Training Tip

Using Mistakes as a Training Tool

One of the best ways to enhance employee self-confidence is to tolerate and build on failures.   After all, Thomas Edison once said, “I have not failed; I’ve just found ten thousand ways that won’t work.”

Great customer-centric service companies allow employees to make mistakes and attribute much of their success to accepting and learning from these mistakes. They focus less on the person who made the mistake and more on learning from what went wrong.  Likewise, organizations who use mistakes to place blame become stagnant and paralyzed.

Look for mistakes and correct them quickly, looking for the positive of what was learned and accomplished.  This provides for a more open workplace and not one where employees are trying to protect themselves and hide mistakes.

If you want your call center employees to excel at service, you need to make it safe for employees to risk making a mistake. While you don’t want to accept the same mistake over and over again from the same person, becoming more accepting of mistakes can make a more service-oriented organization.

One idea in the quality monitoring process is to create a Worst Call of the Week contest.  Have agents note date and time of a mistake and summarize what they did wrong and what they learned from it.  Share these in a team meeting to all can learn from one person’s mistake.