“We can talk and talk and talk, but if no one is paying attention, nothing matters” – Jack Shaw
As a trainer in the corporate world reading this quote I couldn’t help but nod my head in agreement.
I was lucky enough to be a part of what I like to call a “training disaster” – and I say lucky because the experience taught me a few valuable lessons that I was fortunate to learn early on in my career, and also taught me a lot about the road ahead of me as a trainer.
As I ventured out to visit one of our new customers to train their staff on their new Evolve IP products, I had no idea what I was in for. When I arrived on-site, the staff was clearly uninterested, unprepared and unorganized. It was clear that no one cared about getting trained on the latest advanced unified communication features on their new IP phones and their cloud call center software.
Cool new capabilities like desktop sharing, instant messaging and presence, the “Evolved Anywhere” mobility feature that allows them to make and receive their desk phone calls on a cell phone, and call center capabilities that allow them to see how many callers are waiting in the queue and to change their messages and routing on the fly – features that make them more productive and efficient. The features were completely lost on this customer – and this experience was completely unlike other trainings I have done. How bad was it at this particular firm? I ended up leaving the company early because of the lack of participation and attendance.
Not even 24 hours later their hosted PBX phone system was live. I bet you can guess what happened next.
Evolve IP’s amazing support team was flooded with calls as the employees had no idea how to manage their new cloud phone system. The firm quickly realized that associates would not be able to do their job without additional reviews of the services and it resulted in the employees having to spend additional hours away from their regular duties to re-attend training. The loss of time and productivity, coupled with increases in training costs, helped them realize how important getting employees engaged in the training process upfront (on their end) really is.
I took a couple of things away from this experience:
1. There are still many people out there that are wary of new technology, which drives them away from even wanting to learn. It is my job to comfort these customer, show them firsthand how intuitive Evolve IP products can be, and help them learn how to use our products effectively. Give me 20 minutes and I promise you will be convinced!
2. You can be the best trainer the world has to offer, but if your audience does not want to learn you cannot force them. The most effective training happens when employees are interested and want to engage. Without employee adoption, our customers will never realize the true value of their services from Evolve IP. At Evolve IP, we WANT our customers to take full advantage of the features and benefits of our services; we CARE that they are truly getting what they pay for. That’s why it is so important for our customers to actively engage in training.
3. The biggest lesson I learned, and perhaps the most valuable, was how important my job as a trainer is. I realized the effect I have on our customers when I do a training. Our customers need me for my expertise so I can help and teach them about all Evolve IP has to offer. Without me how do you know you are using our products to their full potential?Categories: Unified Communications