For any type of business, this is a constant struggle and finding ways to ensure that you are delivering amazing customer service is a continuous exercise for all departments within a business.
Clients want their problem resolved the first time around, and knowledgeable employees are one of the most important aspects in providing great customer service. Ensuring staff are kept up to date with the latest products and services is just as important as the soft skills that are necessary for them to fulfil their jobs.
As a leader in delivering service excellence, Apogee recognises the importance of training and continuously developing employees with the creation and launch of a brand new ‘Knowledge Hub’ at their Managed Service Operations Centre in Maidstone. The innovative training suite provides employees with a dedicated area to receive regular training, ensuring that they are empowered and best equipped to deliver the ultimate service to clients.
The Apogee ‘Knowledge Hub’ combines all aspects of Apogee and its employees in a unique training area to share and promote employee engagement and learn best practices which drive training through the company in order to enhance staff development which in turn filters through to clients.
Apogee opens its Knowledge Hub for continuous employee training and development
Digital Transformation is a major driver for both Apogee and other organisations as technology continues to evolve. Therefore, a key part of the Knowledge Hub is ensuring the room is equipped with the latest print and document technology enabling this to be accessible for all employees. The Knowledge Hub features touch screens, the latest manufacturer’s devices, laptops and printers and the latest software technology relevant to our industry.
A part of what we do here at Apogee is share, discover and create. The new ‘hub’ offers an opportunity for managers and team leaders to connect with their employees away from their desks in an environment which is key for learning. This prevents disruption, as training would usually be given at the desk/office floor or meeting room. The ‘Knowledge Hub’ enables us to facilitate conversations about how to stay up to date on products and services, as well as helping to drive cultural change throughout the business and being focused on employee investment.
The Knowledge Hub Training
Within our employee training and continuous development programme we have initially created six in depth training courses:
Client Service Excellence
Telephone etiquette and manners
How to deal with challenging calls and managing the clients expectations
Managing and processing client queries
Our tailored training programmes and one-to-one monthly meetings, enables ongoing two-way communications that leverages employee engagement and collaboration, aligning our wider business and client needs with our employees training needs.
Some of the unique training packages we offer to our employees include:
Inductions for our Managed Services Operation Centre (MSOC)
Health and Safety
Customer services training
The Apogee Knowledge Hub is designed to provide a positive Employee Experience (EX) allowing us to strengthen the skills that each employee needs to improve on. The development programs bring all employees to a combined higher level as they all have similar skills sets and knowledge, helping identify the strengths and weaknesses in our employees.
The Knowledge Hub motivates and drives employees to become more client focused whilst providing training and development within the organisation, which creates a pool of capable workers who are ready for career progression and as such, become leaders in delivering an exceptional client experience.
Our goal is to encourage loyalty so our employees feel valued so they are less likely to feel disengaged and unsatisfied. This goal is being fulfilled by using the Knowledge Hub as a tool to champion this development.
By training our staff, we know that they will become more efficient and have higher production standards, enabling us to manage client expectations. Thus allowing us to grow our customer base and retain even more customers. A better trained workforce is likely to perform better and enjoy their jobs.
Not only is the Knowledge Hub aimed at employee investment, development and career progression it is used to identify gaps in training and training needs for software such as, Excel and our CMS. With skills based competency – regular assessments are ongoing.
"The training was excellent, I came out with new knowledge regarding customer service and a better understand why things are done in certain ways. And tips I would also use myself when dealing with clients."
"I believe that the course was well delivered, both Nick and Martin were very knowledgeable and were constantly interacting with us on issues that we encountered."
"I really enjoyed the day – it was highly interactive and pushed us to try and think outside the box in certain scenarios."
Employee development as part of the hiring package gives you a competitive advantage over other similar jobs and wages. It helps attract and keep great employees, as employee retention is a huge challenge (and expense) for employers. Having a solid employee development program can help make that less of a burden and eases any on-boarding demands.
The Knowledge Hub is there to provide our service engineers training on the latest devices, hardware and software ensuring that as we develop our product and service offerings they are fully trained to meet any eventual issue the customer faces. It also ensures that we can provide more first time fixes which reduces costs and increases efficiency for clients.
We are delighted to see such a positive response from all our employees since the Knowledge Hub opened its doors and we are already witnessing the benefits this dedicated environment is having on our clients. Following the initial success at their Head Office, Apogee have initiated the development of another Knowledge Hub at their National Logistics Centre in Lincoln.