Online Newsletter for Call Center Personnel
Rosanne D'Ausilio, Ph.D. Editor and Publisher
Volume II, Issue 4

Date: April 1, 2001 - Online Vs Live Training

The current state of Web technology has only made business faster when it's simple. It hasn't done anything to speed up solving problems. Except for the simplest internet transactions, customers, who still need to be connected with and nurtured by a live person, will always want a live operator on the web site. It's similar to the 'zero out' option available on IVR's, allowing callers to move from the automated menu to a live operator for assistance.

Agents have moved up the food chain in terms of their value since for simple things websites, faxbacks, e-mail. can be used. Now customers are calling with escalated calls/ questions/problems/etc. The fact is voice is the most natural and powerful human interface, real time or otherwise. that isn't going to change any time soon.

So much is being said about online Vs live, here's what we see as the benefits and drawbacks of each.


Automated/Efficient Call Center Specific
Cost Effective/Short Term Cost Effective/Long Term
JIT/As Needed Motivational/Inspiring
Always Available Customized/Robust
Good for Systems/Software/Hardware Role Playing/Experiential
Good for Rules/Regs/Protocol Current/Alive/Flexible
Resource/Reference Value Added
Tracking Activity/Progress Pre- and Post-Evaluation


Too Easy to Click Ahead Labor Intensive
Too Distracted by Others Costly/Short Term
Limited Scope/Generic Trainer Required
Shelf Life/Stale/Dry Session Time Required
Only Highly Motivated People Use/ Access Inefficient for Systems/ Hardware/Software/ Programs/ Rules/Regs/Protocol
No Questions/Feedback Inefficient for content training

The goal of online, of course, is to project a consistent experience to broad audiences and make the experience personal. However, our most profound learning moments are personal...the human interaction.

Thus, we believe online is great for 'content,' training, and live will never be replaced for 'context' training.

By the way, the question isn't why should I train someone when they'll just leave for the next company, but rather, what if you don't train them and they stay!

QUOTE OF THE MONTH: The most exciting breakthrough of the 21st century will occur, not because of technology, but because of an expanding concept of what it means to be human...John Naisbitt.

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