The woman behind Zylinc’s popular user training, where users can get familiar with their Zylinc solutions in the safe comfort of their own work environment, is Joan Bosø. I asked Joan to explain why Zylinc calls their user training “adoption,” why she’s such a sought-after trainer, and what else characterizes Zylinc’s user training courses.
Joan, you train users, but Zylinc has another word for it: “Adoption.” Why’s that?
– That’s because it isn’t just about learning some features and keystrokes. Our user training is about making the users feel that they have ownership of the solutions. We want them to feel confident. They learn how to do this and that, but they also learn why they should do it. They build up skills and knowledge by exploring.
– Adoption is about more than just training: You’ve bought a solution that’ll bring some change to your organization, but that change musn’t just be about new work processes. No, you should become excited about the new solution, feel that you really want to embrace it!
– That’s implied in the word adoption, and that’s what we want to achieve with our user training: Zylinc’s customer service products are all about strengthening your organization’s public image, and we believe that you project a much better image when you’re excited about how you work.
Are the courses purely theoretical, or do you get to try out things?
– You certainly get to try out things yourself, not least because we nearly always teach the courses at the customer’s site, in the students’ own familiar environment.
– Of course, I start out with some theory about how the solution works, but right from the start I urge the students to ask me questions, so that they get the theory put into their workplace context. I cover topics like login, search, call handling, and personal settings.
– Then we come to the hands-on part of the training: Before the course I’ve spoken with the customer’s and/or their Zylinc partner’s IT people, so that I know about the organization’s queues, phone numbers, calendar integrations, etc., and then I simply call the students. That way, they learn, on their own terms, how to transfer calls, put calls on hold, park them, etc.
– If you have chat queues or other stuff like that, we also try working with them together.
– Everyone gets to try it out. If some of the students are a bit shy or reluctant to begin with, it usually doesn’t take long before they’re in full swing too. We do small classes to make sure that I have time for each student. As I said to begin with: It’s all about making the users feel that they have ownership of the solutions, about making them feel confident.
So, you typically do the courses at the customer’s site. How long does a course take?
– Typically half a day, especially when we follow Zylinc’s recommended class size of max. six students per class. For larger classes, we may require a full day.
Which course is the most popular one?
– That’s our Zylinc Service Center course. It’s relevant for receptionists and people working in contact centers as well as call centers.
– Zylinc Service Center in many ways looks and feels like the other programs in the Zylinc family, but it can also handle things like chat or e-mail queues, so there’s a chance to try out some more stuff on that particular course, which is probably what makes it so popular.
Is there a typical kind of student, or are students and their needs different from organization to organization?
– There are all sorts: Young girls, mature gentlemen, and all those in between. Some with lots of customer service experience, some with none. That’s why no two courses are exactly the same: There’s virtually always something special that a customer wants me to cover, so it’s important for us that we’re able to adapt the courses to match different organizations’ needs.
– One concept we’ve had tremendous success with in connection with new solutions is this: First we do a course before the customer rolls out the solution, and then I visit them again on the day when they go live with the solution.
– That gives the users piece of mind: They know me, and together we can deal with the unexpected questions that inevitably pop up when they begin to use the solution for real. The learning curve gets a lot less steep, and the customer’s customers get a good service experience right from the outset.
– We call our go-live day concept Zylinc Operations Assistance. To be eligible, users must have completed a relevant Zylinc product course.
How come you know so much about Zylinc, and about working in customer service?
– I began my career as a receptionist at a large Scandinavian telco. I was in the frontline, answering phone calls and welcoming guests from all over the world. In that capacity, I was the one who used the reception systems the most, so I quickly also became the one who demonstrated those systems to potential customers. That’s been a great help ever since: I’ve worked in customer service myself, I know what it’s like to handle inquiries, but I also know how to deal with systems from the perspectives of solution providers and IT people.
– I later worked with telephony and IT as a training consultant for seven years, until I accepted the challenge of setting up a Danish branch of a foreign company. It was in that Danish branch that I, back in 2007, first began working with Zylinc solutions and giving Zylinc input about new features that I thought there’d be a market for.
– The foreign company eventually ceased business, but then I started my own company and worked as an independent customer service trainer for six years. During that time, I got to work a lot with Zylinc’s products. In 2019 I was hired by Zylinc. They knew me, I knew them, so it made perfect sense.
– I’ve tried working in different corporate cultures, and Zylinc’s way of working is the most efficient one I’ve experienced: It doesn’t take ages to carry plans into action, and I also love the fact that I’m in the same building as the software developers, so I can easily give them input straight from users.
How many classes have you taught?
– Well over 500, so I think it’s fair to say that I do have some experience as a trainer.
Have you had some funny – or downright dreadful – moments during all those courses?
– While we work in a very focused way during the courses, I also manage to have a pleasant time with the students. Not long ago, I went to a customer’s site to do a course, and they were looking so much forward to the course, and to begin working with their new Zylinc solution, that they’d decorated the offices with fresh flowers and bunting. What a wonderful welcome I got!
– Generally, it’s great to see the professional interest among the students. On the other hand, I once had two students who simply had no clue about what they were going to be trained in. Apparently, no one had told them what they were going to do, or what was expected of them; neither on the course, nor in their jobs. That was a bit of an uphill struggle, but fortunately that very rarely happens.
– Should a student get so over the moon about a Zylinc solution that they pass out from sheer joy, I’m actually also a trained health care worker, so I’ll be able to take care of them. Not that health care is in any way part of my job description, but it fits nicely with Zylinc’s aim of offering the courses in a safe environment, doesn’t it …?
– Only once have I received a negative evaluation after a course: A student simply stated that it had been impossible to comprehend what I’d been talking about. I carry that piece of feedback with me even today. From the student’s perspective it was no doubt legitimate, and it has since then made me rethink the way in which I explain things, so in that sense it’s had a good effect. One punch in the gut in over 500 classes – I guess that’s acceptable …
Are there any tests or exams as part of the Zylinc user training courses?
– There aren’t any formal tests or exams. However, I usually give the students some open questions towards the end of the course, so that they can prove, not least to themselves, that they know what to do in a given situation.
– Remember that we have small classes with small numbers of students, so we have time to interact a lot. Learning-wise that really helps bring the students to a level where they’re able to make the right decisions.
Do students get a certificate if they complete the courses satisfactorily?
– Students typically don’t ask for that. They’re more interested in learning than in getting some documentation of what they’ve learned. However, if a student wants a certificate, for example because they need it for their CV, we can certainly issue one.
Does Zylinc offer other courses than user training ones?
– Yes. I mentioned earlier that before I go out and teach a class, I speak with the customer’s and/or their Zylinc partner’s IT people, so that I know about the organization’s queues, etc. But where, then, have those IT people learned about Zylinc? Well, typically on Zylinc’s Core Installation & Foundation course, which is aimed at IT technicians, supporters, etc.
– It’s a colleague with many years of technical experience who teaches those courses. They take four full days, and they’re obviously much more technical than when I train users.
– On the technicians’ courses there can be all sorts of colored cables and hardware gadgets lying about on the desks, and people also tend to use all sorts of technical terms and abbreviations. But again: The courses are made to suit the students’ environments and learning needs, and our aim is to give the students the confidence required to do a good job – just like we want to do with the user courses.
Where can people find more information about Zylinc’s user training courses?
– On zylinc.com: Select Around Zylinc > User Training.
Last, but not least: I’ve heard that students who attend your courses learn a lot of special tips and tricks from you. Can you unveil just one of those tips?
– Yes, I hand out Zylinc candy during the course …! No, well, tips and tricks depend on the customer’s needs. So, yes, I have a lot of different tips and tricks up my sleeve, but they need to be relevant in the individual context.
– Many students want help with personalizing keyboard shortcuts, and I gladly share my favorite shortcuts with them. Some are very interested in learning how to view exactly the pieces of information that they need in the Zylinc program’s people and availability overview, yet others want tips about how to search as efficiently as possible.
– I’ve tried all of it many times, so I have tips and tricks for any occasion!
The interviewer, Morten Müller, is Documentation & Localization Manager at Zylinc’s HQ in Denmark. Joan has her office there as well, and her official title is Support & Training Consultant. As Joan said, you can learn more about her user training course curriculum here.