Football season is almost here---in just a short time, we’ll be back to enjoying weekends full of football. I can’t wait. And as I consider fall camp, I’m thinking about what we can take from the football field and apply to training better customer service employees. Here are three things straight from the gridiron that we can learn about how to train new employees.
1. Everybody gets better together.
Fall training is the first time incoming freshmen get to be part of the team. Whether they’ll get playing time remains to be seen, but in training, everyone is there---most experienced and the least---so everyone can learn together. Business training should be the same way. No one gets a pass with training: make sure everyone’s involved because everyone can learn something.
2. It weeds out those who can’t hang.
Sometimes, fall camp rosters start to get a little slimmer. It’s a little bit disheartening at first, but think about it: if players couldn’t hang in the heat of practice, do you think they’d fare any better in the heat of the game? Probably not. There’s a business parallel here, too. You’ll find that as your business grows, you’ll have to cut the slack in order to move together as a team. That means coaching up individuals who need help, and, when necessary, cutting individuals who aren’t up to the task of winning a call. How can you know exactly who’s who? Call recording. By monitoring your employees’ calls at all times (when you’re there and when you’re not), you ensure that they’re not slacking in providing excellent customer experiences: they aren’t letting phones ring, leaving customers hanging, or coming up short. And call records also have the power to show you who your star team members are---those who are going above and beyond to polish your company’s good reputation. But before you’re in a pivotal game situation, you need to practice.
3. Practice reveals strengths and weaknesses.
Two-a-days, drills, and scrimmages show what you’re good at, collectively and individually. They also show the big holes in your offense, the weaknesses in your defense, and what could cost you the game. “Practice” in business takes a little different form, but the premise is the same: single employees can cost the entire team a win. And the whole team, as a unit, has to be pushing toward the same goal. That’s why call recording is so important as a training tool, too. You can use real recorded calls to train your employees in situations they will actually encounter without the game-time pressure. Once you and your team are ready, you can move from training---the JV games, if you will---to live calls (the games that matter).
Fall camp is important in football. “It is a time when teams are built, players prove they belong, coaches find out who they can use and teams grow together." Similarly, the training process for new employees matters just as much. As they say, the way you practice is the way you perform.