When I speak to people about our simulator ACES™ some people will interchange the term roleplaying and simulations but there is a difference. As I tend to be a little biased on using simulations vs roleplaying, I thought it would be a helpful exercise to create a chart to list out the similarities and differences between the two activities. This is illustrated in the chart below. There is room for both types of learning methodologies but studies do show that allowing students to spend time in a simulator vs roleplaying, they do perform better. Here is a link to a study conducted by Georgia Institute of Technology conducting a side by side comparison of traditional roleplay in a call center vs simulation.
If you had a crystal ball to see into the future, who do you think would be your top performing agents? Now take that and scale it to all of your call centers both internal and external.
How would this impact your business?
Here is a list of just a few examples:
- We would know where the gaps are in hiring and the costs needed to fund recruitment and onboarding
- Our scheduling would be much easier
- We could predict what the AHT would be before any calls were made
- We would know how many support people to place into each channel with a good estimate of FCR
- We would have a better handle on turn-over
Taking a look at just this small list you can tell that having the ability to predict who your top agents were is pretty powerful.
Now I will let you in on a secret – ACES (accelerated contact engagement system) gives you this ability.
ACES gives you a scalable way to catch agent errors before they happen! Using it’s a powerful simulator, ACES allows you to build realistic immersive simulations that feel like your taking on a real call or chat session.
To see some examples of ACES in action, just click this Videos
Many of you are familiar with the term Machine Learning (ML) which is a subset of AI designed to train a machine how to do a very specific task. Can’t we do the same process with Humans?
The answer is yes, of course we can! I want to highlight some examples that go beyond providing employees or customers with simple information using an intelligent agent.
- Shameless self-promotion for ACES (Automated Contact Engagement System) designed to automate the process of teach contact center agents how to conduct the primary transactions they will encounter on the job. ACES is an immersive simulator with builtin AI to provide automatic feedback when an agent give the wrong verbal response or enter the wrong information on screen. All actions are tracked and mapped against the same metrics and agent would be measured on during a live call. Agents get up to speed much faster and are truly “floor ready” when placed into production.
- Third Space Learning is using an AI powered system to measure how effective the teacher performance is and tie this directly to student success.
- MATHIA from Carnegie Learning is an example of an intelligent tutor. It uses a technique called “Knowledge Tracing” to track a student’s progress and tailor feedback to help them solf the math problems.
- EdCast is used to “upskill” employees by making automatically curated content based upon previous content the user has completed in the past and what job skills are mostly likely needed for their job.
Recently I was speaking to a CX consultant and ask her “why is there a disconnect between what call center agents do and the customer experience initiatives?” She stated that she runs into this quite frequently in her practice.
When I reach out to CX professionals to introduce them to our call center simulator, once they hear it is used for contact center agents to improve performance they immediately refer me off to someone else.
In an old blog post from Customer Think points out that good customer service is a branding and customer loyalty issue. That was 5 years ago! But I still run into organizations that seem to separate these functions within their organization
In a blog post by Ameyo.com a multi-channel call center, they define the difference between the customer experience vs. customer service and define customer service as re-active. Is it really?
Even if that’s the case, customers only call in when something is wrong or they need help, the contact center could either be the place for your single point of failure — losing customers or done well, can build loyalty and delight.
I’d be curious to hear from my readers if you feel you have a wall between the CX function and the contact center — or how you’ve broken this barrier.
Studies have shown that simulation-based training is the best way for learners to retain knowledge and decrease the time it takes for mastery of a new skill.
- Quicker return on your training $$ – by providing this level of active and immersive learning, your organization will see a greater return on the money you invest in recruiting, retention and customer satisfaction
- Greater employee satisfaction – the faster an employee feels confident about their job, the higher their employee satisfaction. This has a direct impact on customer satisfaction but will also reduce the risk of poor moral or wasted time re-training employees who need more hand-holding
- Removing the risk of practicing on real customers – I can’t tell you how many times I hear that call center employees transition from the classroom to the production floor with little or no practice time. This is a huge risk to your organization.
- Reducing time to recognize a bad hire -using a simulator will allow your organization to road test an employee’s skills before putting them on the front line. This will also help you to determine if an employee is just not making the cut.
If you are an IT professional, you are probably familiar with the term “single point of failure.” If you manage the customer retention side of the business can you identify your single point of failure?
Is it in the quality of the product, customer service, customer support, delivery or even the return process?
In a study conducted by the Gallup Group 68% of customers leave because of poor service. When nearly 70% of all customer interactions are handled by your contact center — is this your single point of failure?
Let’s break down the contact center experience even further. Take the full customer journey when they make contact. You should factor the following steps:
· Hold time
· Automated routing
· First call resolutions
· Knowledgeable staff
· Courteous reps
· Follow up steps
In a study presented by 31 West the following were the top reasons a customer becomes “enraged” during a call
60%—speaking with a rude customer service rep
52%—speaking with an incompetent service rep
40%—explaining their issue more than once
38%—being put on hold for too long
It doesn’t take much to surprise and delight customers from these human to human interactions. I see a cautionary trend in migrating live support to automated. It may save you money in the short-run but in the long-run may impact the customer relationship.
I’d love to hear how some of you have built a culture of serving your customers to increase loyalty and retention.
In this episode of Contact Center Insights, Nancy speaks to Christa Heibel of CHCG Consulting. Christa has been working with the C-Suite of contact centers for over two decades and has worked both sides of the table when it comes to working with BPOs. Listen to Christas’s great advice on the importance of communication and “putting it in writing” to ensure you have a smooth sailing relationship.
I had a blast interviewing Judy, she is truly one of a kind and has a great theory on how to train your contact center employees. In this episode, Judy explains her LAMA approach to talking to anyone on the phone, it’s all about making that person feel good and treating them with respect.
Podcasting has quickly become one of the most popular content types in the last couple of years. Earlier this month I gave a presentation at the Chicago eLearning Showcase on podcasting and gave me audience tips on 4 ways to record your audio content with FREE tools. Here they are:
- Audacity -probably the most common (other than Garage Band) it’s a free open source audio recording and editing platform. Just be sure to also download the LAMP software to ensure you can export MP3 files for formatting your the proper RSS feeds for your podcast
- Free Conference Call.com – Yes it is free and will record you or a group of people dialed into the conference line. They will allow you to download the MP3 file of the recorded call so you can edit and add to your RSS feeds.
- BlogTalk Radio – This is used primarily as a web radio tool but I use do record my podcast show so I can add other sound effects — like an audience applauding or a canned introduction to the show. You can have callers dial in as you record the show live and then BlogTalk will allow you to download the show. This service is free for shows under 30 minutes in length.
- Amazon Polly in WordPress – This was my latest find, if you have a WordPress blog or site you can embed Amazon’s Polly text to speech voices to “read” your blog post and it will automatically create the RSS feed for you to connect it directly into iTunes as well. You first need to go to AWS (Amazon cloud services) to set up an account to use Polly and there is a minimal cost for using Polly but you can also produce the audio file once inside AWS and then download the MP3 file to add to your post as well.
Please let me know if you know of other free tools for podcasting and I will be happy to share!