Exclusive Clothes and Gifts (ECG) seeks training that will alleviate customer service issues (with a current goal of 10% improvement in customer service scores) and employee dissatisfaction (as measured through informal polling). The proposed training solution would enable them to meet their aggressive profit goals and financial objectives (increased sales via catalog and internet orders; increased customer lists, and doubling of net profit).
The management team believes that increased knowledge and skill of telephone operators and supervisors in describing the features and benefits of the products and to provide enhanced details (not available in the catalog) is key to increasing catalog sales and reducing customer complaints.
Mike Merrill, Vice-President of Sales at ECG agreed that ECG will be best served by EduCadre by allowing the team to conduct a thorough gap analysis, including both performance and training needs assessment, to ensure that the developed training meets their financial, customer satisfaction, and employee satisfaction and engagement goals.
EduCadre conducted a thorough performance analysis to determine whether, in fact, a training solution will solve the performance issue or whether an alternative solution could improve the performance issue. In the course of our analysis, we identified two critical needs that could effectively be addressed via training: 1) A new telephone/ordering system will soon be implemented (SimplyOrder) and 2) Telephone Operators are not formally trained in key customer services skills (e.g., conflict management). EduCadre’s proposed solution is to combine training in the new ordering software implemented by the ECG IT department and customer service training to assist operators in improving call times and outcomes to support ECG in achieving their financial goals.
Project Name and Description
Integrated SimplyOrder and Customer Service Training
EduCadre will provide SimplyOrder and customer training to telephone operators and managers. EduCadre’s proposed solution is to combine training in the new ordering software implemented by the ECG IT department and customer service training to assist operators in improving call times and outcomes to support ECG in achieving their financial goals.
The project manager role periodically rotates between EduCadre team members.
The project sponsor is Jane Mackenzie.
Stake Holders and Impact
This table provides a list of stakeholders and their roles and responsibilities in the project.
|Stakeholder||Responsibilities and Impact on the Project||Impact and WIIFMs|
|Jane Mackenzie, Project Sponsor||Jane will have full authority to answer questions, provide additional staff support, and review and sign off on all project and training documents as well as invoices.||Jane will get employees a system that will be able to meet company goals for years to come and increase sales.|
|Jane Mackenzie, Tie-breaker (person who will make decisions, both strategic and content, should SMEs disagree)||Jane will have full authority to make project decisions including resolving disputes.||The demonstration of investment in staff development can help address staff morale and enhance her standing with employees (as a newer member of the ECG leadership team).|
|Marge Moorhead||Marge’s primary responsibly is to program the changes and additions to the product information portion of the system. She will work with EduCadre on the layout and navigation of the information pages She will also review all materials to be sure they are accurate based on what she is developing.||Marge will end up with a product information system that will have a layout and navigation that will not need much updating or rework. She will gain information design and layout experience.|
|Tom Swartz||Tom’s responsibilities include changes to the order process itself in order to improve screens and streamline the sequence of the order entry process. Tom will also assign someone to provide a sandbox and training database along with logons and passwords and, if needed, remote access. Tom will review all training materials related to the systems portion of the training to ensure accuracy.||Tom will be able to show that his team is capable of providing a streamlined, easy to use order entry process.|
|Sarah Commons, Maria Gomez, Paula Moore, and Rosalinda Sanchez Reviewers and Subject Matter Experts||Sarah, Maria, Paula, and Rosalinda will review all versions of all training documents and provide feedback to Sarah who will coordinate the comments and submit one final version of requested modifications.|
Sarah and Maria will also be Train-the-trainer trainees.
|Sarah and Maria will gain experience they can use if they become managers. Sarah and Maria’s input will improve the training provided, which will ultimately mitigate customer complaints and reduce the amount of time they spend on resolving these types of issues.
Paula will be able to demonstrate that she is ready for the next step of becoming a Supervisor when the opportunity arises.
Rosalinda will have an opportunity to learn the new system and the company culture. She will be able to share her experiences in another call center environment. She will also have a great opportunity to get to know her new co-workers better.
|Sheena Perez and Ray Johnson, Additional Subject Matter Experts||Sheena and Ray will be product information SMEs.||Sheena and Ray will provide product information for the new system, increasing the ability of Telephone Operators to locate the great products that Sheena and Ray identify. Sheena and Ray will gain knowledge of the new system.|
|Stephanie Rubino, Alyssa Bailey, Matt Willett, Heyward Gignilliat and Mike Filippelli, Project Team Members||Project planning and execution. Assess product and training needs. Develop materials and provide training to Operators.||Will show that they can design and provide effective training for this project and in the future.|
Description of Work
The purpose is to provide critical training in the new ordering software implemented by the ECG IT department and customer service training to assist operators in improving call times and outcomes.
The business objectives are to:
- Aggressive growth to maintain or exceed projected targets – doubling this year’s net profits
- Improvement of and investment in business and other support systems while maintaining profitability
- Focus on quality and customer service with 10% improvement on customer service scores
- Focus on the quality of work environment and staff development and recognition
Project Deliverables in Scope
EduCadre will deliver the following solutions to the Operators and Supervisors.
|Solution||Delivery Method||Seat Time or Pages||Description|
|SimplyOrder Training||ILT||2 hours of instructor led training (ILT)||Introduction of new ordering software, comparison to previous software, hands-on practice with sandboxed version of SimplyOrder. Will also cover new product information for the season.|
|Customer Service Training||ILT||6 hours of instructor led training (ILT)||Leading telephone operators and supervisors in conflict resolution, de-escalation, upselling, and product recommendations. Ending assessment utilizing SimplyOrder skills and role play scenarios.|
Sub-Documents in Scope
EduCadre will also deliver the following:
- Facilitator Guide to be used by EduCadre facilitators and future facilitators, including activities, training best-practices and assessments.
- Training slides used for presentations on SimplyOrder and Customer Service skills
- Any handout files for learner activities in training sessions
- Facilitate the five planned training sessions
- Student guide for learners to take notes and set goals
- Job aids for SimplyOrder
- Design Document
- Report on evaluation findings
Out of Scope
At this time EduCadre will not be providing the following services under this contract. Should ECG need the following services a new contract will be submitted for that work. ECG will not be:
- Providing any training or documentation material outside that specified above.
- Developing an electronic product guide.
- Investing in higher quality, ergonomic headsets for all phone employees.
- Updating onboarding procedures for new hires.
- Updating software to use the most current versions of browsers and apps instead of Internet Explorer 11.
- Awarding employees with incentives for retention nor changing incentive policy from a percentage off to monetary gifts, time off or free products.
- Hiring additional operators for seasonal work.
- Providing supervisor training on coaching, feedback and setting expectations in the role.
- Incorporating SimplyOrder to generate surveys for customers to give feedback about their ordering experience.
Project Completion Criteria
This project to develop and deliver integrated SimplyOrder and Customer Service Training will be considered complete when:
- all five training sessions have been administered
- all operators have been trained on the SimplyOrder system and customer service and achieved satisfactory scores on assessments, and
- an evaluation period not to exceed four months after the final training has been administered allowing for the collection of data and final evaluation has passed.
The budget below is an estimate of effort and associated costs to complete the following deliverables. The maximum budget amount is $90,000.
|Deliverable/Solution||Type of Training/Deliverable||Seat Time or Scope Figure||Total Hours Estimated||Rate||Cost|
|Development of Integrated SimplyOrder and Customer Service training||8-hours of Instructor-Led Training (ILT) to be delivered five times: two day and evening sessions conducted over two days to cover all operator shifts, plus one 8-hour makeup session||8 hours||360 - 400 hours*||$200/hr**||$72,000 - $80,000|
|Pilot delivery of training||Delivery of the first day and evening sessions (1 session)||10 hours (includes set up and close down pre/post training)||10 hours||$200/hr||$2,000|
|Rollout of full training||Delivery of the second day and evening sessions plus one makeup session (4 sessions)||10 hours||40 hours||$200/hr||$8,000|
|Total||410 -450 hours||$90,000
|*Estimated hours are based on an assumption of 45 - 50 hours of development time per 1-hour of training, which is adapted from research completed by the Chapman Alliance on average development time for various different kinds of instruction and adjusted based on our experience.
**Rate provided is a blended rate based on the range and expertise of EduCadre staff who will work on the project (see following table).
Note: We’ve assumed one EduCadre staff member will facilitate the five trainings with the identified Train the Trainers Supervisors (Sarah Commons and Maria Gomez) facilitating portions of one or both of the last two sessions. observing.
Project Team Members & Roles
The hours provided in this table are based on the up to estimate of 440 hours.
|Name||Role||Responsibilities||Est. Hours Needed|
|Stephanie Rubino||Instructional Designer/trainer||Customer Service training design||Up to 96 hours|
|Heyward Gignilliat||Instructional Designer/trainer||Customer Service training design||Up to 96 hours|
|Alyssa Bailey||Instructional Designer/trainer||SimplyOrder training design|
|Up to 46 hours
|Michael Filippelli||Instructional Designer/trainer||Customer Service training design||Up to 96 hours|
|Matthew Willett||Instructional Designer/trainer||Project initiation, planning, executing, controlling and closing||Up to 66 hours|
|Total||Up to 450 hours|
|Name||Role||Responsibilities||Est. Hours Needed|
|Sam Fisher||IT Liason for hardware||Ensure that 10 student workstations are operable, and loaded with appropriate software (sandboxed SimpyOrder).||12-16 hours for workstation setup|
|Marge Moorhead||Product information database subject matter expert||Consult with instructional designers as a subject matter expert to ensure that training materials for SimplyOrder and customer service training contain appropriate information||6-8 hours for initial interview and material review|
|Tom Swartz||SimplyOrder order entry system implementation subject matter expert||Consult with Alyssa Bailey to identify differences between the current order system and the SimplyOrder implementation, review training materials for scope and accuracy, and coordinate software provision for training (sandboxed SimplyOrder and product database). Mr. Swartz may also delegate these responsbilities to others working with him.||24-32 hours for initial interview, material review, and software preparation|
|Sarah Commons, Maria Gomez, Paula Moore, Rosalinda Sanchez||Customer Service training subject matter experts||Work with instructional designers to provide subject matter information on call center operations, ECG customer needs, and other customer service issues specifically related to ECG. These SMEs will also review customer serivce training material for scope and accuracy and appropriateness for ECG operators. |
Additionally, Sarah Commons and Maria Gomez will function as trainers in training for the first two SimplyOrder/Customer Service training sessions, and, depending on their comfort and compentency, they’ll administer the third – fifth sessions.
|12-16 hours for interviews and material reviews
40 hours (five 8-hour training sessions)
|Jane MacKenzie||Director of Catalog Sales/Project Sponsor||Meet with Project Manager and instructional design team to approve traning design and implementation.||8-12 hours|
Subject to agreement from ECG management, EduCadre will roll out the deliverables on the following dates:
|Design Document sign-off||May 3rd, 2019|
|Training Materials sign-off||June 17th, 2019|
|Pilot Test Training conducted||July 10th , 2019|
|Training revisions sign-off||July 15th, 2019|
|SimplyOrder & Customer Service Training conducted||July 17th– 19th, 2019|
Vendor Assistance Required
EduCadre will not require help or assistance outside of ECG for training materials. Should EduCadre require outside assistance, we will be responsible for acquiring the vendor and seeking ECG approval.
Possible Problems and Risks
This table represents an assessment of potential problems and risks that could possibly impact the success of the project and cause:
- Delays to the schedule
- Compromise the quality of the output
- Overages to the budget
1 = low
5 = high
|Problem Owner||Possible Impact to Project||Mitigation Plan|
|Problems with student workstations/instructor computer/LCD projector||2||Sam Fisher||Problems with the computers in the training room and/or the LCD projector could result in delays and potentially put the training sessions over the allotted time.||Ask the students to stay a few minutes over time to complete the requisite training.
If the delay is longer than 30-minutes, a make-up session will be utilized at a later date.
|Absence of TOs for Training sessions||3||Jane MacKenzie||If individual supervisors/TOs are absent from the training seminar, it could hinder their understanding of the system rollout.||Time will be allotted for a make-up session should the need arise due to unanticipated absences.|
|Lack of product information||3||Ray Johnson||Without all the necessary product information, the TOs will be unable to answer all the customers’ questions. This could impact the customer service goals.||Request additional individuals from within ECG, or possibly contracted vendors, be brought in to help populate product information into the system.|
|Train-the-Trainers Trainees not ready to co-lead latter training sessions||2||Sarah Commons|
|If TTTs are deemed not yet suitable to facilitate portions of the later training sessions, it will not drastically impact the project.||Jane will be informed of EduCadre’s assessment of the TTTs, and they could be recommended to continue sitting in training sessions.
EduCadre is prepared to continue to support the TTTs with in-person check-ins and possibly continued partial involvement in future training sessions until the TTTs are deemed fit to lead.
|Disagreements in regard to training documents||1||Sarah Commons||If disagreements arise due to different perspectives, it could affect the morale of the review team.||In the event of disagreements, Sarah will ask Jane to make the final determination. It will be up to Sarah and Jane to ensure that morale amongst reviewers remains high.|
|Lack of motivation in TOs and supervisors||4||Jane MacKenzie||Lack of motivations and incentives among the TOs & Supervisors could lead to attendance issues and possibly affect improvements related to customer service||Ensure that TOs and supervisors are paid their regular wages for attending the training sessions.
EduCadre will infuse the training sessions with engaging content to promote interactivity and fun.
|Development of the product information system running concurrently with the development of Customer Service Training||3||Jane MacKenzie |
|The development of the product knowledge interface in tandem with the development of the SimplyOrder could lead to last minute changes that could delay or negate the training process||Complete the product information interface project before development of the SimplyOrder customer service training piece begins|
EduCadre is responsible for:
- Designing and administering four 8-hour training sessions for SimplyOrder/Customer Service
- Developing training materials, including handouts, presentations, and assessments
- Conducting the first training session as a pilot and making necessary adjustments to ensure maximum effectiveness
- Conducting each training session between the stipulated time allotted
- Allowing time for one makeup session, should the need arise due to illness or other unanticipated absences
- Completing all training sessions before the rollout of the new system on July 22nd.
- Assessing the readiness of the Train-the-Trainers (TTT) Trainees to co-teach portions of the later training sessions and readiness to lead future trainings
- Meeting mutually agreed upon deadlines & signoff dates
- Monitoring the project budget to ensure that things are adhering to the appropriated means
ECG is responsible for:
- Providing subject matter experts (IT, supervisors, and operators) to provide input and review materials for accuracy
- Providing adequate training space and scheduling training sessions
- Assigning the TOs to the initial four training sessions and coordinating attendance in the make-up session
- Printing all training materials to be used in EduCadre led training sessions
- Ensuring accuracy in all training-related documents and materials
- Respond to EduCadre inquiries in a timely fashion
- Sign-off on milestones in a timely manner
- Requesting additional individuals from within the company or from a contracted vendor should the need to help populate the product information into the system arise
The following situations will constrain EduCadre’s ability to carry out the project:
- The availability and compliance of all subject matter experts to provide accurate and timely information will constrain EduCadre’s efforts to adhere to deadlines.
- The tight schedule and need for the training to precede just before the roll-out of SimplyOrder will require careful scheduling and adherence to deadlines by all parties
The successful completion of the course is dependent on the following external factors:
- Power outages could hinder the ability to conduct the training sessions
- Inclement weather could affect attendance to the training sessions