The Goal of the Cadetship
Transurban is Australia’s leading toll-road operator, dedicated to getting Aussies “where they want to go as quickly and safely as possible” in some of our largest cities.
Which, when you think about it, is pretty similar to what we do for our clients at livepro – delivering answers to users as quickly as possible.
The Goal of the Cadetship
Transurban wanted to provide career development opportunities within their customer service team and set about identifying and training a pool of talented people who could move easily between functions to perform critical tasks, thus reducing single points of dependency. With the livepro Knowledge Management System at their fingertips, the processes and information they needed to cross-train customer service officers was seamlessly incorporated into a new cadetship initiative.
Transparency was a key goal. Rather than team leaders shoulder-tapping CSOs for new positions or over-using the same people, employees could take the initiative and move through a transparent application process based on critria and merit.
The Role of Knowledge Management
livepro’s knowledge management software with videos and “how-to” guides and a formalised work experience program, employees new to each function could gain experience in a supported environment. This enabled Transurban to resolve three common challenges in your typical contact center – 1. organisational culture uptake, 2. employee satisfaction, and 3. retention.
“The cadetship program, expedited by livepro Knowledge Management and coaching, provides capacity for work experience cadets to have time away from their usual role each week to learn about the function they’re developing in,” says Kelly Butt, National Training, Quality and Knowledge Manager. “There are now additional work experience opportunities across other teams in Customer Operations, which provide great career development opportunities for our team members.”
How did Transurban Implement their Cadetship Program?
Transurban streamlined their processes for identifying candidates and implementing the cadetship program into three key steps:
Step 1: Every six months, an email is sent to all team members in Transurban’s Customer Service and Revenue Services, inviting them to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) for development in functions they are keen to learn more about. In order to be considered, CSOs must already be achieving Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for their current role and consistently demonstrating Transurban’s values. Their readiness for development is evaluated from work history and responses to questions posed in the EOI document.
Step 2: With over 40 people submitting EOIs in the first wave of Transurban’s cadetship initiative (for just four placements!), Transurban needed a shortlist. Applicants completed a task relevant to the opportunity they were applying for; for instance, if the candidate was interested in a Knowledge Management cadetship, Transurban asked them to write a mock announcement for a mock product based on an email from a mock stakeholder. The email was deliberately incomplete and contained inconsistencies because Transurban wanted to assess not only each applicant’s ability to write communications but also answer follow-up questions and uncover inaccurate or incomplete data. As customer service officers are relied upon as subject matter experts, they are, at times, required to fill in gaps in knowledge. The important question was: did the candidate have the potential to do this?
Step 3: Once Transurban identified successful cadets, they embarked on regular coaching using livepro’s online learning modules. In the six-month block, cadets were given time away from their usual role each week to learn about each function they were developing in, taking part in exercises to test and apply knowledge, and embed new learnings with access to supplementary resources such as CX Central’s interview podcasts. Cadets were also included in key decision-making team meetings such as workshopping new knowledge management KPIs.
Vital to the success of the program was the integrated livepro Knowledge Management System. Without the pressure to find correct information fast, Transurban cadets had the additional bandwidth to speed up their development of the soft skills required in customer support for each function: listening and empathising, solving inquiries precisely, and avoiding long delays that would otherwise come from making common contact centre mistakes.
The results speak for themselves. One of the successful cadets from the first wave of the program was given a long-term secondment, hitting the ground running and dramatically reducing her time to competence because of all she’d learned during her six-month work experience cadetship. A second cadet was asked to join an organisation-wide project, onboarding a new CRM by supporting the development of knowledge objects and work instructions. Further opportunities are sure to come from the experience and skills the cadets have attained from their cadetships.
“Learning how infoTU [Transurban’s internal name for livepro] plays such a vital role in building staff knowledge for end-users to be able to deliver customer-centric measures has been so beneficial,” says one work experience graduate. “The initial online training videos are really well put together. I’m really happy with the knowledge I have built and can share it with my colleagues. I’ve had such a great time even in COVID circumstances working with the KM team! This initiative has been such a great opportunity and hopefully, down the track, I can offer support when needed.”
“I’ll have five additional people outside of my team that have knowledge management skills that I can leverage when we need additional resources,” says Kelly Butt. “Overall, we’re hearing great feedback from team members about the increase in opportunities for career progression and development. We have found that our cadets actively share their knowledge with their teams about how knowledge objects are created, the process involved in documenting processes and writing announcements. We are experiencing greater engagement with an approximate 30% increase in feedback during this period and stronger promotion of infoTU as the ‘single source of truth’.”
To learn more about how livepro can help you achieve your Customer Experience business goals and deliver top-quality customer experience through single-source knowledge management, visit our website.