March 11, 2012

My Experience with Creating a Scenario-based Course: Part 1

Last week, in a conversation with a Captivate Customer Care Team Manager, I learned that she had some training requirement for the new joinees in the team. We were generally discussing how to train the new employees quickly and effectively. The task was to train them, in a manner that they are well equipped to resolve the customer issues and delight the customers with efficient service. It’s a very important job and they have to do it right each time they pick up the phone and talk to the customer.

After a long discussion, we reached to a conclusion that providing them a simulated learning experience would make sense. So the first idea that came to the table was to let them listen to the previous customer interactions and learn from them. But then, there was an important element missing from it. They were not in a situation where they had to decide what to do next and how to deal with the problem. And till they are not facing the situation themselves, they would not experience it in its entirety, which could result in half-baked learning, which was not of much help.

So the question was how to give them a simulated experience of taking customer calls? And the answer was simple! Create a scenario-based course and let the learner face the situation, deal with the problem by learning from his/her right and wrong moves and face the consequences for their actions.

I was really excited about this idea and thought of helping her create a scenario-based course. And I found this task so interesting that I thought of sharing my experiences with all of you as well. 🙂

So this is how I started working on this course:

My first step was to gather content that I would need to flesh out the scenario. I interviewed a couple of experienced employees in her team to find out the standard procedure they follow to take the call and every little detail about how to start the call, ask for information from the customer, empathize with the customer, continue the conversation, effectively resolve the issue, and close the call.

They were really kind enough to help me with all this information. In fact, they were the best SMEs I’ve ever worked with. 🙂

After gathering data from the interviews and looking at the guidelines document, everything seemed to be pretty standardized except two things:

  • Which questions do you need to ask the customer?
  •  What would be the best possible resolution for the issue?

Now there can be hundreds of variations of the issues that the customers face and selecting the best questions to ask and best resolution to provide would be unique in each case. A resolution that works wonders in one situation can actually cause more damage in some other situation. So we had to carefully craft the scenarios to help them identify what works best in a particular situation.

So my next task was to identify the most frequent problems that were reported by the customers and what was the severity of the issue. This data helped me in zeroing down to a couple of scenarios that I could use in the course.

After identifying the problem, we brainstormed on what questions the Customer Care Executive needs to ask the customer in order to provide the right solution. And during that discussion, we also identified the potential wrong questions that he/she might ask the customer so that we are ready with the details we need for the distractors.

And the last important thing that we talked about was the correct resolution that needs to be provided to the customer. An inappropriate resolution may result in a poor customer service, so this was the most important detail that we had to get right.

My content acquisition phase is over and now I have all the data I need to flesh out a storyline for the scenario. I’ve started working on it and I’m all excited to share my experience working on it. I’ll do so as soon as I have the storyline ready!

Keep looking for my next post on My Experience with Creating a Scenario-based Course.

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Posted by poojajaisingh6:16 PM
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