With over 15 years of experience in the customer experience (CX) space, I have seen multiple companies employ training efforts to get their employees involved in new CX programs and initiatives. I have witnessed this process from the perspective of an Account Manager, Implementations Manager, a member of the Product Team, a Business Operations Manager, and now as the Director of Learning Services.
Throughout my experience, I’ve seen successes, but I’ve also seen teams fail to execute a training approach that actually engages employees. The theme across these failures is that their approach is time consuming, over complicated, and essentially inactionable. The truth is that while everyone knows training is important, it is easy for it to get lost in the list of day-to-day tasks—especially if the approach isn’t accessible.
In order to set yourself—and your business—up for success, you need to avoid over-complicating things when it comes to rolling out employee training for your new program, but that’s easier said than done. To get you started, I’ve outlined 5 easy steps to help you craft an effective CX training approach for your business.
Step #1: Designate a Training Leader
As I started above, everyone knows that training is important. However, this understanding isn’t where most companies fall short; the failure is most often in the execution.
That is why it is so important to start your efforts by naming a project manager or leader to be directly responsible for your training efforts. This person can be the program champion, someone from your internal training team, or a representative from HR.
Regardless of who this person is, it is their job to make sure that every employee participates in the training program. This means that they need to have the tools to track employee participation effectively—and to share results.
How you track doesn’t need to be fancy, it could be as simple as an Excel or Google Sheet housed in a common area within the company, or it could be as complex as your work’s HR portal. By monitoring who has completed what, you’ll be able to keep the ball rolling for continuous success (and you’ll be all set up to execute step two).
Step #2: Hold People Accountable
After finding your CX training owner, you need to create a way to hold employees accountable for completing their training. At the end of the day, we are all human and most of us need a carrot or a stick to be inspired to finish a task.
Many businesses will create a goal or key performance indicator (KPI) directly related to training—this can be something as simple as a quarterly compliance record or something a little more involved. For example, one of our clients found a way to gamify their employee training by creating a board game for team members to play together. This way, the CX training was a fun team building exercise that also got employees actively engaged in the program.
No matter what your accountability method is, it will help employees know they are responsible for completing a set amount of CX training by a certain date. Deadlines are important drivers that everyone can understand, so use them!
Step #3: Make Training Easy to Complete
Now that you’ve designated your training leader and found a way to hold your team accountable, it’s time to make training easy to complete. When faced with a large task, people will be more likely to complete it if:
- They know what needs to be done: Make a simple list of all required training and make this list accessible.
- They know when it has to be done: Send regular reminders via email or program notifications into your HR platform
- It is easy to find and complete: Locate training links in a place people often visit during their work day (like Slack, and internal sharing site, or learning management system.)
Remember: the easier you can make training to consume, the more likely your team will be to complete it.
Step #4: Provide Opportunities for High Performers to Help
Now that you’ve set your learning program up for success, invite others in to join the party. As you curate your program, there will be folks who naturally rise up and quickly become subject matter experts.
Successful training programs will make an effort to hold up those CX training rockstars as an ideal that the rest of the organization can aspire to. For example, if one region is doing exceptionally well, share their success with others to inspire them to step up to the plate as well.
Encouraging your people to celebrate high performers and come up with their own creative ways to get their coworkers involved curates a team mentality and helps to foster a customer-centric culture.
Step #5: Celebrate!
Lastly, celebrate those wins! When people have successfully completed the assigned work, reward them. When you reward them, do it publically. Everyone likes to be recognized—plus, there is nothing like a little bit of healthy competition to motivate people.
Post results in a place all can see—this can look like sending out a congratulatory email to the team that calls out those who have finished CX training, or putting a “congratulations” in via your internal rewards program. Again, it doesn’t have to be fancy—just remember to do it!
If you follow these easy steps, you’ll be on your way to implementing a successful CX training program. Leadership, accountability, accessibility, team work, and rewards will pave the way to the desired result: a CX program that is both highly successful and fully utilized from top to bottom.
If you’re looking for more content that will help you drive employee engagement, check out this piece on employee incentives. You’ll learn what’s wrong with traditional approaches and how you can create a system that actually works in “Considering Employee Incentives for CX Success? 5 Ideas for Better Engagement.”