Creating Irresistible Agents through World-Class Training

On episode one of the Digitally Irresistible podcast, we discussed the role of digital technology in delivering a personalized omnichannel customer experience that end-users demand. In episode two, we focus on the irresistible part of the equation because, in order to deliver a great customer experience using digital channels, it’s imperative to have an irresistible culture where people can connect with customers on a deeper level to deliver solutions. And, in order to create a great culture, we need a trainer certification program that scales to train thousands of employees who are on the front lines of customer care.

Our featured guest on this episode is Tarisse Grant-Shelton, M.Ed. Tarisse has been with iQor for 16 years. She started her career at iQor as a trainer in 2013 for the newly launched corporate training program. Since then, the corporate training program has evolved into a global learning community focused on keeping trainers connected with each other and up-to-date on best learning practices and curriculum content.

Currently, Tarisse runs the global Train the Trainer Certificate Program (TTT). More than 300 trainers go through the program every year to deliver consistent training to iQor customer support experts across the globe.

The Train the Trainer Certification Program Explained

Tarisse used a tree planting metaphor to explain the program. She says, if you use a spoon to dig a hole to plant a tree, it will eventually get the job done, but obviously, it will take a lot of effort. If you upgrade to using an ice cream scoop, that’s a better tool, but it’s still not good enough. The iQor Train the Trainer Certification program is like a shovel. It’s a much bigger tool that will allow the tree planting to occur more efficiently. The TTT program provides trainers the “shovel.” New and seasoned trainers alike benefit from this robust program.

Our clients rely on our trainers to deliver the content that agents need to be an extension of their brand and support their customers as one cohesive unit. This is a huge accomplishment for all the industries we support including telecom, travel and hospitality, financial services, eCommerce, retail, to name a few. The TTT program allows for training to occur at scale so our agents can effectively support millions of our client’s customers and maximize call center performance management.

Over the years, the Train the Trainer Certification program has evolved into a world-class, award-winning program that equips trainers with the know-how to train thousands of customer care agents to deliver a great customer experience to iQor clients’ end-user customers.  

Award-Winning Trainer Certification Program

In 2014, ATD, the Association for Talent Development, recognized iQor with an award. This award was a turning point because it inspired the change in nomenclature from training to talent development. It also helped to open the flood gates for numerous other awards received including LEAD Awards – Recognition for Best Train the Trainer Program in 2017 and 2018, and numerous Stevie® Awards for related training programs.

Creating a Community of Amazing Trainers

In order to stay current on iQor’s client customer care needs, Tarisse conducts research to ensure the training methods continuously evolve and remain current with best practices and cutting-edge engagement techniques. Currently, the trainer certification program is comprised of four levels.

Level I is focused on facilitation of basics and best practices.  In order to earn their level-one certificate, trainers are put to the test: they have to actually present and teach a class. But Tarisse keeps it light. Trainers can choose any topic. Level 1 trainer certification presentations have allowed Tarisse to learn a myriad of topics such as how to cook secret family recipes, get over a break-up, meditate, and even how to properly open a coconut.

Level II is more advanced. This is where trainers have that ‘aha’ moment. They come to understand the “why” of what we do and are certified as a global training leader.

Level III is for the trainers that want to progress further into teaching strategy. They learn how to write and administer engaging curriculum, and how to design interactive courses. By the end of this level, they have the tools they need to create new curriculum that they can implement immediately with their team.

Level IV is focused on the Digital Experience (DX). It’s about how to maintain responsiveness through digital engagement. Trainers leverage cutting-edge interactive tools that provide agents a more hands-on experience as they learn to engage with end customers through omnichannel digital technology. These tools are used across client programs and industries.

Many trainers start out as a training assistant and as they progress through the levels, they earn promotions into training supervisors and managers. 

What’s Next in the iQor Trainer Certification Program

Tarisse is very excited about launching the next iteration of the Level Two Advanced Facilitation course. It will feature a new interactive module for trainers to engage with their trainees outside the classroom. The goal is to better establish bonds and create a truly interactive space where trainers can develop more trust and build a community within their classroom. 

What Do You Do for Fun?

In response to this question, Tarisse (without hesitation) says that when she is not working, she is at the beach. You will find Tarisse at the beach from sun up to sundown. She lives just eight minutes from the beach in Florida where she is able to do this all year long. Considering how much creativity and energy goes into the Train the Trainer Certification program, unwinding at the beach has proved to be key to reenergizing Tarisse’s passion for developing iQor’s talented trainers of call center agents supporting clients across many industries.

Learn more about iQor digital customer experience capabilities.

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