I saw the following tweet this morning:
Gearing up for a full day of CRM training! Just shoot me now…please
I wonder if his organization’s CRM training sessions are as customer-focused as his organization’s CRM philosophy. Obviously he never attended my organization’s Siebel training session.
If you are putting your employees through a classroom training session for your CRM software, you might take a lesson from my organization’s Siebel Sisters. That’s the name bestowed on our (all female) training team (you can probably guess we use Siebel as our software). They take pride in that title and they make sure that their “customers,” the learners who attend their sessions, have a complete and successful customer experience.
Up until we moved our entry level training online in February, we used the standard instructor led classroom training to bring our new hires up to speed. Originally a day and a half, we later condensed it into a one-day session. (I’ll discuss the online version in a future post.) For at least the last five years, the Siebel Sisters incorporated the following “methods to their madness” in making Siebel training stick.
1. Humor. Starting with the first e-mail sent out to the next class, the sisters used liberal does of humor to set a light-hearted tone. The tone of the e-mails was kept conversational and they made effective use of funny interactive .gifs to make the e-mails stand out. Each training session had a theme. Each session opened with the Sisters forming a conga-like line and dancing into the room singing at the top of their lungs.
2. Presenters focused on training. They used an LCD projector while each learner had a computer open to the software. Each presenter focused solely on instruction. A second person, called the “driver,” controlled the mouse and the software shown on the projector so the presenter could focus on the course content, not the hardware.
3. The carrot and the stick. When learners asked relevant questions, they were rewarded with a raffle ticket. Each learner also received a ticket when they returned from breaks or lunch on time. At the end of the session a drawing was held for inexpensive door prizes. But, people who were late had to stand up in front of class and sing a goofy song related to the theme. Once the word spread, learners were seldom late. Those who demonstrated a poor attitude or disappeared for an excessively long period of time had their immediate supervisors contacted.
4. Coaching. Depending on class size one or two other trainers was always roaming the room helping coach from the back (and making sure learners weren’t checking e-mails or playing solitaire). Some people just needed more help and the coaches enabled them to catch up without the presenter having to stop and do it.
5. Feedback. During the class the sisters watched the learners closely for signs of fatigue. When they noticed the glazing over of eyes, they called for a break. They give short quizzes to determine whether learners were listening and adjusted the class as appropriate. After the class, each learner was asked to submit an evaluation. These evaluations were studied and when appropriate feedback was offered, it was acted upon. Evaluations consistently showed the Siebel Sisters did a very good job. Because word spread about their methods, people usually only dropped out of training when there was a calendar conflict.
In other words, the Siebel Sisters were customer-focused and their actions provided for a better learning experience. They didn’t just talk the talk. They walked the talk.
If your CRM software training doesn’t offer a consistent positive learner experience, doesn’t that violate your CRM philosophy? Isn’t that getting your employees off on the wrong step?
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