Education & Training opinion
Excellence through e-learning
South Africa's mature domestic BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) market means that we boast a large pool of world-class expertise in the financial services, telecommunications and legal domains.
The knowledge and skills required by contact centre employees to uphold this reputation requires continuous development.
While Business Process Enabling South Africa (BPeSA) has become more aggressive in its marketing, prompting the South African government to introduce offshore investment incentive schemes, call centres are also benefitting enormously from up-skilling programmes.
A substantial amount of time and money is spent on recruiting and training call centre staff each year, often with great difficulty in motivating them to complete this training successfully. Training within any industry can be challenging, due to time constraints and the cost to company however, in order for any business to flourish, it is imperative.
"In order to remain attractive to the international BPO sector," says Kirsty Chadwick, CEO of the e-learning design and development company, The Training Room Online, "we need to keep providing them with the excellent service levels that South African call centres are known for".
The purpose of any corporate training programme is to help employees achieve competency and the skillset required for the job at hand. Well-trained teams have proven to be generally more motivated, more productive and more valuable to a business.
E-learning is the perfect vehicle to drive the transfer of these skills to call centre agents. E-learning is flexible and can be adapted to suit a vast majority of end users. Recent studies have shown that e-learning can work quite well in primary schools with children as young as 6 and in corporate companies where the age range of users is generally between 18 to 65.
Even if call centres are not looking to immediately embark on up-skilling programmes, topics such as mandatory safety training can also be more easily explained and absorbed by employees through e-learning, which will have a significant impact on the company's health and safety record in the long-term.
Technology-based solutions allow more room for individual learning styles - they also provide a high level of simulation that can be tailored to the learner's level of proficiency. With 24/7 access, students can learn at their own pace and review course material as often as needed. Since they can customise the learning material to their own needs, students have more control over their learning process and can better understand the material, leading to a 60% faster learning curve, compared to instructor-led training.
E-learning has the potential to solve many of the problems that we face in learning today, and with the right approach and a solid support structure, call centre training can be fun and highly efficient for everyone.
About Jacques StormJacques Storm is a senior Learning Specialist at The Training Room Online (TTRO), an organisation that designs and develops technology-based solutions within various industries. Jacques specialises in Learning and Development solutions for the contact centre industry and has been implementing learning strategies for over 10 years.