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Dear Workforce I Just Trained 32 Customer-Service Reps. How Do I Demonstrate the Return on Investment?

I had to train 32 retail employees on customer-service excellence. The snag came when I was unable to convincingly demonstrate the return on investment to a panel of experts hired by my company to evaluate the project. I based the added value of the project on intangibles, which I was told is insufficient. How do I calculate return on investment for the whole project? Where do I start? I need some pointers because this project has become an albatross around my neck.
May 6, 2005
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Related Topics: Basic Skills Training, Behavioral Training, Dear Workforce
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Dear Mining for Answers:

It can be easy to latch on to intangibles when trying to measure something that doesn't appear to show a direct line to results. However, if you take off your training hat and put on your businessperson's hat, you may see things from a different perspective. Trainers tend to look at what they do in terms of activities, learning retention and participation rates. Businesspeople measure results. Instead of seeing yourself as someone who conducts training activities, think of yourself as a person who creates solutions to business problems.
Consider why management should invest resources in customer service. Are there problems with customer service, sales or retention? What leads you to believe that more resources are needed for customer-service training? Do you expect salespeople to produce a specific outcome as a result? How might changing their behavior affect the company's bottom line?
Once you have established a clear need, simply assess what the value to the business would be if you solved the problem or capitalized on an opportunity--increased sales, gained repeat customers or something else.
If you can't really determine a definite need, but base your training decision only on intuition, you ought to redirect resources into more productive areas. As a businessperson, you would be trying to add value to the business in everything you did. If you didn't see a return, you would put the resources somewhere else.
SOURCE: Kevin Herring, president,Ascent Management Consulting, Tucson, Arizona, July 7, 2004.
LEARN MORE:Formulas for HR's Effect on Business Results orThe Relationship Between Training and Organizational Performance orQuantifying the Value of a Training-Technology Investment.
The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.
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Dear Workforce Newsletter
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 The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

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