidence and professionalism in the team.
- Retention and job satisfaction are improving, and associates are prepared for productivity sooner than ever before.
- Feedback was gathered from trainees in the first full class after the rollout of the training experience under the new model (February) and was compared against the data collected from trainees in the class prior to it (November of the previous year). Results included:
- Score for the question "training made me confident to start taking customer calls" was up 28%
- Score for the question "training met my expectations" was up 33%
- Score for the question "training prepared me for success" was up 38%
- Score for the question "training class size helped me learn" was up 20%
- Additionally, anecdotal feedback was provided from the training team on the overall experience: new training model, facilitation training, new learning materials and other change project components. Samples of that anecdotal feedback are below:
- “It appears that the new 2-week, in-class program has launched more competent and confident associates. In my opinion, we are graduating the best, most capable group of customer care new hires in the history of this call center!”
- “The new training materials, format and mindset that [ISG] brought to the table was priceless. This was exactly what [we] needed to bring its quality, experience, and new hire success to the next level. Though we experienced a few agenda bumps along the way, our learners were still days ahead of previous classes due to the almost immediate exposure to actual calls. This in turn allowed them to ask more intuitive questions earlier in the program and confidence and comprehension increased.”
- “This round of new hires displayed superior aptitude—demonstrated both by the final assessment scores and the nesting calls. The comfort level was much higher and the amount of assistance requests [when first on the phones] was down. Thank you for the experience.”