Introducing New Integrations: Streamline Training for Bottom-Line Impact

One of the greatest advantages of software is the ability to build a tech stack. This ability enables completely different pieces of software, related in their use, to work together—creating a better outcome than what could’ve been achieved alone. It’s a unique and cherished facet of our industry.

That’s why, this month, we decided to focus on our partnerships and build two brand new integrations and make improvements to an important one.  

Okta

Companies use Okta for identity and password management, specifically through single sign-on. When teams need a secure way to connect their people with their tech, they look to Okta. With our integration, Lessonly and Okta customers can sync user data from Okta to Lessonly for items like name, email, department, location, and more. Users can also automatically deactivate and activate in Lessonly based on actions in Okta, allowing teams to easily keep their user information updated in both places.

BambooHR

For HR and L&D teams, HRIS software is a vital tool for many processes key to their roles. The employee information kept in these systems is an important source of truth for the company. Beyond the usefulness of tying together training and people data, BambooHR is HR software with heart, and their focus on people resonates extremely well with Lessonly’s culture.

Our integration allows teams to streamline updates to employee information between BambooHR and Lessonly, including items like email, job title, department, supervisor, and division. It also syncs when employees are made inactive to maintain an up-to-date employee list across platforms.

Lessonly for Chrome

Our integration with the Chrome browser has received an update that now allows teams to link any online content, not just Lessonly content, to a specific URL. Our goal is always to provide employees the ability to obtain every piece of information they need, and we realize not all of that information lives in Lessonly. Whether its a piece of content to share with a prospect or customer, a proposal template, or a useful website, Lessonly customers can now map these items to Lessonly for Chrome.

Secure File Transfer Protocol (sFTP)

For those who prefer to make large data changes via spreadsheets, we now offer the capability to work with our tech services team to make regular updates to user data in a secure fashion. We’ll work with your team to identify the needed changes, make sure the data is properly set up, and get that information updated in Lessonly as needed.

Everyone can do better work

This new round of integrations allows our admins and learners to do their jobs more effectively, and we’ll continue to expand this list as we grow. If you’re interested in learning more about Lessonly’s integrations, contact us to schedule a demo.

40 Customer Service Tips from Today’s Leaders

It’s no surprise that the world of customer service is in the middle of astronomical change. As customers continue to demand more from companies, the role of a customer service team is more important than ever in order to keep satisfaction and engagement high.

When expectations and technology move faster than the speed of light, leaders have the ability to inspire out-of-this world customer service. That’s why we teamed up with eight customer service experts to get their thoughts and advice on the future of customer service. These 40 quotes are important for every customer service leader, manager, and trainer to review as they lead their team towards better customer service—and better work.

Get all of these insights—and more—in a star-studded ebook. Download The Future of Customer Service today!

Quotes about Operations

“Customers purchase from companies that they trust and value. To stay relevant to customers and the industry, companies must be sure they have strong values that they live out and put at the forefront of their interactions.”
— Brian Costanzo, CEO and President, SOCAP International

“From an operational perspective, the hot trend will be how we interplay technology and people with the goal of addressing the changing demands of our workforce to provide more complex servicing and support to customers.”
— Hui Wu-Curtis, GM, Customer Service Operations & Strategy, Arizona Public Services

“Customer service teams need to think in terms of value instead of costs. The modern customer experience and expectation will focus on a harmony between product and customer service that benefits and brings value to everyone.”
— Ben Collet, Director of Global Advocacy, Enterprise & Strategic Accounts, Zendesk

“Customer service and support have been run in much of the same way over the last 30 years. Look at how the typical organization approaches quality assurance and KPIs—that hasn’t changed despite evolving market conditions, consumers, and technology. Customer service leaders must rethink these operating models to find more business value for the organization.”
— Hui Wu-Curtis, GM, Customer Service Operations & Strategy, Arizona Public Services

“The most important thing you can do as a service professional is listen to your customers and be sure your leadership team is listening as well. That feedback is needed to build the strategy and to help guide discussions on customers and technology.”
— Brian Costanzo, CEO and President, SOCAP International

“The best customer service visions have three characteristics. They are simple and easy to understand. The vision is focused on the customer, rather than the company’s internal goals. And the vision is authentic and resonates with employees.”
— Jeff Toister, Author & Founder, Toister Performance Solutions, Inc.

Quotes about Adapting and Improving

“Customers are demanding more and changing at a pace much faster than customer support and services organization can evolve and adapt.”
Hui Wu-Curtis, GM, Customer Service Operations & Strategy, Arizona Public Services

“Teams need to have better continuous improvement cycles and greater insights to customer and employee feedback.”
—Troy Mills, CEO & Founder, Customer Care Advisory

You’re always going to be adapting to your customer base.”
Ben Collet, Director of Global Advocacy, Enterprise & Strategic Accounts, Zendesk

Quotes about AI

“We are going to continue to see initial AI self-service applications grow in popularity as well as in complexity of the tasks they are supporting.”
Troy Mills, CEO & Founder, Customer Care Advisory

“The biggest trend is the evolution of chatbots. Companies can use text or voice recognition software to answer simple customer questions. The impact is “easy” Tier-1 questions (that used to be outsourced to third party contact centers) can now be handled by chatbots.”
— Mike Aoki, President, Reflective Keynotes

“The majority of the market is still digitizing support efforts and finding a rhythm across digital channels as they scale operations. To overcome the challenges of a highly-integrated customer experience, it’s going to be all about automation and machine learning.”
— Ben Collet, Director of Global Advocacy, Enterprise & Strategic Accounts, Zendesk

Quotes about Technology

“Customer service teams need to establish a blend between high tech and high touch. The enthusiasm and pendulum swinging to chat, AI, and more is healthy, but companies need to get this in the right order and do it for the right reason—which is high tech to enable high touch and relevant customer experiences.”
— Jeanne Bliss, President, Customer Bliss

“Technology has changed every industry—usually for the better. In the case of customer service, technology has made shopping quicker and more convenient. It’s also empowered the consumer to measure one product against another until they find the best option.”
— Steve DiGioia, Trainer, Coach, Author, & Speaker

“Tech in customer service is driving integrated and personalized service for customers. It also allows teams to continuously and rapidly improve. These innovations should reduce customer effort by creating greater self-service resolutions. However, it will be detrimental for companies that try to leverage technology to reduce costs at the expense of the customer experience.”
Troy Mills, CEO & Founder, Customer Care Advisory

“Technology solutions must find a mutually beneficial space in service and support while providing consumers with convenience, ease, choices, and reliability. While technology can scale and augment the customer experience, the moment it fails or fails to deliver on expectations, it creates the opposite effect.”
— Hui Wu-Curtis, GM, Customer Service Operations & Strategy, Arizona Public Services

“Tools such as machine learning make so much more personalization possible. It enables us to capture business intelligence without interfering with the customer experience. But, you have to be careful that you don’t lose the people factor. As advantageous as tech can be, you have to measure it and incorporate it into the human-drive experience.”
— Ben Collet, Director of Global Advocacy, Enterprise & Strategic Accounts, Zendesk

Quotes about Omnichannel Experiences

We’ll see more advancement in omnichannel integrations of those larger businesses who have struggled to consolidate the customer experience in the past. This will be fueled by stronger analytics around customer segmentation…”
—Troy Mills, CEO & Founder, Customer Care Advisory

“Today, we have many more ways to serve our customers. Customers still want a simple, intuitive, and seamless service experience and the best companies are able to provide just that.”
— Jeff Toister, Author & Founder, Toister Performance Solutions, Inc.

“These innovations help customers leverage their preferred service channel. For example, most Millennials choose self-service as their first option, while a phone call to customer service is their last resort. On the other hand, Boomers may pick up the phone first, rather than use Twitter to get a company’s attention.”
Mike Aoki, President, Reflective Keynotes

Quotes on Training and Development

Agents hired for their verbal skills five years ago, now need training on proper business writing skills. They need to learn style differences between writing for email, live chat, SMS, Twitter and Facebook. These reading and writing skills are different than verbal communication skills.”
—Mike Aoki, President, Reflective Keynotes

“It’s crucial to invest in the professional development of your team!”
—Brian Costanzo, CEO and President, SOCAP International

“Customer service reps need to know their company’s products, services, policies, and procedures. Your customer is contacting you because they need an expert’s help.”
— Jeff Toister, Author & Founder, Toister Performance Solutions, Inc.

“A successful team should receive constant reinforcement of best practices and procedures from their leaders.”
— Steve DiGioia, Trainer, Coach, Author, & Speaker

“Work on evolving the operations from tactical elements of scripting, rigid guidelines, and standard training methodology to being a learning organization that is more fluid, agile, adaptable and quick to market.”
Hui Wu-Curtis, GM, Customer Service Operations & Strategy, Arizona Public Services

“The rise of self-service means that when a customer does need a person to help them, the customer’s request tends to be complicated. This requires customer service professionals to have more knowledge, better problem-solving skills, and a greater ability to empathize with customers than ever before.”
— Jeff Toister, Author & Founder, Toister Performance Solutions, Inc.

“Coach and develop people for their humanity, ability to solve problems, serve with care, and provide the support and assistance your customers really need.”
— Jeanne Bliss, President, Customer Bliss

Ready to take your team’s training to the next level? Take a tour of Lessonly

Quotes about Qualities of High-Performing Reps

“It’s important for reps to understand the impact of their decisions and their commentary.”
Troy Mills, CEO & Founder, Customer Care Advisory

“If you can speak to the customer and empathize with them, the conversation will be that much easier as you’ll be able to truly understand the customer’s needs.”
— Ben Collet, Director of Global Advocacy, Enterprise & Strategic Accounts, Zendesk

“Reps need to feel assured that they are trusted and have the appropriate power to act and solve a problem.”
— Jeanne Bliss, President, Customer Bliss

“Undoubtedly, a great rep needs compassion to understand the customer on the phone or online is an actual person—not just a point of sale or a ‘time-limited’ call to rush off the phone.”
— Steve DiGioia, Trainer, Coach, Author, & Speaker

“The qualities of a successful customer service rep haven’t changed very much in the 25 plus years I’ve been working in service. The first characteristic I look for is helpfulness. Successful service professionals truly want to help other people. The second characteristic is empathy, which allows us to understand what our customers are thinking and feeling. That, in turn, makes it easier to truly understand a customer’s needs. The third characteristic is competency.”
— Jeff Toister, Author & Founder, Toister Performance Solutions, Inc.

“People who work in the customer service and support space are by nature warm, helpful, and caring…”
Hui Wu-Curtis, GM, Customer Service Operations & Strategy, Arizona Public Services

Quotes about Delivering Personalized Service

We will continue to see an expansion of augmenting the company’s support services, especially in areas of greater customization… Customers will be identified and uniquely interacted with based on personalization data that will be sourced both internally and externally.”
Troy Mills, CEO & Founder, Customer Care Advisory

“The number one thing customer service leaders need to do is get everyone on the same page when it comes to outstanding customer service. You cannot get your team to deliver a consistent brand of service until you get everyone to understand what that looks like.”
— Jeff Toister, Author & Founder, Toister Performance Solutions, Inc.

“We’re going see not just at-scale-support, but we’re going to see personalized support. We’re going to know a lot more about each and every customer and be able to answer every phone call knowing their name and how they consume these products. This means that service teams can give customers much more meaningful and rich help when they need it.”
— Ben Collet, Director of Global Advocacy, Enterprise & Strategic Accounts, Zendesk

I expect a large portion of consumers, that still desire and expect personalized service, will demand a return to the human interaction they desire…even if it’s only once and awhile.”
—Steve DiGioia, Trainer, Coach, Author, & Speaker

“Customer service teams must leverage big data and insights from the millions of transactions that flow into their channels to drive business decisions around the customer…These will become strategic to driving a true customer-centric ecosystem.”
Hui Wu-Curtis, GM, Customer Service Operations & Strategy, Arizona Public Services

Tech is helping drive integrated and personalized service for customers. It allows teams to have better continuous improvement cycles and greater insights to customer and employee feedback. These innovations should drive reduced customer effort along with greater self-service resolutions.”
—Troy Mills, CEO & Founder, Customer Care Advisory

“Companies that differentiate themselves through service will create positive service experiences with authentic, personalized, and emotional connections.”
— Jeff Toister, Author & Founder, Toister Performance Solutions, Inc.

World-class customer service teams use Lessonly

Lessonly is powerfully simple training software that enables customer service teams to serve customers faster, drive consistent support, and elevate the customer experience. Take a tour today, and see how your team can Do Better Work with Lessonly.

How to Engage and Retain Star Sales Reps

Sam is thrilled to be the newest recruiter for his alma mater. His job looks a lot like sales— producing leads for the enrollment team, educating prospective students on the school’s programs, and collaborating with other recruiters. Sam is thrilled to get started but has to wait three weeks before he’s officially part of the team. That’s the next time his new employer offers new hire onboarding, which requires him to make an 8-hour trip to the school’s main campus for a week of in-person training.

Once Sam arrives at training, he’s overwhelmed with the information overload. By the end of the week, he has little grasp on the school’s suite of programs. After nearly six months of lackluster performance, and without any guidance on job-specific best practices—he decides to move on to a new opportunity.

This scenario happens thousands of times for hundreds of sales teams across the globe. In fact, turnover for sales reps averages 20% per year.  But forward-thinking sales teams decide to do something about it. Recently, one of Lessonly’s newest partners realized that their training program needed a transformation: it was the ideal opportunity to engage and retain their best sales reps from all over the country.

Evaluate and improve onboarding so you can integrate more people, faster. Design your training plan with our free employee training plan builder.

Optimize the onboarding process

There are many reasons for high rep turnover—but poor onboarding is at the top of the list. Onboarding is a new rep’s first impression of the company (outside of the recruiting and hiring process), so it’s critical to provide high-quality, engaging onboarding that equips reps with the knowledge they need to succeed.

Before using Lessonly, one of our customers required reps from all over the country to travel to the main office for a week-long, in-person onboarding program. The process was costly, difficult to schedule, and tough to track. They also found that training was ineffective—it focused too heavily on procedures and systems instead of on-the-job skills. This left many reps unprepared when it was time to go out into the sales world.

WithLessonly, our customer moved their in-person onboarding program online. The program, which is available anytime and anywhere, significantly reduces time spent on onboarding. New reps no longer need to travel and leaders aren’t required to stop what they’re doing to run the onboarding. The team has shifted the learning materials—prioritizing helpful sales and lead development skills over basic information about policies and systems. This method is highly engaging—with 99% learner satisfaction. But this is just the first step toward improving employee retention and reducing ramp time to productivity for new team members.

Cultivate a long-term learning environment

Once reps complete effective onboarding training, it’s essential that they stick around and make an impact. On average, nearly 90% of employees decide whether to stay or leave a company within the first six months—proving organizations need to focus on ways to retain employees. Leading organizations with long-term employee retention provide ongoing learning and development opportunities that keep the team engaged, reinforce their skills, and maximize performance.

The same Lessonly customer recognized the correlation between ongoing learning and employee retention. Before Lessonly, they provided monthly web conferences with four different sessions—Each rep could choose one session to attend. This web conference format was difficult to balance with their already hectic schedule, and if the session times didn’t fit in with their other meetings and tasks, they had to skip training and wait until the next month. Reps found this training strategy to be cumbersome—and less-than-helpful.

So our customer used Lessonly to provide existing reps with better ongoing learning opportunities with more relevant learning material. Instead of featuring knowledge from only a handful of senior-level leaders, the team leveraged the entire sales team to assist in content and training creation. Now, every rep has access to an extensive learning library with beneficial content on crucial topics. This form of training has sparked a culture of learning with team performance and retention reaping the benefits.

Drive business results with better training. Get started with the Better Work Assessment.

If you want to build a high-performing sales team, engaging and retaining the best sales reps is critical. This also defrays the significant cost of regularly hiring, training, and retraining employees. As seen with this Lessonly customer—when reps have the chance to learn what great work looks like—they’re more engaged, more productive, and close more deals.

Streamline sales onboarding and training with Lessonly

Lessonly’s powerfully simple software is purpose-built to help sales managers and trainers onboard, train, and transform their teams. In fact, world-class customers like FiscalNote use Lessonly to reduce rep ramp time, increase team productivity, and maximize training ROI. See how Lessonly could improve your sales organization, and take a tour today.

5 Reasons to Get Your Better Work Score

Annie is talented, young leader at a Fortune 500 company. She and her team are responsible for enabling and training frontline employees—from sales to customer service—on new product releases and process changes. Keeping thousands of people on the same page is no easy task—and even small changes applied at scale could impact millions of dollars of revenue.

Annie needs an easy way to evaluate the health and effectiveness of her training program.

We developed the Better Work Assessment for leaders like Annie. Executives, project owners, and trainers are constantly looking to measure the impact and effectiveness of training. This 8-minute quiz examines six key phases of a successful training program: Assess, Plan, Build, Learn, Practice, Perform. Take the Better Work Assessment.

dbwmethod

Hundreds of teams are using their Better Work Scores to improve their training programs. Here are five reasons to get yours today:

Reason #1: Benchmark your team

Author and CEO Max DuPree once noted that, “The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality.” For those looking to do better work, the first step is knowledge. Perhaps you’re not sure how your training program compares to other companies. Or maybe you just need an honest evaluation of your learning efforts. The Better Work Assessment provides an easy-to-understand, 100-point score to help you objectively evaluate your team training.

Reason #2: Identify opportunities for growth

Sometimes, constructive feedback can sting: Nobody likes knowing that their training program is struggling. But clearly identifying what areas need attention is invaluable—it’s a roadmap for improvement. For example, my team needs some work on the planning stage. We’re great at creating lessons, but need to be a bit more intentional about strategic planning and prioritization. Our low Better Work Score highlighted a weakness—and now we’re intentionally working to address it.

Reason #3: Focus on maximizing strengths

It’s easy to focus time and effort on what’s failing. While knowing where your training program falls short is helpful—it’s equally as valuable to know when it’s thriving. For example, if your team received a high score on the Build phase, you’re probably churning out useful learning content. Why not celebrate that strength and capitalize on it to develop some practice scenarios to increase retention? Appreciating and doubling down on your team’s strengths is just another way to fuel training improvement and growth.

Reason #4: Get tactical tips

Sometimes, we just need a little inspiration. After completing the Better Work Assessment, we offer 18 tangible tips for improving your training program—and your Better Work Score. These best practices are based on insights from over a million learners at 500+ companies. Knowing the key tenets of training success could inspire you and your team to try something different or develop a new training initiative.

Reason #5: Do Better Work

The heart of the Better Work Assessment is, you guessed it, helping teams do better work. At Lessonly, we believe that great training empowers teams to succeed at their jobs. When people feel confident and capable at work, it positively impacts every aspect of their lives. Our hope is that the Better Work Method and Assessment will help teams across the globe achieve operational excellence that leads from better work to better lives. 

Take the free online assessment today

The Better Work Assessment is entirely free. Whether you’re a Lessonly customer or you use another training platform—this tool exists to help you and your team succeed. Click here to get started and feel free to reach out if you’d like to discuss your score!

Yellowship Captain’s Log: Thursday Recap

Thank you for joining us—either in-person or from afar—for #Yellowship18! The final day of the conference was the perfect conclusion to our journey.

Here are a few takeaways from the last day of Yellowship:

We were inspired to learn.

“It’s not that people are too busy to come to training, they aren’t seeing how it will benefit them.”
Meghan McHale Bilardo, Director, Learning and Organizational Development, Brandmuscle

“Consistency, efficiency, and measurability are the three ways we evaluate our learning program’s effectiveness.”
Elizabeth Truemper, LL&D E-Learning Expert, EILEEN FISHER

“In order for our personal development program to work, it had to be communicated in a way that everyone would opt in.”
Sherisa Bay, Learning Experience Manager, Thumbtack

We were inspired to grow, lead, and be our best selves.

“The number one reason sellers miss quota is because they can’t articulate value.”
David Galindo, Program Manager, Learning and Enablement, Spredfast

“What behavioral science sets out to do is measure people’s inherent motivating needs…the magic starts to happen when we realize that learning goes better when our needs are met.”
Heather Haas, President, ADVISA

“Your values are home base, a space within where you feel aligned and connected to your most self.”
Jacki Carr, Coach & Leadership Consultant, Rock Your Bliss

yellowship

We were inspired to take action.

“We all may be ordinary, but the story we start with doesn’t have to be the story we end with….Lessonly brought us together to dream big. Go back to your jobs and communities, think outside the box, and inspire change.”
Erin Gruwell, Inspirational Educator & Author

“We have the power to choose who and how we want to be in the world. How will you use your power?”
Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, Neuroanatomist, Speaker, and NY Times Bestselling Author

A few other notes for your journey

The Better Work Assessment. We launched Lessonly’s new, six-step method for doing great training—and better work. Want to a free quiz to see how your team stacks up? Click here to get started.

The Brighter Indy Fund. We also announced that Lessonly will donate 1% of sales to local Indianapolis nonprofits. If you’re a Lessonly customer—you’re already a part of that mission.  Want to give a little extra? Click here to donate.

Yellowship 2019. Text YELLOW to 317-672-1018 to sign up for #Yellowship19 updates and receive $200 off your 2019 pass!

Thanks for a being a part of Yellowship. We put on this conference because we wanted to foster fellowship and growth with some of our closest partners, customers, and friends. Being with you exceeded all our expectations—you’re all honorary Lessonly llamas in our book.

Here’s to doing better work, together.

The Yellowship Team

Yellowship Captain’s Log: Wednesday Recap

The first day of Yellowship was smooth sailing! Our time together was full of energy, learning, and fellowship. We’re excited to see you tomorrow to conclude our voyage. Thanks for being a part of the Yellowship crew!

Here are some highlights from our day:

We learned how great teams Do Better Work.

“Psychological safety is the number one determinant of a great team.”
Max Yoder, CEO, Lessonly

“Doing better work is pretty simple. You just have to out-care everybody else.”
Jay Baer, Investor, Strategist, Author

“Open communication creates progress.”
Keenan Schneider, Product Education Lead, Sprout Social

yellowship-lessonly-1

We saw how purposeful leadership fuels Better Work.

“Great leaders need to ask 3 questions: Are you committed to excellence? Can I trust you? Do you care about me as a person?”
Kyle DeFur, President, trueU

“Want to blow your new employees’ minds? Create a safe environment for people to ask the question why.”
Jimmy Miller, Senior Manager of Training and Development, OutboundEngine

yellowship

We explored the role of training in Better Work.

“We have really specialized our training efforts instead of giving everyone the same cookie-cutter training. This has been huge for us as we gather feedback from our employees.”
Jillana Peterson, CSR Engagement Manager, Zendesk

“Learner feedback is so important in sales enablement and you have to be able to measure—it which is why Lessonly is so helpful.”
Meganne Brezina, Sales Enablement Manager, Emarsys

“If you don’t get your managers bought into training, it’s never going to work.”
Brad Chrisakis, Sales and Product Enablement, Classy

yellowship lessonly 2

“I invite you to consider the fact that we’re all sitting in the car in the parking lot on something. How different would your life be if you just got out of the car and actually did it?”
Kyle Maynard, Entrepreneur, Athlete, Author

“Small acts multiplied by millions of people can change the world.”
Justin Moses, Culture Warrior, DSi

Thanks for diving deep with us—see you tomorrow!

The Yellowship Team

Using KPIs to Measure Customer Service Training and Rep Performance

Sam and Jordan are best friends. They’re both also starting their first customer service jobs at large, fast-paced companies.

Sam’s company starts the onboarding process before he even steps into the office. He receives onboarding paperwork and company policies ahead of time—so he’s prepped and ready to receive job-specific training on his first day. Sam’s employee training plan features a mix of online and in-person training to deliver key information about products and processes. He also practices interacting with customers in real-life scenarios to put his new skills to the test. After his first week of onboarding, Sam is tasked with five daily support tickets for the next two weeks. Thanks to solid onboarding, he handles his five tickets with ease, receives high satisfaction scores, and meets his KPIs. His manager, pleased with Sam’s performance, raises his daily quota to 15 tickets. Sam continues to exceed expectations and within 30 days is fully ramped with a quota of 30 tickets daily.

Jordan is welcomed to her job with a week-long, in-person training regiment that features a large binder full of paperwork, procedures, and tests. After sitting through lectures, homework, and tests, she is also tasked with a quota of 5 daily support tickets. At the two-week mark, she is not adequately meeting her KPIs, so her manager reduces her quota to three tickets. By the end of her first 30 days, Jordan is still struggling to find her footing and receiving sub-par satisfaction scores. Frustrated, discouraged, and without a way to hone her skills, she decides to leave the company while her best friend continues down the path to productivity.

Measure KPIs that matter

Customer service teams experience situations like these every day. However, forward-thinking companies and managers like Sam’s use the power of data to inform training initiatives and drive rep performance. According to a study by Dimension Data, 72% of customer service leaders say analytics enable better performance; yet, 20% of contact centers don’t measure the benefits of training. In the midst of demanding team responsibilities and increasing customer demands, it’s difficult to set training goals and measure the impact on rep performance. While there are plenty of valuable KPIs, here are a few that provide actionable insights for customer service training efforts:

Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) is an index score, rated on a 0-100% scale, and is calculated by surveying how the customer values the quality of the interaction. CSAT is helpful as it measures the customer’s satisfaction regardless of channel—whether it was a phone call, online chat, email, or anything else.
Net Promoter Scores (NPS) measures customer experience on a 0-10 scale. Customer service reps ask customers how likely they are to recommend the company to a friend or colleague. A 9 or 10 rating means customers are promoting the company and is a fantastic indicator of customer service team improvement.
Churn, also known as attrition or agent turnover, measures the percentage of employees leaving a company. Call centers have a bad reputation for high turnover, both from voluntary and involuntary termination. If customer service teams are experiencing a high churn level, it may be time to review onboarding and training to ensure reps are equipped with the skills they need to be successful.

Training that drives KPIs

We work with a variety of customer service teams that leverage Lessonly’s training software to drive higher CSAT and NPS scores. They’ve also seen higher retention rates when reps complete training with Lessonly. In fact, one such company saw remarkable KPI progress, including:

  • Reps who received training with Lessonly have average CSAT scores of 81%. Reps who didn’t received a score of 70%.
  • New reps trained with Lessonly see NPS increase by 16%.
  • Attrition rates for reps onboarded with Lessonly were 15 points lower than reps without Lessonly.

We asked our customers what training topics contribute to improved KPI scores—here are a few of their favorites:

  • Going Above and Beyond for the Customer—Nothing helps explain the lengths that reps should go to for customers like first-hand stories. Crowdsource stories from existing reps that detail times they went the extra mile to deliver excellent service. This makes the content more real and engaging for other team members.
  • How to To Deal with an Upset Customer—The way reps handle situations with angry or upset customers makes the difference between redeeming the relationship—and earning a good CSAT—or losing their business. Take the time to train reps on what not to do to keep complaints from going from bad to worse.
  • Why We Want Active Promoters—NPS can be difficult understand. Explain why it’s important to track it and how it benefits the entire business.
  • How to Ask Customers to Take Their Survey—NPS lives and dies on the willingness of customers to take the survey. Train reps to guide customers through the surveys to ensure that NPS is correctly calculated.

These are just a handful of training examples to help customer service teams meet their KPIs performance. Regardless of what metrics your team uses, remember that the best customer service leaders focus on measuring the progress that reps make against each KPI. The data will provide valuable insight on training efforts and how it impacts rep performance—and business success.

Improve your customer service KPIs with Lessonly

Lessonly’s team learning software connects the dots between customer service training and team performance. Reps perform better when they receive critical knowledge and skills needed to do great work. Take a tour of Lessonly today and see how well-trained teams provide exceptional service and meet their key performance indicators.

The Yellowship Attendees’ Guide to Indy

As one of the 15 hottest tech cities and fifth city for tech industry growth in the U.S., Indianapolis is home to a new generation of startups—including Lessonly. We’re extremely proud of our Midwestern roots and are thrilled to welcome Yellowship attendees to our hometown this April.

While attendees can look forward to the exciting and fun-filled two-day agenda that Yellowship has in store, we hope you can also take advantage of some of the great things that the Circle City has to offer.

Getting around the city

We can’t wait for you to arrive! If you’re flying into IND, North America’s best airport, it’s just a short, 15-minute drive to downtown Indy. From taxis to Uber or Lyft, it’ll be easy to catch a ride to your hotel. We also recommend checking out the Downtown Indy Airport Shuttle, which runs every half hour, costs just $10, and drops riders off at ten convenient stops, including Yellowship’s preferred hotel, the Hilton Indianapolis Hotel and Suites

Once you get settled into your room, it will be easy to explore downtown Indy by walking or brief cab ride. Travel to Yellowship’s one-of-a-kind event venue, The Mavris Arts + Event Center is simple: Attendees can take advantage of our complimentary shuttle that will run to and from the Hilton throughout the entire conference.

Devouring the local fare

Indy was named “America’s Most Underrated Food City” by Conde Nast Traveler and one of “America’s Favorite Food Cities” by Food & Wine—and for good reasons. With plenty of delicious restaurants and acclaimed breweries, it’s easy to take advantage of the local fare. While Yellowship includes most of your meals, we highly recommend grabbing a bite to eat or enjoying a delicious cocktail (or two) with other attendees. Here are a few of our favorite places:

St. Elmo Steak House—St. Elmo, one of Indy’s most award-winning restaurants, is known for its signature cocktail sauce, quality steaks, and classic martinis.

Bluebeard—Named after the Kurt Vonnegut novel, Bluebeard offers lunch and dinner—and will quench your thirst with house-crafted libations, sommelier-selected wine, and local beer.

Union 50—Union 50 features something for everyone with shareable plates and hearty entrees. Grab a local craft beer or house cocktail while enjoying a game of skee ball or shuffleboard during your visit.

Tinker StreetTinker Street serves up bold flavors and offers plenty of vegetarian, gluten-free, and dairy-free options. This restaurant is perfect for wine lovers, as it features an ever-changing wine list to complement meals.

Napolese—Take a bite out of authentic Italian pizza with a farm-fresh approach and daily rotating specials. Napolese is known for their freestyle pizzas, Italian cocktails, and classic service.

These restaurants are just a handful of some of Indy’s greatest cuisine. Our friends at Visit Indy put together a fantastic list of restaurants in downtown Indy and other local neighborhoods like Fletcher Place, Fountain Square, and Broad Ripple.

Exploring the sights and sounds

There’s always something to do in Indy. Whether you’re only going to be in town for the few days of Yellowship or looking to extend your trip, the city boasts a wide variety of museums & attractions, arts & culture, and sports & recreation.

Cultural Trail—The internationally-acclaimed, 8-mile biking and walking trail connects all six of Indy’s Cultural Districts. From Mass Ave to White River State Park, the trail is a convenient way to explore the city.

If you’re looking to get out and explore, Indy also offers a unique bike share system with 25 convenient stations around downtown. 

Canal Walk—The canal walk serves the downtown area as a waterfront promenade for walkers, runners, bikers, and sightseers. If the morning yoga session isn’t your thing, we recommend hitting the canal for a quick run to start the day.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum—We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the city’s love for sports. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is known as “The Greatest Race Course in the World” and is just minutes from downtown and the airport.

Mass Ave Arts District—Visitors will encounter unique finds on each block of Mass Ave. This five-block area includes theaters, restaurants, art galleries, and boutiques.

Soldiers and Sailors Monument—This 284-foot monument at the heart of the city has come to symbolize the city of Indy. Enjoy a quick stroll or carriage ride around the Circle (from which we derive our nickname, the Circle City), or visit the observation level that’s 330 steps above the city.

Did you know? Indianapolis devotes more acreage than any other U.S. city to honoring our nation’s fallen and is second only to Washington, DC in the number of war memorials.

Join us in the Circle City for one groundbreaking event

Yellowship is about inspiring leaders and teams learning—and winning—together. But, we also believe Indy will energize you to do better work than you ever imagined. See our full lineup of engaging keynote speakers and breakout sessions, or register today! T-minus 48 days until liftoff—we look forward to seeing you in Indy!

Insights for the Best Customer Service Teams in the Galaxy

If we’ve learned one thing from years of working with customer service teams, it’s that an amazing customer experience is easy to champion, but hard to deliver. The rapidly changing realm of customer service makes it increasingly difficult to provide stellar service over and over again. Our newest ebook, The Future of Customer Service: Insights for the Best Customer Service Teams in the Galaxy, explores the future of customer service and provides forward-thinking teams with insights that will prepare teams for success.

The Crew for the Voyage

The best advice often comes from years of knowledge and experience, so we gathered the input of eight customer service veterans:

  • Mike Aoki, President, Reflective Keynotes
  • Jeanne Bliss, President, CustomerBliss
  • Ben Collet, Director of Global Advocacy, Enterprise & Strategic Accounts, Zendesk
  • Brian Costanzo, CEO/President, SOCAP International
  • Steve DiGioia, Trainer, Coach, Author & Speaker
  • Troy Mills, CEO/Founder, Customer Care Advisory
  • Jeff Toister, Founder, Toister Performance Solutions, Inc.
  • Hui Wu-Curtis, GM Customer Service Operations & Strategy, Arizona Public Services

These thought leaders, trainers, coaches, and speakers drew upon years of customer service experience to identify critical trends for the future of support teams. Read on for a teaser of the ebook, or download now to get the full report!

Oncoming Trends

Successful customer service teams are always learning and practicing—but they’re also looking towards the horizon for insights that will help them do better work. From the evolution of AI, self-service, chatbots, and machine learning to omnichannel strategies that improve customer experience, the support universe will be significantly disrupted in the coming years.

“Customer service teams need to establish a blend of high tech and high touch. The enthusiasm and pendulum swinging to chat, AI, and more is healthy, but companies need to get this in the right order and do it for the right reason.”—Jeanne Bliss

Brace for Impact

There’s no doubt that these technological and customer experience trends will impact the customer service industry. Customer service leaders need to consider both the threats and opportunities these trends pose for their teams. Although these shifts are already a foregone conclusion—enabling customer service teams to succeed takes forethought and leadership.

“Support teams will need to evolve from using tactical elements like a script, guidelines, and standard training methodology to a learning organization that is fluid, agile, adaptable, and quick to market.”—Hui Wu-Curtis

The Tools for the Journey

Our crew of industry veterans unanimously acknowledged the rapid pace of technological change in customer service. Self-service, automation, chatbots, and machine learning have the potential to impact the industry at an unprecedented level—but the experts provided some key insights that customer service leaders should consider before implementing these tools

“Tools such as machine learning make so much more personalization possible. It enables us to capture business intelligence without interfering with the customer experience. But, you have to be careful that you don’t lose the people factor. As advantageous as tech can be, you have to measure it and incorporate it into the human-driven experience.”—Ben Collet

The Qualities of All-Star Reps

The rapidly changing industry also means that customer service reps need to adopt new traits, skills, and competencies to succeed. The increase in interactions, channel diversity, and more complex needs requires reps—and their managers—to think differently about their jobs. This means training in news ways, on new ideas.

“Undoubtedly, a great rep needs compassion to understand the customer on the phone or online is an actual person—not a point of sale or a ‘time-limited’ call to rush off the phone.”—Steve DiGioia

Out-of-this-World Teams

The path to building an effective and successful customer service team may seem daunting. But the future of customer service isn’t a black hole. Our experts have provided advice and tactics to help customer service leaders, managers, and trainers lead their teams towards a better customer experience—and better work.

“Customer service leaders need to get teams on the same page when it comes to outstanding service. This means creating a shared definition of service—a customer service vision. The best visions have three characteristics: They’re easy to understand, customer-centric, and authentic.”—Jeff Toister

Download the Ebook Now!

With this ebook, your customer service team will be better prepared deliver amazing customer experiences in 2018—and beyond. There’s never been a better time to start planning for the future of customer service. Download The Future of Customer Service: Insights for the Best Customer Service Teams in the Galaxy and get started today.

 

4 Frameworks To Reinspire Sales Performance

Just last week, a sales leader told me something simple, yet profound: The best sales teams never stop learning. This may sound obvious—but after years in it can become easy to get complacent and believe we know it all. Constant improvement takes significant, ongoing effort from each and every sales rep, but the dividends it pays are, quite literally, never-ending.

In the spirit of constant improvement, here are a few ideas from well-known sales thought leaders to inspire a different way of thinking about sales in 2018:

The New ABCs of Sales

The traditional salesperson knows the ABCs of sales—always be closing. However author and speaker Daniel Pink has a different vision for the ABCs of sales. Pink suggests the new ABCs of sales should be:

Attunement—It’s immensely important for the salesperson to attune themselves to the needs, wants, and problems of the customers. This means the rep must place themselves in the lower-power position—one of listening and trying to understand where the prospect is coming from.

Buoyancy—Sales can be demoralizing. Buoyancy means internally asking, “Can I do this?” This question prompts healthy “self-talk”, where we positively encourage ourselves to face a challenge and do better work.

Clarity—Finally, it’s up to the sales rep to bring clarity to a muddy situation. A great salesperson makes sense of problems by clearly communicating about their product or service. A posture of helping the prospect solve their issues is an indicator of a great sales rep.

Pink’s ideas aren’t radically new to sales leaders—but the simplicity of his ABC model is a helpful reminder of these invaluable deal-closing tactics.

Ask Great Questions

Sales guru Rick Roberge calls himself a “trusted advisor to 21st-century sales rock stars, founders, entrepreneurs, and startup executives.” One of his most powerful insights is remarkably simple: ask great questions. Roberge compiled an extensive list of questions for salespeople to ask themselves, their teams, or their prospects to inspire better performance. Some include:

Am I missing something?
What am I best at?
What’s the question behind that question?
Are you after a lifestyle business or world domination?
Are you ahead of the competition or lagging?
Is your business on an upswing, downswing, or flat?
The full list of 100 questions is available here.

9 Rules for Inbound Selling

Brian Halligan, the CEO and co-founder of Hubspot, has been instrumental in shaping sales over the last decade. His self-proclaimed rules for selling will refocus any sales team on the basics of their craft.

Rule #1: Practice empathy for your buyer.
Rule #2: Don’t force sales on a bad prospect.
Rule #3: Simplify the customer’s buying experience.
Rule #4: Be a world-class listener.
Rule #5: Be an expert in your field.
Rule #6: Make prospect research a habit.
Rule #7: Delight your customer.
Rule #8: Embody a copywriter.
Rule #9: Connect at the optimal time.

Want to dive into these rules more? Read Brian’s full blog post.

Use Benchmarking to Inspire Performance Improvements

Benchmarking—or comparing one team or company to the rest of the industry—is often a challenge. Compiling actionable data from a large-enough sample set takes significant time and effort. Thankfully for sales teams, our friends at OpenView have done extensive sales benchmarking research. Here are some basic stats they’ve discovered from sales teams across the nation:

The average call-to-conversation rate in sales (the percentage of actual conversations that take place per call attempt) is approximately 9%.

The average lead-to-opportunity rate in sales (the percentage of leads that actually become real sales opportunities) is approximately 12%.

The average sales rep has 29 open opportunities at any given time.

In a month, the average sales rep closes 3.7 new customer deals.

These are just a few of the benchmarking stats that research teams like OpenView’s have discovered. Comparing an individual rep or an entire sales team to these numbers helps provide perspective on areas of success and opportunities for improvement. Here’s the latest benchmarking from OpenView.

Lessonly is built for the sales team that never stops learning

Lessonly’s sales enablement and training software helps reps learn, practice, and perform their skills in order to close more deals. Whether brushing up on competitors or reviewing product pricing, Lessonly’s powerfully simple interface empowers reps across the globe to do better work, faster than ever. Take a tour of Lessonly today.


The Sales Management Funnel: How to Manage A Sales Team Effectively

Sales leadership is a complex calling. Everyday looks different, and pressure to scale both team and quota is omnipresent. Among the key functions of a sales manager is the ability to design a system where their reps can succeed—and thrive.

Patrick Cameron is the Chief Revenue Officer at JumpCloud, where his sales teams sell software that helps companies manage their employee directories and ensure secure connections to the systems, apps, and networks that they use everyday. Patrick has a wealth of experience overseeing rapidly scaling sales orgs—and offered some wisdom about how to create a funnel from new hire to successful rep.

Design a Process

Countless problems cross a sales manager’s desk every week—the best sales leaders don’t just solve problems, they create processes that prevent the problems from recurring. Patrick cites the example of sales onboarding, “At the end of the day, you can get one person to be successful, right? That’s not really what you’re trying to do…the key challenge is scaling your organization.” To do this, Patrick has designed a sales management process from hiring to full productivity for his sales team.

Top-of-the-Funnel: Get the Right People Onboard

Hiring is a core function of every sales manager. Patrick considers this the “top of the funnel” to build a great sales team. But hiring is challenging, so Patrick recommends qualitative scoring and grading to guide the process. “The interviewing group, usually two or three people, pick the criteria that they think are most important for the role—then make sure that they’re quantitatively scoring the applicant based on those criteria.” The goal is to ensure that interviewers are aligned about both the applicant’s capabilities, and the skills needed to do the job.

Patrick also recommends asking a potential sales hire to demonstrate their skills. “For an SDR, that might be cold-calling or trying to move a prospect through email or phone conversations. For a rep, it’s probably more about qualification and understanding where we fit in the market and how they would present our feature set. On the account management side, it’s about escalation—you’ve got a hot customer and how do you handle them? The idea is to make it as life-like as possible so that you get a real sense of how they’re going to behave.”

Patrick also suggests discussing cultural fit with prospective employees—including communication and work styles, mission alignment, and more. He notes, “When we talk through those in a very open and honest way, we make sure that we’re clear on where we think friction might come.” This combination of quantitative grading, demonstration of skills, and cultural fit fills the top of the sales productivity funnel with talented teammates ready to offer above-and-beyond contribution.

Mid-Funnel: Build Out the Structure

The next step for a sales manager looking to help their team perform at the highest level is to build a structure where salespeople thrive. Patrick refers to this as building “lines of defense”.

“Make sure that the employee has the right places to go to ask questions and get answers before escalating to other people. How much can they teach themselves first?”

In order to create a system that promotes independent employee skill and knowledge development, Patrick suggests four sales management strategies:

Open channels for discussion
Use a software tool to create an online forum, group, or other space where employees can learn from one another, or ask questions if they get stumped. This enables employees to find the answers they need—quickly and effectively.

Set up a learning hub
Online training software helps sales teams create, retain, and distribute training and enablement content.  Ensure that this platform offers opportunities to practice pitches, new decks, and more—and cultivates feedback loops from other reps, managers, and sales leaders.

Review game tapes
Record conversations with prospects, and review them with your team. Sales managers should view this as the perfect opportunity to coach reps on best practices and effective tactics that help close deals.

Focus on sales enablement
A regular meeting dedicated to discussing sales processes, product updates, competitors, techniques, and more will do wonders for your team. Patrick suggests, “Get feedback from the team as to what topics are most pressing at the time, and figure out, ‘how can we talk through that?’”

Whatever tactics a sales leader uses to help their team improve, ensure that reps have the tools they need to do their best work—the investment pays remarkable dividends.

Bottom-of-the-Funnel: Develop a Culture

Once the right people are onboard and they’ve been empowered to succeed—what happens next? How do good teams become great ones? The answer lies in developing a culture that is compelling to employees and fosters high performance. The importance of sales management to set the tone for the rest of the team is indisputable. Patrick accomplishes this in a few different ways:

Celebrate both success and failure
Both success and failure are important to recognize with your sales team. Reviewing game tapes is a simple and effective method for sales leaders to do so. Patrick explains, “If you’ve got a recording of a real-life interaction where somebody did a really good job, you can share those across the team. It’s about cultivating or encouraging the idea that we’re learning together. Everybody screws up, it’s going to happen. Let’s learn from it.”

Cultivate coopetition
Coopetition is the marriage of cooperation and competition—a team that works together, but also pushes each other to perform at their best. Patrick uses digital signage to present leaderboards and team-wide metrics to spur rep coopetition, “I want competitive individuals who are trying to better themselves and do more. But at the same time, you want those folks to feel like they’ve got an environment where they can risk things and share things. Fostering both the competition and the collaboration is oftentimes tricky.” But, he asserts, the effort is well-worth it.

Encourage reflection
Sales reps who intentionally think about where they’ve been and where they’re going grow faster. Patrick built a system that encourages this type of reflection. “We’ve got a nice quarterly cadence around our quarterly business review process. At the beginning of each quarter, you do some self-reflection and present that to the team. Later, in your one on one, we discuss what you’re trying to do next, and what skills you need to apply.” This personal process for each rep fosters perpetual growth.

Keep learning
One of Patrick’s mentors reminded him that, “The sales world is incredibly competitive. As a knowledge worker, it’s only gonna get more competitive. So you have to really love what you do, be willing to like read about it in your spare time, and really dive into it—because that’s what’s gonna drive the level of expertise you need to be successful.” Ensuring that every member of the team is inspired towards self-improvement is a surefire strategy for a high-performing culture.

Building a high-performing sales team is no easy feat. The nature of sales management is that the work is never done—it takes intentionality from hiring to designing processes to nurturing a team culture. Patrick’s concluding advice for those who want to become visionary sales leaders?

“Figure out what your passions are and drive toward those. For me, I love building teams. I love the challenge of helping people do things they haven’t done before. So be passionate about what you’re doing, and don’t be afraid to experiment. If you see an opportunity that has elements of passion and challenge, don’t worry about getting sidetracked along the way—that sidetrack might take you where you actually want to be.”

Lessonly helps sales leaders drive high-performance
The day-to-day role of a sales manager is always shifting, and with the evolution of sales management, leaders need a tool they can count on to drive effective sales enablement, provide opportunities for practice, and help reps close deals. Forward-thinking sales leaders at hundreds of companies use Lessonly—will you be one of them? Take a tour today.

How Premiere Response Uses Learning Paths

Providing high-quality customer support for some of the nation’s biggest brands is no small task. It requires accuracy, confidence, and the ability to manage constant change across many clients and products. Premiere Response does all this—and more—with Lessonly.

As one of the nation’s leading third-party contact centers, Premiere Response’s unique scale and experience in customer support made them the perfect partner for our newest feature, Learning Paths. With ever-changing client campaigns, sophisticated training needs, and busy managers, Premiere Response had plenty of ways to use Paths in their training. Just ask Jason Aydelott, Manager of Training and People Development, to hear how Paths empowers their team to do better work.

The Power of Learning Paths

“We have used Paths with our frontline call center representatives…mostly for reinforcement training. The added scheduling flexibility provides more options in design and deployment of training. It fits in perfectly with our strategy of using content objects (small discrete pieces of training).”

Paths enables teams to design entire learning journeys, prompting employees with certain lessons at certain times. Providing employees with learning content over time, drip by drip, allows for continuous reinforcement of important skills and information. This creates flexibility and ease for learners and content creators alike:

“The ability to set specific intervals between lessons allows us to schedule and send out training at a rhythm that fits the needs of the learner. It also makes it easier to balance the needs of the business with a “just in time” learning philosophy. Managers love the ability to “fire and forget” follow-up training. They just assign a single path and know that their agents will get all of the training at the right time.”

Responding to Changing Demands with Paths

Jason and the Premiere Response team used Paths to drive a new product launch for one of their clients. Traditionally, the client provides instructor-led training and an overview on how to handle each type of call. This training usually happens about one week before the product goes to market. There’s only one problem—it’s hard to remember all the details a few weeks later when calls start rolling in. Jason notes,

“Because of the Lessonly’s rapid development workflow, it was easy for me to build a quiz and get a baseline of what knowledge the agents retained from training—and what key points they may have missed.”

Jason needed to address those knowledge gaps—and this is where Learning Paths proved game-changing. He started with four placeholders, separated by wait steps. Using Learning Paths like a training storyboard, Jason took the information he learned from the quiz in Step 1, and developed a Product Overview in Step 2 that addressed gaps in knowledge. Just a few days later, every representative had completed the Path and, just in time, the calls started to roll in.

“The representatives reported feeling more confident in taking calls than in previous launches, and had fewer questions and escalations. With Paths, Lessonly has become an invaluable tool for the spaced repetition critical in reinforcing skills and behaviors.”

This product launch was just the tip of the iceberg for Learning Paths at Premiere Response. Their team is employing Paths across the business, from new hire onboarding to follow-up training with existing reps. Jason is also using Lessonly to build out leadership training, and Paths is the perfect tool to deliver lessons at the pace of the learner, rather than overwhelming employees with countless unfinished lessons.

Premiere Response has seen an immediate impact with Learning Paths—reps are getting up to speed more efficiently and feel less overwhelmed. Even when Jason’s team encounters big changes with quick turnaround times, Paths prepares reps to accurately and confidently deliver a great customer experience. In addition it’s never been easier for Jason to design and distribute effective training content:

“By allowing me to design a Path with placeholders, Lessonly has evolved from being a great rapid e-learning development and deployment platform into being an integral part of my end-to-end development process.”

Get Started with Paths

Jason’s use of placeholders and wait steps in Paths as a storyboard for training inspired us. With his help and expertise, we’re creating a few guides for our customers to use when building their own Paths. If you’re looking for training ideas or inspiration, these guides will guide you as you put Paths to work with your own team. These guides will be freely available to all Lessonly customers via our resource Lessonly University. Stay tuned for more information on this front.

Want to hear more about Learning Paths or Lessonly? Take a tour or reach out to us. We’d be happy to chat and show you how our platform can transform your team’s training.