Zenarate AI Coach Blog

How to Improve Empathy Training for Agents

Studies show that delivering positive customer experiences is a top driver for brand perception and loyalty. In the “State of the Connected Customer” study, 91% of customers said a positive customer service experience makes them more likely to make another purchase. So what are the key drivers of a positive customer experience? For sure, it’s solving the customer’s problem. Still, studies show that making the customer feel valued in the moment is the other key driver, placing empathy front and center in customer engagement. 71% of customers say that businesses that have shown empathy during the pandemic have earned their loyalty.

The challenge for contact center and training leaders is empathy is not always second nature to human beings, including contact center agents. Many agents struggle to solve customer problems with empathy, leaving your customers feeling unheard and misunderstood. Maybe now more than ever, contact center and training leaders are wondering if they can finally answer the age-old question:

Is the technology available to teach agents how to deliver exceptional empathetic customer experiences consistently?

Teaching Empathy in Training

The answer to this question is, finally, yes. Agents can learn to solve customer problems with empathy, just as they learn other skills. However, learning to be empathetic requires changing human behavior, and humans have historically struggled with learning new behaviors through traditional passive training methods. Classroom curriculums where agents study e-learning content, watch videos and take tests and quizzes work great for teaching agents how to respond to a customer with accurate answers and correct information.  However, passive learning methods have proven ineffective over time at altering human behavior, and in particular, instilling soft human skills such as learning to listen, acknowledge the customer with care and consideration, and solving a customer’s problem with empathy.

With the advent of AI, technology is finally available for agents to learn new behaviors, such as delivering service with empathy Through AI conversation simulation training, agents can learn to consistently deliver superior empathetic customer and prospect experiences by mastering critical soft skills through hands-on experiential, active learning.

The 70-20-10 training model states that people learn 10% from studying traditional learning materials, 20% from listening—such as interacting with co-workers and managers—and the remaining 70% from active learning. Since the beginning of time, people have learned to master complex skills through active learning, such as a basketball player perfecting their jump shot in the practice gym, musicians rehearsing their solo before going on stage, and pilots mastering how to fly a plane in a flight simulator before flying a real plane for the first time.

Now, with the advent of AI, contact center agents can finally master their craft through experiential, active learning too. Contact center agents at leading brands worldwide are learning how to deliver superior empathetic customer experiences by mastering critical soft skills through their Zenarate AI Coach conversation simulation training.

Zenarate AI Coach simulates any customer or prospect scenario, immersing agents in life-like conversations while providing tone, soft skills, and best and required practice coaching throughout the simulation training. I have witnessed first-hand how leading brands across industries are transforming their CSAT & NPS scores by immersing their agents in Zenarate’s AI conversation simulation training.

With their Zenarate AI Coach, leading brands are developing confident and prepared agents before their first live call and closing tenured agent soft skill gaps allowing tenured agents to return to live calls confident and proficient in soft skills they previously struggled with. By role-playing with their personal unbiased AI Coach from home or office, agents master critical soft skills such as acknowledging the customer with care, removing the customer’s feeling of isolation and responding to the customer with care and compassion. Contact Center and Training Leaders auto-certify agents to engage with live customers and prospects through their Simulation Scorecard and Simulation Call Listening, allowing leaders to see and hear agents who are ready to engage with live customers and prospects to solve their problems with empathy.

How to Help Agents Deliver Personalized Empathetic Customer Experiences

To date, leading brands have delivered more than 10 million agent simulations in over a dozen countries and 13 languages through their Zenarate AI Coach conversation simulation training. Through Zenarate’s use of Natural Language Processing (NLP), agents use their own natural language while interacting with their personal unbiased AI Coach from home or office, without any scripting. And through Zenarate’s use of Natural Language Understanding (NLU), their AI Coach can simulate any call type or persona, creating realistic and challenging scenarios for agents to master.

Contact center and training leaders who have inserted Zenarate AI Coach conversation simulation training into their agent training curriculum are transforming their KPIs, including:

  • 56% Faster Speed to Proficiency
  • 22% Higher Conversion Rates
  • 33% Higher CSAT Scores
  • 32% Lower Employee Attrition

Following are examples of soft skills that agents are successfully mastering through their Zenarate AI Coach conversation simulation training: 

Agents learn to acknowledge the customer with empathy

  • “I’m so sorry you are having difficulty…”
  • “I’m sorry to hear that you broke your leg. I can only imagine how hard that must be for you.”
  • “I apologize, Ms. Smith. I can only imagine how frustrating that must be.”

Agents learn to remove the customer’s feeling of isolation

“The good news is we have helped many customers in your difficult situation get to a much better place, and I’m confident we can do the same for you.”

.. and reassure the customer

“You have reached the right person, Ms. Smith. I can definitely get this issue resolved for you.”

And agents learn to seamlessly transition the conversation to solving the customer’s problem

“Are you okay if I ask you a few questions to learn more about your needs?”

Agents can Learn to be Empathetic with Advanced AI Conversation Simulation Training

Just like athletes, musicians, and pilots, contact center agents can finally master their craft through hands-on experiential, active learning. With Zenarate AI Coach conversation simulation training, leading brands are allowing agents to learn how humans learn best – by making mistakes, solving problems, and building confidence without the risks of interacting with a live customer or prospect.

With rapid automation leaving agents with the toughest problems to solve, now may be more important than ever to teach agents how to solve complex problems with the care and empathy your customers and prospects deserve. Through Zenarate AI Coach conversation simulation training, agents can learn to deliver superior empathetic customer and prospect experiences, just as they can learn any other skill.

 

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