Training in the workplace is a common occurrence. Whether training fulfills agency guidance, such as ethics training, or has to do with job duties, such as sales database training, employees all go through a learning process to become better at their jobs. However, being present for training doesn’t mean that employees are getting the most out of what is communicated. To really make a difference, training should assist individuals in becoming more productive and compliant employees.
The most effective way to make sure that training is incorporating information and processes that employees will use on a day-to-day basis is to track performance data and customer feedback. Then, compliance training will resonate more with the learner, bring value to the business by making sure that common customer complaints are addressed before they become issues, and assist in mitigating non-compliant behavior.
Seek out Voice of Customer (VOC) Feedback
Collecting feedback from customers related to their experiences and preferences and then sharing that insight internally is not a new process, but it’s certainly one that has gained momentum in the last few years and become an integral part of business strategy. When implemented and vetted effectively, voice of customer feedback has the potential to significantly improve the business and the experiences of employees and customers.
Without customers, a business would cease to exist. Therefore, their feedback, including complaints, should be a key factor of a company’s strategy. Customer input can come from a variety of sources, including surveys, focus groups, interviews, and conversations that occur throughout the normal course of business.
Identify Trends in Your Customer Data
Not all complaints are created equal. When a customer has an issue that isn’t reflective of the product or service which is being provided, then the complaint is most likely emanating from unrealistic expectations or a bad disposition. It’s important to look for patterns in the complaints to uncover recurring issues that need to be resolved.
Beyond complaints, the customer experience in general is important to the success of the business. Forbes reports that “… 89% of companies compete primarily on the basis of customer experience — up from just 36% in 2010. But while 80% of companies believe they deliver ‘super experiences,’ only 8% of customers agree.” This gap in opinion will only be closed when companies listen to what their customers are saying and use that information to improve processes.
Once customers’ feedback has been captured, a company needs to examine the data in order to conduct a root cause analysis of existing issues or build upon positive customer interactions. This may be done through an in-house analytics professional, or it can be outsourced to a reliable third-party vendor.
Incorporate Complaint Data into Compliance Training
Learning is most valuable when it can be applied to real-life situations and practiced day in and day out. Many have joked that another day has passed and we still haven’t used that algebra equation we learned in school. What we do remember, though, is that we learned how to read and write, which we put into practice in our daily lives.
Compliance training in the workplace should incorporate this same thought pattern. If organizations want employees, supervisors, and managers to practice what they learn, then the lessons must have practical applications for the jobs they perform. A training program should be an extension of the company’s culture and personality. Neha Gupta, CEO of True Office Learning, identifies this goal: “We want to create a world where every employee has the opportunity to be his or her most ethical and compliant self.”
A business can accomplish this by customizing its compliance training to incorporate customer feedback and data. By translating complaints into learning opportunities, employees are able to improve the customer experience, product and service performance, and their own job satisfaction.
There are a number of reinforcement tools that a business can utilize to keep learning going even after training ends. Compliance training should be reinforced with company policies and procedures that incorporate the practices that are instilled in training. Additionally, customized job aids such as leadership talking points, topic support materials, and checklists can highlight compliance training messaging and be important points of reference for employees.
Analyze the Impact of Training
Once compliance training has been given, a company should monitor its effectiveness. Doing so allows a business to deliver targeted training and messaging to employees (or specific segments of its audience) with courses and programs based on where support is most needed. Furthermore, ongoing coaching and positive feedback, where applicable, will help reinforce compliance procedures taught in training and help employees retain the information they received.
Continuing to monitor customer complaints and data will help the business to measure the return on investment of its compliance training. If customer feedback is used well, companies should see a related decline in the occurrence of complaints or feedback about a particular issue. Also, a workforce that is able to demonstrate ethical and compliant business practices not only finds more satisfaction in the work that they do but also helps the business mitigate unlawful behavior that leads to costly consequences.
Engage in Continuous Improvement and Periodic Review
An effective compliance training program is one that can adapt to new risks and circumstances and is continually updated accordingly. Customer complaints and data are constantly shifting and evolving, so the training that an employee receives should change as well. This may require employees to be retrained.
Also, employees should be monitored as to how well they are putting into practice what they learned. Where shortfalls exist, individual coaching or refresher training should be given until the employee can demonstrate compliance with key company policies and procedures.
By making sure that customer complaints and data are an integral part of a company’s compliance training, a business is well on its way to ensuring a compliant workforce, giving employees a better chance of success, improving product offerings, and delivering a better quality of customer service.