Personas to Inform and Enhance Technical Support Engineer Training
About the Project
The Technical Assistance Center (TAC) of a large pharmaceutical software and hardware company required an overhaul of their TAC support engineers training. During a need’s analysis, it was determined that the existing training may have been based on out-of-date user personas or no personas at all. I suggested that we take a Design Thinking approach and conduct some user research to determine specific details about personas that would help TAC engineers have empathy for callers and that may also inform support choices provided. These personas would also inform future training decisions, and Stakeholders felt that in the interim the personas could provide an immediate stop-gap for issues related to employee retention and customer complaints about TAC engineer service.
These learners were Technical Assistance Center (TAC) Engineers for a large international medical device company. They took calls for the duration of their shift from users of the devices in need of troubleshooting support. These engineers were on the phone for 8 hours a day and could not step away for additional training, so we had to consider how to get them just-in-time micro-learning that they could take in between calls and begin to use immediately. Interviews with engineers revealed a strong need to understand who the people were calling in, as many did not come from a medical background.
Skills for this Project:
This project required skills in the follow areas:
User Experience Design
Qualitative data analysis skills
Software Utilized for this Project:
Asset Brief and Development Overview
While personas were not part of the original stakeholder vision, it became apparent during the initial needs analysis that there was a gap in employee knowledge about the customer journey and experience with products. While they had a great deal of product knowledge and troubleshooting expertise, many admittedly didn’t know much about the day-to-day lives of the people who called into them. As the personas of the products ranged greatly from nurses to pharmacy directors, it was necessary for them to be able to empathize with them and also know a bit more about what they can and can not access on their site. They also needed to know more about what they may have already tried prior to calling. We worked directly with customers from as many types of facilities as possible to gain a broad understanding. We then used qualitative data analysis skills to reveal themes and trends in the interview data and used this content to develop 4 persona cards to distribute to TAC engineers.