Kaylin Bailey has reduced onboarding time overall, while still managing to build enough contingency and flexibility into the process to allow her new hires to really consolidate their learning.
I’d love your thoughts on this episode! Comment below, and like/love/share/support if you found this inspiring, thought-provoking, or useful!
Unknown Speaker 0:13
Hello, and welcome to the customer support leaders podcast episode 64. I’m Charlotte Ward. The theme for this week is onboarding new hires. So stay tuned for five leaders talking about that very topic. So I’d like to welcome to the podcast today. Kaylin Bailey. Kaylin, would you like to introduce yourself?
Kaylin Bailey 0:39
Hi, Charlotte. Thanks for having me. My name is Kaylin Bailey. I am a director of customer support at illuminate which is an education technology company that does pretty much anything I educators you need to log into the computer for for K through 12 districts and prior to that I did customer support at Go Fund Me.
Charlotte Ward 0:59
So Kaylin The topic for this week is onboarding new hires in support. And I’d love to hear your particular thoughts and wisdom on this area. What do you think is the big piece of advice right up front that you could give us all? Awesome? Well, you have great timing, Charlotte, we are in week three of onboarding new support agents. So it’s very fresh in my mind.
Kaylin Bailey 1:22
One of the first things that I’ve learned through a few years of onboarding is when building out the onboarding calendar to leave some room in there for when you do a review at the end of the day, and they say, Hey, I didn’t understand this subject. And I want to come back to it. That That happens a lot. And we didn’t have it built in to where review sometimes happened, you know, weeks after they needed the follow up. But if you have a built in your schedule, you can go in the next day, make sure they feel confident on it, which will help them learn the next item on the agenda. You know, and a lot of times the way we set up onboarding is that you have to fully understand assessments for example, to go into item banking. If they have questions about assessments, we need to address all of those questions before we jump into item bank. So leaving that time on the agenda, and if we don’t use it, it’s time for self reflection. They can go through tickets, we, we always feel that time, but just really not using every single hour and onboarding, but but leaving those gaps.
Charlotte Ward 2:17
Yeah, that’s great advice actually allows you to do those little knowledge checks periodically enough that you can reset right and relearn and regroup on on something. Yeah, that’s, that’s a really good piece of advice. I’m gonna I’m onboarding someone in a couple of weeks. I’m going to use that piece of advice. Definitely go. Yep.
Kaylin Bailey 2:36
And the way we track if I need help or didn’t understand something fully is we do a little 15 minute wrap up at the end of every day. So how did things go? What did you understand what to do not understand, etc.
Charlotte Ward 2:48
That’s awesome. These little mini knowledge checks you have Do you have takeaway points in your onboarding process?
Kaylin Bailey 2:54
Yeah, we definitely take notes from those and go Okay, next year when we do training, they said the order of this didn’t make sense. So they needed more time. And we take that in for the next year as we onboard. And what’s the end point of this? Then, as you do all these mini checks, how do you? How do you get to the point where you say, you know what, you know, everything you need to know now, I think if we’ve covered things twice, the way we help them from there as giving more examples and phone calls, so maybe we’re oftentimes the fear that they have at that point is, Oh, my gosh, I’m questioning myself and not feeling confident. The way you build that confidence is to give them those examples and have them work through them. And then they start to realise often that they do know this need that quick, you know, point in the right direction, they do actually understand the concept behind it.
Charlotte Ward 3:41
So as you work through all of these little checkpoints, you have all these refreshes. And you’ve got all of this contingency in the programme. As you get to the end, is it defined is the endpoint of this onboarding programme defined by achieving all of those checkpoints it or is it typically like a set time Final, how does that work?
Kaylin Bailey 4:01
So it has vary depending on the year. This year, for example, we’re doing three weeks of onboarding, which is significantly shorter than we have done in the past. But the new trial that we’re doing that I’m super hopeful it’s going to be a big success is doing a little graduation for the agents that have gone through training. So oftentimes, it has felt like, cool, you’ve trained and drink from the fire hose and practice a little bit. And now we’re gonna push you into the deep end, and you’re now on phones and tickets and reflecting back, it was really important to me to make that transition feel more gradual and more natural. So what we’re going to do is have them have some test tickets and phone calls come in five each. And once they can do five in a row that are, quote, perfect, that’s when they graduate. By perfect. I don’t mean that there was absolutely no grammar mistakes. What I mean is, if a client had this interaction, would they be okay with it, were there any big mistakes. Did the agent know enough to either know what to ask or to answer their question?
Charlotte Ward 5:05
Yeah. So you say you’re checking sort of the obvious things around, you know, whether they comply with your style, tone and style guides, whether they’re delivering the right knowledge. So whether they’re accurate enough and and I guess maybe there might also be a compliance thing there for a company like yours as well.
Kaylin Bailey 5:22
Yeah, it’s definitely making sure that they’re into the question that we need to for educators, because there is laws and all that. And it’s equal parts for them, making them feel more confident, like, Oh, yes, I did have those perfect phone calls and tickets, and I am ready to go on to the floor. So it’s for both reasons
Charlotte Ward 5:37
graduation, it’s a really nice way of putting it because it does kind of defined an end end point to the process, right? It becomes not just a series of little conversations and knowledge pieces and articles that they’ve just got to work through. Kind of it becomes a more meaningful and finite thing. Yeah, that’s a really good idea.
Kaylin Bailey 5:57
Exactly, yep. And then even on top of that, After graduation, we’re also going to have them have a buddy on the support team. So someone that supports the same product as them is going to be their main point of contact. So oh my gosh, I’m stuck on this issue. And I know I know it. I didn’t mention the drip right direction or oh my gosh, I’m completely thrown off. They’ve got a first point of contact there. And then, as needed, they can guide them in the right direction for troubleshooting.
Charlotte Ward 6:22
Awesome, yeah, yeah. I mean, the end of onboarding doesn’t mean that you know, everything right.
Kaylin Bailey 6:28
Certainly not yet. We, we joke with our new agents, but aren’t really joking that for the first six months, you’re useless, and that’s expected and you have to be okay with it too. So
Charlotte Ward 6:41
that’s it for today. Go to customersupportleaders.com/64 for the show notes, and I’ll see you next time.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
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