Featured Image for the blog: What We Learned From Three Contact Centers That Excel In Agent Training

According to Business Training Experts, a recent study from the American Society of Training and Development “provides the first definitive evidence that training investments can yield favorable financial returns for firms and their investors.”

Among other impressive findings, the study reported that:

“The firms in the top quarter of the study group, as measured by average per-employee expenditures on training, enjoyed higher profit margins (by 24 percent), higher income per employee (by 218 percent) and higher price-to-book ratios (by 26 percent) on average than firms in the bottom quarter.”

The benefits of quality training for contact center employees is astounding – and companies are starting to catch on.

Each year, Training Magazine ranks the Top 125 companies who are excelling in employee training. For each company, they share details of the training programs and the impact they have had on financial and operational success.

Here we’re highlighting 3 of the Top 125 and revealing the secrets to training success.

1. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company
Ranked number 10 in ‘Trainings 2017 Top 125’ is Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. Nationwide has 34,019 employees all within the United States. Last year they were ranked 15th in ‘Training’s Top 125’ and because of their dedication to their contact center training, they bumped up 5 spots in one year.

Nationwide has established their training through the Personal Lines Call Center Cohort Learning Program, which is “an interactive learning experience designed for new call center associates, allowing for growth and practice of their knowledge and skills in a community setting.”

Last year the learning program was piloted to 500 employees, and due to its success, is projected to be introduced throughout the company in coming years. The Personal Lines Call Center Cohort Learning Program is a team-based learning model that allows the agents to explore content in a safe environment, leading to a deeper understanding of insurance concepts while fostering creative problem-solving.

Nationwide calculates that the increase in agent productivity has recouped $250,912.98 since the launch of the training program.

2. ESL Federal Credit Union
ESL Federal Credit Union is another company that focused on training and education with their contact center agents and gained substantial profits. ESL ranked 19th in ‘Trainings 2017 Top 125’ moving up from 45th last year. Their success can be attributed to ESL’s learning interventions, which enhance the knowledge, skills, and effectiveness of the target learning population in ESL Federal Credit Union’s Business Banking line.

ESL saw an increase of 206% in submitted loan applications going from 282 submitted applications to 862 in just one year. They also saw an increase in the amount of total business loan volume booked from $252,000 in 2015 to $2.5 Million in 2016, an increase of 912% in sales production.

3. Ascend Federal Credit Union
Ascend Federal Credit Union is a small business of only 445 employees located in Tullahoma, Tennessee. Despite their small size they are making a great impact. Ascend ranked 15th in ‘Trainings 2017 Top 125’ climbing up the chart twenty-one spots in one year.

Ascend focuses their training on specialized workshops and sessions for Contact Center employees with the goal of enhancing service and communication skills, product knowledge, and sales skills. In addition, contact center leaders provide agents with ample opportunities to receive feedback and coaching. All of these inititaives have contributed to a member satisfaction rate of 97%, according to Ascend’s last member survey.

Aside from the financial benefits, there’s a much deeper benefit to your agents.

Whether it’s a business or a relationship – when we want something to succeed, we invest our time and effort into seeing it through. Dedicating time and resources to your agents’ training shows them that you care about their success.

Not surprisingly, studies have found that well-trained employees are more satisfied in their jobs and are less likely to leave. And, nowhere is an improvement in employee satisfaction more crucial than in a contact center. Nationwide and ESL have both been ranked as Best Places To Work since launching their training initiatives.

This speaks volumes for the importance of training in contact centers. It builds confidence, opens doors to new opportunities, and inspires your agents to invest in the success of your company by providing better customer service.