Create a planning calendar for training.

Create a planning calendar for training.

April 9 –

Often in call centers, conflicts arise between training and service level management. Products and processes are launched that require large-scale training. Depending on the staffing level and volume at the time of training, classrooms full of tenured agents can mean service level nightmares. Too often the result is a class cancellation at the last minute. This causes frustration for the trainers, the product managers, and of course the agents. If the training occurs late (or not at all), the company risks lost revenue and poor service as untrained or under-trained agents attempt to sell or service a product. The earlier the workforce management team becomes involved in the training process this problem is greatly minimized.

One idea is to start with a monthly meeting co-facilitated by the training and workforce staff. Invite those in the company who routinely request call center training classes – operations and product managers, marketing and sales managers, etc. Review and prioritize all training needs on a 60-120 day horizon. Depending on the size and scope of training needs, 60-120 days out should be the correct timeline. Less than 60 days and you may run out of time before getting all agents trained. Planning further than 120 days may be unrealistic in a fast-paced business climate.

Once it has been decided which training events will happen and in what order, you can create a calendar for training. Evaluate classes considering several factors: the due date of the class, the proper sequence of training, minimum and maximum classroom size, training shrinkage, and forecast net staffing. This calendar will become your framework for creating the actual training schedules, which you ought to be able to accomplish closer to the actual event.

The goal is to maximize call quality and answer speed. Careful planning and cooperation will help you to achieve both.