Training Industry Quarterly - Fall 2010 - (Page 40)

CLOSING ARGUMENTS | TIM SOSBE TRAINING MATTERS … WHEN IT HAS THE CHANCE TO MATTER. L THE IMPACT OF CUSTOMER SERVICE TRAINING training plan, what could I hope for at the mega-mart electronics store? I assumed the big chain would have offered at least token training, but knowing that you take from any experience benefits that are equal to the effort you bring to it, I expected very little. I expected, to be blunt, a young person qualified to point me toward the nearest display. Three words: I was wrong. This guy knew his phones, and the facts started flying. You don’t want this, you do want that, try this, hold that, touch there, flip this, slide that. My questions were answered, advice was given, I felt like I’d found the right product, and I happily paid more than I’d intended. I even offered to put in a good word with his manager, but with the confidence of the well-trained professional, he told me not to bother. This guy, I thought, should be a bank president. The lesson, of course, is that training matters … when it has the chance to matter. After more than a decade with that bank, I’ve since opened an account with a competitor so all my banking eggs aren’t in one ill-prepared basket. What’s more, I’ve gained a new appreciation for the well-trained worker and lost any antiquated preconceptions about age and ability. It was a hard lesson, but sometimes those are the ones you appreciate the most. Tim Sosbe is editorial director of Training Industry Quarterly and general manager of webinars for Training Industry, Inc. You can e-mail Tim at et me tell you a true story, even though parts of it may be hard to believe. Recently, fate put my business in front of two very different professionals: The middle-aged bank president and the college-aged electronics salesman. I went into both conversations with ridiculously preconceived notions, and I came out both times with a deeper appreciation of training. This story starts not with a bang but with a splash, the noise of my wallet and cell phone dropping into a deep, deep lake. (Don’t ask.) So, first stop, the bank, to cancel credit cards. Making a long story short, I ran into rather unbelievable customer service issues, stemming from a front-line worker’s obvious inexperience. Always loving to tilt at a good windmill, I escalated things to the bank president, wrongly assuming a business leader would appreciate satisfied customers. Instead, I heard a sad tale: The bank has 30 people in customer service and only three people in IT. So it’s easier, the president said, to train three people in fraud procedures rather than “trying to train” everyone. The customer service people—the ones who provide the bank’s only first impression—merely needed to know where to point customers. Of course, there are reasons why a business would need to compartmentalize some knowledge, but I was stunned to hear an executive argue against customer service training. Banking is about trust, and trust stems from knowledge and performance. So I was admittedly expecting little when I arrived at the big-box store. If the bank that had managed my money for more than a decade had no formal 40 TrainingIndustry Quarterly, Fall 2010 / A Training Industry, Inc. ezine /

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Quarterly - Fall 2010

Training Industry Quarterly - Fall 2010
From Where I Sit
Training Industry Top 20
At the Editor’s Desk
The Training Associates
Winning Organizations Through People
Learning Technologies
Knowledge Pool
Performance & Productivity
Kaplan It Learning
Learning Design for Every Mind
Rapid Intake
The New Era of Mobile Learning
The Essential Tension: Developing Leaders around the Globe
Manager Engagement: Reducing Scrap Learning
Partnering For Performance Conference
CASEBOOK: American Bankers Association
FOCAL POINT: The Right Stuff: Engaging Learners
Closing Arguments
Delta College Corporate Services

Training Industry Quarterly - Fall 2010