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Carolina Champions

Carolina Champions

South Carolina Air is one of the best and most innovative southeast HVAC distributors.  And they are customer service champions for investing in their client’s success. Last year, Khristina Gonzales, at South Carolina Air, invited me to conduct seminars for their contractor network.

Khristina did it right.  She and her team planned ahead, booked the venues, packed the rooms with contractor employees from all across South Carolina.

The key to making education fun is good instructional design that aligns with a client’s business model and meets their specific needs.  Khristina and I did a pre-training assessment to select curriculum topics to ensure success.

This three-day training assignment was to deliver two half-day seminars each day in three locations.  The South Carolina Air seminars began in Myrtle Beach and finished in Greenville.

These three days were planned well in advance to maximize travel logistics and optimal venue ergonomics.

The seminar curriculum was designed for maximum content retention with interactive exercises and an interactive workbook for the attendee’s future reference.

Seminar attendees should not just sit there.  It’s best to engage with interactive curriculum.  Good instructional design should be both cooperative and collaborative.

Good instructional design should be both cooperative and collaborative.

In cooperative learning the instructor is the center of authority with attendee tasks more closed-ended and often having specific answers.  For South Carolina Air, a simple word game exercise enabled attendees to match specific words to key concepts about customer service attitude and listening skills.  Cooperative learning implies that the answers are pre-determined and established by the instructor.

On the contrary, with collaborative learning the instructor surrenders his authority and empowers groups of employees.  These groups are often given more open-ended, complex tasks whereas employees determine their own answers as depicted below in the flipchart exercise.

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During collaborative exercises, attendees have fun designing geometric diagrams that illustrate the complex intersection among customer service behaviors.  This type of engagement achieves three goals: (1) attendees work together, (2) creativity and learning abounds and (3) everyone has more fun.

Completing a complex, collaborative exercise is a great sense of achievement.  Especially when attendees work together as a team.

And this makes learning more fun.

Classroom synergy is a vital component to facilitate collaborative learning.

Achieving the learning outcomes and making attendees have fun and feel proud about their participation is a winning formula for success.

After each seminar, Khristina asked attendees to evaluate the seminar.  The results?

A few attendee remarks are listed below.

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Steve Coscia

The road from professional musician to thirty-year customer service veteran to best-selling author and speaker is not a typical career path, but Steve Coscia may have started a new trend.

Coscia is one of the most widely published and quoted authorities in the customer service industry. He has published more than 200 articles, four books and a series of training DVDs. His college curriculum is taught at institutions of higher learning throughout the United States and Canada.

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