Customer Service Training: Building the Best Content

At Lessonly, we’ve helped hundreds of teams across the globe learn, practice, and Do Better Work. Over and over again, we found that the best teams examine their training efforts through six key phases: Assess, Plan, Build, Learn, Practice, and Perform.

Forward-thinking teams know it’s important to collaborate with their frontline reps to quickly develop training content that drives performance. Lessonly’s CEO, Max Yoder, and Josh Streets, Senior Leader of Contact Center Operations at U.S. Cellular joined Execs in the Know to share insights about what separates the best customer experience teams from the rest of pack. Check out the transcript below for the Build segment of this six-part series.


Max: Josh, this next one is the build stage, but I was going to go back to the challenges of building training. Before I dive right in, has there ever been a time where you felt like the building stage has been a place where you’ve gotten stuck? Has there ever been a time when maybe things have stayed in the building stage for longer than you wanted?

When I say building, I mean, putting together those training programs and the pieces of the training program, because this is a spot that I see folks really struggle. They let the idea of being “perfect” keep them in a vacuum without getting a lot of feedback from the frontlines. I’d love to hear if you have similar experiences.

Josh: We’re pretty good at that stage. Of course, there’s always an opportunity to partner with all of the different organizations that it takes to put something together. I will say, as a leader, I feel like it’s my job to not step in and ask, how we’ll fix it but instead ask, “How are we going to make sure it doesn’t happen again?” Developing the right approach to understand the issue is more important to me.

Depending on the scale of the training, we can identify the part of the process that slows down the actual creation to make sure we get the right content put together. It’s important to do the due diligence to make sure that it’s the right content, which can sometimes slow down the process. But, I will say Lessonly is so simple that it seems to speed the process up more than it’s been in the past.

Max: I love that, Josh.  I really encourage everybody, if you’re going to go with training software of any kind, that it allows you to create the training content quickly.  If it puts big roadblocks in front of you, find somebody else because the harder it is to create content, the harder it’s going to be to update that content.

Over time, the more resistance you feel in the building stage, the less likely it is that you’re going to keep your training content up to date. And as organizations change so quickly, keeping things up-to-date is just as important as getting the initial training built. If information goes out of style, it can cause people to lose trust in the training program. So when you think about building, it’s really about quickly and collaboratively creating content.

We have a value at Lessonly called “Share before you’re ready”, and it goes beyond training. It’s generally this idea that humans tend to stay in the vacuum of their thoughts too long. They don’t share early drafts of their ideas and in doing so, they rob themselves of the potential feedback that can come with sharing.

So getting out of that vacuum and asking questions like, “Does this jive? Does this lesson outline meet your expectations?” You know, going to the frontline contributors and saying, “Here’s the goal and objective of this training content, is this what you’d expect to see in the lesson?” This process highlights something you may be missing or something that you weren’t going to emphasize that actually needs it.

These quick, agile feedback loops are incredibly important and help you co-create training. So my second vote on empowering your teammates to build with you is all about co-creation. Feature your best frontline team members as special guests in lessons and practice scenarios so it provides credibility to the rest of the frontline teams.  

Every time you do that, you’re co-creating, and when you co-create, you give people purpose.

They’re not just there to do better work on their own. They’re actually helping their colleagues do better work by modeling the behaviors that matter. If people don’t feel like they’re helping you build the new thing, they’re not nearly as invested in it.

Josh: To me, this phase is really where the fun lies for a lot of our content creators, as they really have innovative personalities. I’ve been in meetings where teams “popcorn” ideas on how to solve problems, and how to use Lessonly. And I don’t know how to say it any simpler than that. Everything you spoke to around the collaboration is what I see when we’re in those spaces, and in those meetings—and it is actually fun.

Max: What we see is people don’t use collaboration because they’re worried about hearing some feedback that maybe isn’t in the direction that they’re planning to go.  Maybe they go to the frontline teammate who says, “I think we should actually do this differently,” and they’re already bought into going their way and the frontline teammate wants to go a different way.

When that happens, you have to remember that a voice is not a vote. So you get to ultimately make the decision, but you should really go out there and seek other people’s voices. No matter which direction you go, seeking feedback will ultimately help you gain perspective and build training that everyone can benefit from.

Build better training with Lessonly

Forward-thinking companies, like U.S. Cellular, build world-class training through Lessonly. Check back next week to read the next part of the series, Learn.

Does your team need to develop and iterate on training? Take our Better Work Assessment to see how you can get started. Then, watch a demo of Lessonly.

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