by Dudley Molina, Founder and CEO, ePath Learning, Inc.
This article was orginally published on CLO's Trainingprism.com February 7, 2007
What helps create loyal, productive employees? Most people would say it is the corporate culture you craft. Ask yourself this question, are your employees fulfilled, challenged and rewarded? Many companies focus on customer satisfaction over employee satisfaction. But that is a little like putting the cart before the horse.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system providers like Salesforce.com and NetSuite, Inc. have blazed the way for software companies delivering applications in an online environment as a monthly subscription service. In the not to distant past, CRM tools were only affordable to Fortune 500 companies. With today’s web-based CRM offerings, sales force automation and customer relationship management tools are now affordable to small and mid-sized organizations too. In an era where “the customer is king,” it is understandable that CRM solutions garner so much attention in business. However, since there is a direct correlation between employee training and customer satisfaction scores, should you be paying the same attention to your learning management tools that exist to train and retain your employees?
Creating extraordinary customer service begins with employees who are well trained on your products and services, ideal service behaviors, sales techniques, and how to fix customer problems while simultaneously ‘wowing’ them with the intent of gaining loyalty. This amounts to a complete curriculum of product knowledge and best practices that you want delivered with consistency. In companies with decentralized operations, that can be a challenge. Two of our customers, Arise (formerly Willow CSN) and Alpine Access, have made their distributed workforces the core of their business model. They were recently featured on several segments of the TV show “Good Morning America,” where they were recognized for bringing jobs to thousands of people that are house-bound, such as stay-at-home parents and the handicapped. Unlike traditional call center operations where employees work in a single building, by using Internet based technology, these “virtual” call center companies enable their workers to take phone orders and customer service calls for many popular catalog and mail order businesses. This works well around the holiday season since they can handle the additional overflow of calls retailers expect around these times. As Good Morning America’s Workplace Contributor segment expert Tory Johnson pointed out, these call center companies are bringing work to thousands of individuals in a movement being dubbed “homeshoring;” a desirable alternative to offshoring.
Utilizing the power of the web, Alpine Access and Willow use on-demand learning management services to excel at a continuous training challenge that is a core component of their business. They create and consistently deliver training to employees when and where they need it, then test to guarantee critical and consistent levels of learning. By implementing on-demand CRM with learning management services to enhance and measure employee performance, any organization can benefit from centralizing and consolidating training, company reference materials, and just-in-time information. Your employees are the key driver in customer satisfaction. Excellent customer relationship management cannot exist without a superior training program and a corporate knowledge base in your organization.