How to Update Your Employee Training Without Stressing Everyone Out

The most common thing we deal with here at Hickory is my chocolate cravings. It’s bad. We make emergency runs to Whole Foods for the special Icelandic bars with sea salt. If you haven’t had them, I recommend. The second most common thing we deal with is a need to...
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How To Ask Better Questions (And Why The Success Of Your Employee Training Depends On It)

I’m obsessed with questions. The questions we ask define our lives. They frame information, opening new ways of thinking, expose  gaps in our current thinking. As we’ll see, when it comes to training employees, asking good questions will define the success or failure...
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The #1 Thing Most Customer Service Training Programs Get Dead Wrong

We’ve had the good fortune of watching numerous companies create and update their customer service training programs over time. It’s a fascinating exercise, and every single program has unique differences, problems, and focuses. Even with their...
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How Much Does Speed Impact Customer Satisfaction Scores?

We dig data here at Hickory. We find that many problems become far simpler when we can have the right numbers. When it comes to improving CSAT scores, there are two key stats we try to capture with the companies we work with: Speed of resolution Speed of response We...
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The Biggest Myth In Customer Service, Debunked

Customer service bloggers and speakers love to talk about the value of “personal, above-and-beyond support at any cost.” They’ll share stories of Ritz-Carlton’s legendary customer service policies. They’ll tell you about the one time a Nordstrom rep opened the store...
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3 Ways To Build Failure Into Your Employee Training (And Why You Should)

Most employee training programs are designed solely around knowledge delivery. Employees attend a class or watch a video series, then they take a quiz to “certify” their understanding. The problem? 70% of employee training is forgotten within five days. If that much...
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Why Most Business’ Policy Changes Don’t Stick (Hint: It’s The Employee Training)

Building a great training program is deceptively hard. For example, let’s say you change your refund policy and expect a savings of around $50 per refund. You train your customer service team and launch the new policy. Refund amounts go down, but not as much as you...
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The Best Way to Help Your Employees Retain What They Learn in Training

We often think we know something better than we actually do. For example, most customer service reps go through lengthy training sessions to learn what they should do in different situations. These sessions usually include a quiz at the end to “certify” knowledge of...
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Is Memory Still Important?

At this stage of the information revolution, can we finally stop worrying about memory? We have managed to outsource factual recall to machines that are far superior to our faulty neurons. In the past knowing things was important. We needed to know the history of our...
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Memory Retention: Instructional Design Tips #5: User Engagement – Fun!

In the last post on Instructional Design Tips I listed the five strategies Hickory uses to maximize user engagement: Setting user expectations. Aligning Hickory with training milestones. Managers conveying the importance of Hickory. Making users active stakeholders....
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Memory Retention: Instructional Design Tips #2: Selecting Content

Memory Retention: Instructional Design Tips #2: Selecting Content

In a previous post I talked about the overall curriculum plan that Hickory develops for clients when integrating its memory retention system into an existing training program. The Hickory Instructional Design team works with clients to develop the plan. Typically, we...

What does it mean to build a better way to learn?

Hickory has one goal – to build fundamentally better ways to learn. This focus guides all of our decisions and helps us prioritize. “How do we think this will affect they way people learn?” is a common question around these parts, along with “Who ate all of the...

Memory Retention: Instructional Design Tips #1: The Plan

Memory Retention: Instructional Design Tips #1: The Plan

When I talk to most trainers about memory retention systems, they get it immediately. They can see why tests given right after information is presented are not measures of long-term learning, why systematic reinforcement of information over time is needed and how much...