One of the great things about my role at Zenarate is attending and speaking at industry conferences. Meeting people, sharing ideas and learning from the collective community gives me clear insights into the changing dynamics of customer care.
Based on my interactions with contact center leaders from various industries, let’s look at some of the changes we see at Zenarate as we work with contact center leaders to improve agent performance and customer care.
The Evolution of Low-hanging Fruit
As we all know, digital solutions now dominate our world, and customer care has evolved significantly. With the rise of self-service options that are great at resolving routine issues, the role of contact center agents has increasingly become more complex.
Thankfully, the days when customers would call for simple tasks like checking bank balances or confirming hotel reservations are over. With the availability of mobile apps and websites, routine inquiries have dwindled. However, our customers still experience high call and live-chat volumes, leading to a shift in the responsibilities of contact center representatives. The low-hanging fruit is gone, and every customer-agent engagement presents a challenge that requires more time, knowledge, and attention.
The traditional leading metric of measuring contact center performance based on handle time is now being challenged. We must think differently about the long-held notion of “handle time” and how long an agent spends on a call. Instead, it’s best to prioritize comprehensive problem resolution. Resolving a customer’s issue effectively should be the primary objective, even if it extends the duration of customer engagement. A seven-minute call with a successful resolution will save time in the long run, leaving a positive impression, enhancing customer loyalty and saving time and resources over the long run.
The Need for Skill Enhancement
Customer care representatives must possess advanced skills and expertise to meet their roles’ new, more complex demands. However, traditional training methods – such as PowerPoint presentations and classroom sessions – are proving to be ineffective. In addition, e-learning approaches provide some benefits but often fall short as they mimic in-person training. While I’m biased due to my role at Zenarate, our customers report how AI Simulation Training bridges the gap by enabling behavior-based learning through the act of practice.
The Science of Retention
It’s commonly understood that classroom-style training yields a meager 5% to 10% knowledge retention rate. Retention further deteriorates when information is introduced in a lump sum without revisiting previous topics and practice. By implementing a practice-focused approach where agents can practice before progressing to the next issue, retention spikes and customer care associates are more productive and helpful.
The Benefits of AI Simulation Training
As I’ve stated, there are emerging training and learning methods that transform customer care training, from immersive and blended learning to virtual reality role play. At Zenarate, we’re proud to lead the growing category of AI Simulation Training.
Let me share the benefits our customers gain from the simulation training approach.
- Improved Training Efficiency: Traditional training methods often fail to provide agents with the practical skills to handle real-world scenarios before engaging with a live customer. AI Simulation Training, similar to how a flight simulator works, allows associates to practice live call scenarios to enhance their confidence and speed to proficiency in a low-stress environment.
- Enhanced Agent Performance: Simulation training also provides real-time feedback during simulated interactions. Instant feedback helps both new hire and tenured agents improve their communication strategies and customer handling techniques to improve their overall performance.
- Improved Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): AI Simulation Training allows contact centers to enhance agent performance and meet crucial KPIs. Our AI Coach accelerates agent Speed to Proficiency by 56%, improves CSAT Scores by 33%, and reduces agent Attrition by 32%. These improvements are taken from our customers in the banking, healthcare, insurance, telecommunications, technology, and travel industries.
Another seismic shift we see is the reality of remote work. This trend brings a new level of complexity to contact center training. Today’s customer care representatives enjoy the flexibility of hybrid work. It has become a non-negotiable aspect of modern workplaces and requires innovative approaches to train agents and keep them happy and productive.
In complex contact center environments, our customers also know that agents now have to use numerous systems to engage and resolve customer issues. The potential for technology overload is real, and there is a growing need to consolidate systems to simplify business operations. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t touch on the advance of generative AI in customer care. As it stands today, we see AI models like ChatGPT to be a bit unpredictable. While we work to incorporate this emerging technology into our analytics capabilities, our customers appreciate the consistent, reliable, and predictable outcomes of AI Simulation Training.
As the customer care landscape evolves, all of us are working to improve agent performance, and customer satisfaction will continue to adapt to an increasingly complex and challenging environment. I expect we’ll see greater priority to problem resolution over metrics like reducing call handle times. This year has been an exciting one for Zenarate and our industry. We’ve all progressed a lot!
I look forward to continued improvements and hope to see you along the way at industry events. Thanks for reading, and if you have any questions, I’d love to connect via my email at email@example.com!