Saturday, February 01, 2003

You Can't Automate Your Way Out of Training

Unclear on the Training Concept.

Information Week, Jan 6 issue, had a newsbyte on a CRM system that said the following:

"Three-year old Experion offers hosted software that provides real-time customer data and analysis to let call center reps and bank tellers offer quick answers and sales pitches. Because information is provided on-screen in an easily readable format, reps don't need as much training for each new product a bank offers, Experion says."

Maybe it's just me, but as a customer, when I get a sales pitch or answer to a question, I would like the person to have some underlying understanding of what they are talking about. If it's from a frontline person like a teller or call center rep I don't expect them to have detailed knowledge but at least something that shows they understand the basic concept of what they are talking about. Can you imagine what it's going to be like with tellers reading automoton-like off their screen?

Will this technology allow for less training of tellers or will it in fact require more and varied training? If the salespitch is constantly changing (in real time) based on the customer, the tellers or service reps are going to have to have a broader array of training so that they can respond to whatever offer pops up on their screen to pitch to the customer. They will need to be able to think quickly and be able to change their train of thought in a moment's notice.

From a training perspective, this kind of technology requires us to rethink how and on what we train our front-line employees. If not, we are going to have a lot of both frustrated customers and frustrated tellers and service reps.

Beth C.

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