Training needs in the student registration office


Review the Training in Action 1-3 scenario titled, "Training Needs in the Student Registration Office" of the Blanchard and Thacker (2013) text. Assume that you were hired to develop a training program for the Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) as described in the scenario. Identify four of the most important KSAs (Knowledge, Skills, and Attitudes) a training program for the CSRs must address and include your reasoning for selecting these. Discuss the specific activities to be performed in the five phases of the training process model: Analysis Phase, Design Phase, Development Phase, Implementation Phase, and Evaluation Phase.

Use the lecture as a foundation for your initial post. Incorporate into your discussion the transfer of training concepts from the Jaidev and Chirayath (2012) article with an emphasis on pre-training, during-training, and post-training activities. Utilize concepts from the Develop a Training Plan in your initial post should be 250 to 300 words.

1-3 Training in Action Training Needs in the Student Registration Office

The offices of the president and provost at a large university were receiving many complaints about the registration office being unresponsive to student problems during registration for classes. The director of registration felt that, because of the high turnover in customer service representatives (CSRs) who handled student problems, most CSRs did not know the proper procedure. The director wanted to initiate training in registration procedures immediately and called in a consultant to help develop and conduct the training.

After listening to the director's description of what was wanted, the consultant said, "You're probably right. Of course, we could conduct a training needs analysis to clarify the exact nature of the performance problem." The director was concerned about the time required for a needs analysis and wanted to get training started right away. However, in agreeing that the needs analysis would determine specific problem areas, the director said, "Okay, do the analysis, but let's get started on training right away. I want them to know exactly what they are supposed to do."

The needs analysis revealed the steps and procedures that an effective CSR was required to complete in dealing with an unhappy customer. For example, one of the first steps for the CSR was to identify and clarify the customer's problem and to acknowledge the feelings the customer was displaying (e.g., anger or frustration) in a friendly and empathetic manner. Once these feelings had been acknowledged, the CSR was to determine the exact nature of the customer's problem through nonevaluative questioning (i.e., determining the facts without placing blame for outcomes).

Interviews with the CSRs established that they all knew the correct procedure and most could quote it word for word. However, observation of the CSRs at work showed marked differences in how the procedure was carried out. Further analysis of each CSR's skills in performing these tasks revealed that the primary causes of unsatisfactory performance were low skill levels and inappropriate attitudes. Even though nearly everyone "knew" what to do, some were not good at doing it. Others did not believe that it was important to follow every step. One CSR said, "Hey, if they get their problem solved, what do they care if I acknowledged their feelings?"

Certainly training was required in this case, but not the "knowledge" training the registration director thought was necessary. For those CSRs who lacked the behavioral skill to carry out the procedures, demonstrations and practice sessions with immediate feedback were provided. For those CSRs who had the skill but did not understand the importance of all the procedures, training sessions were conducted in which the CSRs reevaluated their attitudes through various educational and experiential activities.

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