Home > Columns > CRM Columns

Peer Learning Networks: Enhancing Knowledge Sharing and Collaboration in Customer Service Training Programs

Presented By: Amanda Winstead

 Peer learning


Effectively leveraging the power of your peer’s knowledge is crucial in today’s fast-paced, highly competitive business world. Put simply, companies that can leverage the skills and experiences of all their employees are in a far better position to respond to market trends and adapt to sudden changes.   

Collaboration can be particularly powerful in customer service, as folks who respond to customer queries and complaints will need to lean on a wide range of skills, insights, and experiences to alleviate customer concerns.

However, simply telling your team to “collaborate” will not get you far. Folks do not innately know how to share their knowledge and may need direction and support when working on peer learning opportunities.

Instead, enhance knowledge sharing and empower customer service agents by sponsoring training programs that teach folks how to tap into their peer network. This can meaningfully improve collaboration at your place of work and lead to increased performance.

Peer Learning Networks

Installing a peer learning network can transform your customer service and help you align your teams. This is massively important today, as customers are looking for a high level of service and will turn to your competitors if you are unable to provide a timely, courteous response to their questions and queries.

The high-pressure nature of customer service means that your agents are particularly well-positioned to benefit from initiatives like peer learning networks. Peer learning, which encourages employees to share their insights and ideas, can meaningfully improve collaboration and boost morale in the workplace. Companies that encourage the growth of peer learning networks also benefit from internal feedback loops in which peers offer encouraging feedback to improve the performance of their co-workers.

This egalitarian approach to social learning can also boost morale and increase camaraderie amongst your team. Everyone’s ideas within the network are respected, and more experienced employees are given a clear framework to share their insights. This combats any feelings of resentment that may crop up when working collaboratively and can boost employee motivation and recognition.

Creating Effective Training Programs

Customer service agents who can tap into their peer learning network will feel empowered and know that they can rely on their co-workers for support. However, you’ll need an effective training program to install your peer learning network, lest it become another initiative that fails to catch on at your place of work. When drafting your next training program, focus on the core principles of an effective training program, which include:

       Diversify the Experience: Don’t just stand at a whiteboard and lecture to your employees. Instead, focus on following the 70-20-10 model which states that 70% of learning should be from experience, 20% from direct coaching, and 10% from learning development days.

       Democratize: You aren’t the only leader at your business interested in creating peer learning networks. Exemplify collaboration by democratizing the content creation process to include insights from your team. This will make your lessons more relevant and will help folks feel included in the training program.

       Schedule: Do not make training a last-minute addition to people’s work schedules. This will only derail their progress on existing projects and make them resent the program. Instead, schedule it months ahead of time and adjust KPIs to reflect the dip in performance that you’ll expect to see while folks get used to working collaboratively.

These core principles will ensure that folks are enthusiastic about your training program and engage in peer learning. By scheduling training programs well in advance, you give folks plenty of time to offer up insights and contribute to the success of the training day. However, you should still guard against taking up an entire day, as smaller is almost always better when teaching folks new skills or approaches.

Empowering with Software

Recent innovations in the business world have made collaboration and knowledge sharing easier than ever before. Today, folks can lean on tools like Zoom, Slack, Asana, and Microsoft Teams to work synergistically on customer service projects and track the progress of their peers. By installing the right tech stack you can facilitate peer learning and help folks utilize the skills they learned in your customer service training programs.

If you encounter pushback when installing new software, be sure to highlight the benefits of collaborative software, including:

  • Improving project management;
  • Boosting creativity;
  • Strengthening performance;
  • Enhancing company-wide collaboration.

Collaborative software can enhance morale, too. Folks who use collaborative software feel united — even when working remotely — as everyone is working on the same workflow board or cloud-based documents. This drives efficiency and helps employees stay accountable. This is crucial in the world of customer service, where timely responses to open tickets are crucial for the success of a department. By leveraging project management programs employees can pick up where their peers left off and utilize the wider peer-learning network to full effect. 


Establishing a peer learning network can significantly enhance the productivity and performance of your customer service team. However, before you let folks loose on collaborative projects, be sure to cover the ground rules during a team-wide training program. This will ensure that the initiative is authentically empowering and will help folks get up to speed with the collaborative programs you install into your tech stack.