training call center
The new Liveops training module was developed based on customer demand for more 'expansive training' PHOTO: Marcin Monko

Liveops is adding to its collection of training services today with a new customizable distance learning program for contact center workers called Skill Builder. 

Skill Builder provides live training feedback and multiple training models to help agents develop their soft skills while training them on contact center technology at the same time.

Looking for a New Way to Learn

The solution meets a specific industry need, Keith Leimbach, CEO of Liveops, told CMSWire. "The contact center industry in general has a relatively high attrition rate and the traditional model curriculum — delivered through a classroom in marathon sessions that last hours and days — is not working."

Material taught via that old-school model, he added, is hard to digest and produces low retention rates. "It is easier to absorb a 90 minute video or 30 minute lesson by phone app," he said.

Skill Builder was developed following multiple requests from Liveops customers for more expansive training. By the start of 2017, Leimbach said, "we realized there was huge demand for this."

From Reading a Script to Solving Problems

Skill Builder takes the knowledge base developed from the first iteration of online training, providing two categories of content: one, company-specific information for reps; and two, softer skills, such as resolution management. 

The latter has become increasingly important for both brands and agents, Leimbach said.

"The call center model of old was simply to give the agent a script to read and to follow the rules that the company has set. That has evolved to where the agent is now tasked with solving a problem for the customer," he said.

A Blend of Virtual and Human Training

The course content is part web learning and part live feedback. The web learning is a mix of short videos and app-related content students can learn in short intervals to improve retention. 

Liveops Skill Builder comes with a human element that is rather unique to the market: feedback for the practice calls students perform as part of the curriculum.

For the conflict resolution module, for instance, a student could practice a call with a live facilitator in which the facilitator acts as an aggrieved customer. This "call" is recorded so the student can review what went right and wrong and optionally post for other students to review and comment. The erstwhile customer, now facilitator also calls the student to review the encounter.

'The Beginning of a New Chapter'

Liveops has hired about a dozen facilitators thus far for the offering, Leimbach said. Managing the facilitators’ schedules is almost as complex as managing agents at content centers, so the company is using a workforce management app to handle that back end component. The facilitators themselves have gone through training, according to Leimbach.

That, “and they are people who have done this type of work for a long time.” As the demand for Skill Builder training grows, said Leimbach, Liveops will probably hire more facilitators as well as make any necessary adjustments.

"We will continue to evolve this offering,” he said. “This is the beginning of a new chapter in learning and development."