Organizations work tirelessly to create and operate contact centers that provide an exceptional member experience.  That exceptional experience is the face of their brand.  It’s never easy.  And it can be particularly challenging when the contact center is supporting a complex good or service.  Complex contact centers and the agents that work in them are usually subjected to increased levels of industry and technical jargon.  Our agents are almost always new to the industry and the task of ingraining industry jargon in how they understand the work they do is even more difficult.  In reality, you rarely want your agents to use that jargon on the customer.  So, to the agents we say: “Learn the jargon, understand it completely, and then make it sound much simpler to customer”.  If memorization isn’t the answer, what is?

Enter the learning design team.  It is the job of the designer to focus on helping agents absorb the industry jargon in the way they will be expected to use it on the job.

  1. Build the foundation. Teach the industry fundamentals and weave the vocabulary into the work the agent will do every day.
  2. Give them the words that get the job done. Provide tools and techniques to help agents communicate with customers without the jargon.
  3. Make it a package deal.  Don’t isolate industry fundamentals from communication when practicing. Allow the agents to practice the path for how the work should be done.

In Zelus’ PACE™ program, we do just this.  The PACE™ program teaches contact center agents in the healthcare payer industry how to deliver an exceptional member experience.  As an example,  in the PACE™ program we use this approach to re-imagine how medical terminology is delivered for this audience.

First, we build the foundation.  We take the mystery of how to define medical terms by breaking down the words into smaller chunks; the prefix, root word, and suffix.  When the terms are broken down into smaller pieces, the definition of each part helps you to understand the term.  Do you know what Pericarditis is?  You can figure it out easily by reviewing the prefix, root word, and suffix.

Next, we give them the words. In the PACE™ program’s medical terminology training, we review medical terminology by system of the body. By covering the different system in a body (i.e. circulatory, nervous system, musculoskeletal, etc.), The PACE™ program provides what each system does for the body and provides context for what may be happening and needed by a healthcare provider to provide a friendlier message to the customer.

Finally, we tie it all together.  We deliver real-life scenarios, or episodes of care, from diagnosis to treatment.  The real-life scenario; include what the symptoms or scenarios members face with these diagnoses, the type of doctor the member would require treatment from and the common treatments that doctors recommend. This provides the agents with the ability to absorb what may be happening around the member and use friendlier terms that the individual would understand.

These three simple steps can work in virtually any industry.  Enhancing your contact center training should always be top of mind when looking at the member experience.  When it comes to removing industry jargon, it is absolutely critical.