Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Executive Insights - March 2008

By Rayland Chan
Executive Committee Member
Training and Education
2007 Review – Professional Development and Training

As 2007 HKCCA AGM draws near, I'd like to share with you the work undertaken by the Professional Development & Training Committee over the last 12 months.

Training Services to Members

At the start of the year, we launched the training service to members whereby CCA directly run and conducted the training courses. From time to time, we receive enquiries from members and “would be” members requesting CCA to organize training programmes to cater for the training needs of their call centre staff. Their training needs range from Sales techniques to Customer Services to Complaint Handling for their front line agents; and Coaching skills, Team Management, Operation Management, Stress Management etc for their supervisors and team leaders. Most of them are from small to medium size call centers, unlike those sizable call centres, they do not have in-house trainers to deliver the training.

2 Training Series have been developed for Supervisor and Agent levels.

“Core Competence Training Series for Supervisors and Team Leaders”;
“Service Excellence Training Series for Front line Agents”

The details of respective courses in the Training Series are available from the CCA website.

Open Courses

Since the launch of the training service, 3 open courses had been organized with 16 member companies/organizations sending people to attend the training. The response and the course evaluation have been positive and encouraging. The courses organized and the participating companies/organizations are listed below:
“Getting Results through Telemarketing”

Participating Companies
Autotoll Limited
Macau Telecom
Ricoh Hong Kong Limited
Teledirect HK Ltd.

“Complaint Handling”

Participating Companies
Wharf T & T
Chow Sang Sang Co Ltd
Cigna Worldwide Life Insurance Co Ltd
DHL Express HK Ltd
Ricoh Hong Kong Limited
Sharp-Roxy HK Limited
Sony Corporation of HK Ltd
Teledirect HK Ltd

“Situational Selling”

Participating Companies
Hong Kong Trade Development Council
Senior Citizen Home Safety Association
Teledirect HK Ltd

In-house Programmes

A number of Corporate Members prefer that CCA to tailor-make in-house training programmes so as to achieve better effectiveness and results. So far, in-house programmes had been delivered for 5 organizations with several others are in the pipeline.

The below is the list of information of those in-house programmes:

Hong Kong Electric Group
- Effective ways to deliver Superior Customer Service over the phone

Essilor Hong Kong Limited
- Service Culture – You make the difference
- Quality Customer Call Handling
- Service Empathy
- Complaint Handling

Healthy Household (Guangzhou)
- Service Excellence – the Brilliant Basics
- Quality Customer Call Handling
- Effective Coaching
- Improving Agents’ performance through Monitoring
- Team Management and Motivation
- Effective Communications

Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority
- Service Excellence through Call Centre
- Quality Customer Contact Handling

1823 Citizens’ Easy Link
- Problem Solving and Decision Making

Certification Programmes

Last May, CCA organized a Training Symposium to present 2 CCA endorsed Certification Programmes to members. The Call Center Industry Advisory Council (CIAC) Certification Programmes and the London Chamber and Commerce Industry Body (LCCI) accredited programmes. Representatives from OmniTouch International and CCS International provided participants with a better understanding on how CIAC and LCCI certification work and how they could enhance call centre professionals’ leadership and management skills, as well as improving operation efficiency and productivity to a higher level. Details of these certification programmes can be accessed through the CCA website.

Call Centre Training for Inmates

Earlier last year, Efficiency Unit of HKSAR Government initiated a study to explore the feasibility of organizing a call centre vocational training programme for adult prisoners so as to help them easing back into the society with related call centre skills upon their release. CCA actively participated and helped pulling together related industry information to facilitate the study and offered to conduct the training. CCA vice chairman John Chiu and myself held meeting with the Government officials from Correctional services Department and Efficiency Unit to share with them information on the entry requirements of the call centre jobs, the training contents and the employment prospect of well trained call centre professionals.

After consideration, Correctional Services Department concluded that the initiative was not feasibility. They would have operational difficulty in managing that and recruiting sufficient inmates who meet the entry requirements to join the training. And that those who attain the standard may not have such vocational training needs.
We were disappointed with the decision and that CCA could not help further in the rehabilitation of local offenders. Elsewhere in Singapore, they not only train inmates the call handling skills, they actually established a call centre within the Changi Women’s Prison to equip them with real call centre job experience so as to achieve a higher success rate in the re-integration and rehabilitation opportunities for offenders. That call centre won the first Asia Pacific Customer Service Recognition of Excellence in the Outsource Call Centre Category 2007.

Hopefully the Correctional Services Department would re-visit the initiative in the near future and equip the “would be release” offenders with more useful vocational skills thereby helping them to ease back into the society and live a productive and meaningful life.

The way forward

CCA is committed to continue providing our members and the call centre industry practitioners the training and development support to enhance their professional competence and status. Apart from enriching the training modules and the contents of respective courses, plans are in place to launch “Call Centre Putonghua” and to register the current Training Series for the Government’s Continuing Education Fund (CEF) so that the training can further benefit our individual members who could reimburse up to HKD 10000 after completing the courses.

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