I work at a third-party helpdesk, where we have many clients. Each has their own proprietary software and procedures. We don't have organized training - we sit the person with various agents and let them listen while we take calls. The agent does his or her best to explain things as they go along. When a new OS comes out, we generally learn how it works by one or two people on the desk installing it on their system and answering questions when other agents get calls from customers who have already implemented it.
The ones who can figure things out for themselves do all right, but then we have to deal with callbacks from clients who have spoken with those who cannot figure things out for themselves. And we are not allowed to explain that the other person was an incompetent loser and that they should not form their opinions based on that person alone, so we just apologize for the problems and then fix them. We have been trying to explain to management that we need training, both formal and informal (agent-led client refreshers), but to no avail, and frankly, it's HARD for people to remember procedures for 10-15 different clients.
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