Learn How To Provide Accessible Online Training For Your Remote Customer Support Team
A few decades ago, the only ‘remote’ workers were door-to-door salesmen. But with the advent of technology and the convenience of the internet, a large proportion of employees work outside the office. They’re not all field workers. Some have desk jobs at multinational branches or in rural locations. These workers need the same amount of training and resources as their compatriots in HQ. How can ensure your learning experiences are uniform for all your staff members? Let’s take a look at 7 ways to make online training accessible for your remote customer support team.
7 Tips to Improve Online Training Accessibility
1. Offsite Access
Regional branches are usually smaller than the main office. This means their facilities are different. If they’re in a different country, or in a marginalized or non-urban area, they may have encumbrances around internet access. To make up for this, the bulk of your training materials should be accessible offline. Instead of using live web training, you could download study materials onto designated phones or tablets. These preloaded training materials can then be delivered to your external staff. Invest in a LMS that allows for offline access so that every member of your remote customer support team can benefit from training tools.
2. Portable Training
One aspect of mobile training is using offline gadgets. However, for workers that have internet access, but mostly work in the field, give them access to mobile apps. They can log in whenever there’s connectivity and study in spurts. This might actually work out to be cheaper because you don’t have to buy designated electronics. Trainees can simply install their study apps on their existing phones. No hardware upgrades are necessary. Just be sure to test the app on different brands and operating systems to confirm compatibility. In addition, consider creating a podcast that customer support teams can listen to on-the-go. This is also ideal for employees with visual impairments.
3. Aim For Relevance
When you’re designing content for colleagues you don’t see every day, scope is crucial. They don’t need the same skill set that your office team requires. The difference may be driven by job description, or by physical location. Talk to your remote workers and ask them what training they’d like. You could also review your base material and omit any topics that aren’t relevant for your external partners. Provide them with simulations, scenarios, and real-world examples that put everything into context. For truly accessible online training, take the microlearning route to impart experience and knowledge quickly so that it’s easy to consume.
4. Create Training Pairs
Exercise programs are more successful when you have a training buddy. This is true whether it’s a cross-fit gym or marathon training. Your partner ramps up your competitive spirit and psyches you up when you want to skip a session. Among your team, create pairs or trios where one member sits at HQ and the other is remote. They can collaborate on training activities and each one will gain some of their partner’s knowledge base.
5. Use The Right Equipment
The training bases for mobile workers are different. In the main office, you probably have a generator for power outages. Field workers require long-life batteries for their training gadgets. If you opt for mobile apps and tablet programs, buy devices known for their standby time. Or you could build a Kindle course. These e-Readers can go weeks on a single charge. Of course, this shouldn’t take the place of a fully interactive online course. But it can serve as a valuable way to impart more accessible JIT training to your remote customer support team.
6. Use Social Media Tools
It’s important, not just for training, but also for the overall success that your team stays united. They need to see themselves as a single entity. This means even if their ‘home base’ is far away, they should have periodic opportunities to interact with co-workers. Launch a closed group exclusively for your remote customer support team. Where they can share tips, tricks, and experiences that others may find useful. They can simply log on to the social media platform to quickly read about training updates or get support from peers. Online forums and blogs are also beneficial when they’re in a pinch and need guidance at a moment’s notice. For instance, they can search the archives to see if a similar situation has been discussed and learn how their co-workers overcame the challenge.
7. Include Contextual Translations
Customer care experts, who work remotely, are likely to have a different vernacular. It might be a call center or a foreign office. Allow them to access their online training materials in their preferred language. Ensure it’s a well-done translation, not an automated one grabbed off Google. This will increase your corporate employees’ comprehension and retention. You should also include subtitles or closed captions for employees with special needs. Such as those who have hearing disabilities.
The toughest job in any organization is probably sales, closely followed by customer support. They have to deal with irate customers all day. And because they’re not physically involved in day-to-day activities, they might be isolated from the team. This is both geographical and psychological. Equip them with the right tools and skills for this difficult job. Enable offline access for their course content, via tablet and mobile. Ask them what specific skills they need to keep their courses relevant. Pair them up with in-house staff and look to social media for ongoing support. They’ll work better if they feel part of the team.
Is your customer support team struggling with daily complaints? Customer service employees often bear the brunt of complaints and disgruntled consumers. Read the article 7 Pitfalls To Avoid When Onboarding New Employees In Your Customer Service Department in order to get the most out of your customer service employees and at the same time ensuring that your consumers get the best possible experience.