New Agents vs Tenured Agents: How to Train Them On ScreenSteps
Now that your company has decided to use ScreenSteps for your knowledge base, you need to train all of your employees how to use it. And you’re wondering, “Does training look the same for tenured workers as it does for training new employees?”
Your tenured employees are experienced. And you’re worried that if they get the same training as the new employees, it will repeat a lot of information that your tenured employees already know. However, if you oversimplify training, then the new employees won’t understand what is going on.
But, if you separate the two groups, that will take extra time to create two separate training programs. So, what are you supposed to do?
As Head Consultant for ScreenSteps, I’ve helped dozens of companies prepare a training program to launch their ScreenSteps site. While there are differences between training your tenured and new employees, you can use many aspects of training for both groups.
Training for tenured reps
The good news about your tenured employees is that they already know your company. Some employees have been with your company for years. They know the culture of your company. They know your products.
That means you don’t have to cover as much information when training your employees on ScreenSteps.
However, the challenge is that you are replacing some old habits with new ones.
Focus training on changing habits
Tenured reps are accustomed to doing something when they don’t know an answer to a question. Maybe they use your existing system to find answers. Or, maybe their first instinct is to ask a coworker for help.
Your goal is to replace those old habits with a habit of turning to your company’s ScreenSteps site for answers. When your agents have a question, you want their reflex to be to open your knowledge base and search for an answer.
What are my training options?
Most call centers are very cautious about taking tenured reps off the phones to learn something new, so we’ve typically seen very short training modules that can be completed in less than 30 minutes.
Create training resources and opportunities
Training tenured reps on how to use ScreenSteps can be done in a few different ways:
- A short e-learning course
- Virtual class
- In-person classroom training
For example, you can create a short video or do a quick demonstration that explains how reps will use ScreenSteps to handle calls. This is a high-level overview of ScreenSteps’ role in your company.
Then, you can sprinkle in some exercises that help reps learn how to navigate the home screen and perform searches. It’s kind of like a scavenger hunt.
You may also want to demonstrate how they can set up their screen so they can use ScreenSteps instead of their old documentation system.
Set a deadline to shut down your old system
Before ScreenSteps, were your agents printing out documents? Using documents in Google Drive? Or using another system to perform day-to-day tasks?
Whatever system your company used prior to ScreenSteps will eventually need to be shut down. You do not want to be responsible for keeping two systems up to date. ScreenSteps will become your single source of truth going forward.
Let your agents know that your old systems will eventually be unavailable. While the introduction video and exercises will only take about 30 minutes, it will take time for your agents to change their habits.
Designate trainers and leaders to check in on reps
It might be a while until your reps are super competent in your new knowledge base. Some reps will pick it up super quick. Other reps will drag their feet. You’ll want phone coaches, trainers, or someone who can check in on how your tenured agents are doing with adopting ScreenSteps.
The training here can be minimal. Again, you just need to help them to be familiar enough with ScreenSteps and learn a few new habits.
Tip: A great way to help your tenured employees adopt ScreenSteps is to watch what they are currently doing and see how you can map that with the new behavior. For example, if your old way was using Excel sheets, then explain how ScreenSteps shares the same information and organization that was in your Excel workbook. Help them connect the dots.
Training for new agents
With your new employees, you are starting from scratch.
New reps don’t know much of anything about your call center. So, your training requires a lot more effort because you’re teaching new reps the basics of your call center (and maybe call centers in general).
Essentially, you will have the usual length of your onboarding course. However, you will be training reps on how to use ScreenSteps to competently answer calls.
Focus on creating new habits
During classroom training, have your new reps use ScreenSteps for everything. Have them look up any and all information in your ScreenSteps knowledge base so that they become very familiar with using it to handle questions and transactions.
Since you are starting from scratch with new hires, this is your opportunity to start your new agents’ careers on the right foot with your company.
Sometimes training new reps is easier because you don’t have to break old habits. They don’t know about your old systems and they haven’t done the same thing for years. Note that:
- You can use some of the exercises that you used with your experienced agents
- Don’t be surprised if your new reps become proficient faster
- It may still take several weeks to onboard agents if they don’t know anything about your call center.
What are my training options?
Most likely, you have either participated in or created a training program before. Your options for teaching about ScreenSteps are similar to other training programs.
Build a training program
When you are building out your training program for ScreenSteps, it can use content and exercises from your past training program. Some of the approaches you can use include:
- In-person classroom training
- Virtual class
- Scenario-based training (i.e. role-playing)
- E-learning course
Your training program needs to include background information for those that know nothing about your company or your industry. For example, a bank might have information on “What is a bond?”
Following that information, you can use Zero Memorization Training to introduce your agents to the ScreenSteps software. With Zero Memorization, your agents will learn by doing. They will practice using the knowledge base as part of their training.
If you want more detailed information on how you can organize and schedule your call center training program, get tips for the five phases of call center training here.
Train on soft and hard skills
As part of your training program, include time to teach soft and hard skills.
Remember: New reps may have never done something like this before. They may have never worked at a call center. Or maybe they have never followed step-by-step procedures.
Teaching someone to work in a call center includes teaching them how to manage a conversation. You want agents to exhibit empathy for the callers. You also want to teach them to control the call.
If they have never followed step-by-step instructions, training may emphasize READING the instructions and following what they say.
How to prepare your ScreenSteps content for your training
Before you can train your agents on how to use your ScreenSteps knowledge base, you first have to build up that knowledge base.
Whether you need help migrating content from your old system or you are creating content from scratch, the common thread is you need to prepare content for your knowledge base.
ScreenSteps has content coaches who can help you create clear guides that are easy for your employees to follow, making adoption easier.
Learn about the five steps to preparing content for your ScreenSteps site by clicking the link below.