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Zenarate Insights: AI Simulation Training | Innovative Onboarding for Contact Center Success – Part 1

Innovative Onboarding for Contact Center Success | AI Simulation Training

One of the most satisfying parts of my job at Zenarate is connecting with and helping people. We believe in powering better human connections with AI Simulation Training, similar to how pilots learn to fly a plane in a flight simulator and surgeons practice surgery before operating on live patients. With our personal unbiased AI Coach, agents are immersed in life-like conversation, screen and chat simulations to master high-impact topics they will face with live customers and prospects.

I’m fortunate to attend great in-person industry events, including Frost & Sullivan’s Executive CX MindXchange, CLO Exchange, ARDA Conference and CRS Austin. Face-to-face conversations with contact center leaders provide insight into daily real-life challenges. One recurring topic of discussion is the importance of effective agent onboarding.

Looking at the driving forces impacting contact centers — since the pandemic, remote work has increased dramatically, creating a growing need for innovative onboarding. With competition for quality employees rising, contact center leaders must find creative ways to develop, engage and keep their people. Remote work is a key component of this strategy, with companies investing in remote working opportunities for contact center agents.

wfhAs remote work is now more the norm, contact center leaders must face new challenges to retain employees head-on. In 2020, the number of people working remotely jumped 363% to a whopping 88%, and it only went down by 1% in 2021. In addition, a recent study reveals call center agents’ average annual attrition rate increased from 30% to 45% pre-COVID and skyrocketed to 80% in 2020 and 2021.

While the remote-work trend has enabled greater flexibility and freedom for employees, it has created issues with training, onboarding and attrition. The cycle is perpetuated by amplified competition from remote work optionality. As more organizations offer remote work options, contact centers find attracting and retaining top talent increasingly challenging.

And around and around it goes.

With the acceptance that the shift to remote work results in higher attrition rates, the colleagues I meet with at industry events echo the sentiment of how crucial it is to accelerate onboarding and ramp-up time while maintaining high levels of employee engagement. A key to our success and our customer’s success is how our AI Coach enables agents to practice safely to improve key metrics such as speed to proficiency, CSAT, and FCR.

To address these emerging challenges, there is a growing category of innovative onboarding and training solutions to help speed the learning process and get new employees up to speed faster. As I’ve mentioned, our AI Coach offers personalized, immersive learning experiences that enable agents to quickly acquire the skills and knowledge they need to excel when engaging with customers.

Here are four ways AI Simulation Training acceleratesSpeed to proficiencyonboarding and speed-to-proficiency for contact center new hires:
  1. Realistic Practice: AI Simulation Training provides a realistic practice environment where new hires can gain experience dealing with various customer interactions. This helps them build confidence and develop their skills before engaging with a live customer more quickly than they would through traditional training methods.
  2. Repetition: Simulation training allows new hires to practice different customer scenarios repeatedly to master the skills needed to succeed. The ability to practice a broad range of scenarios helps new hires to build muscle memory, which can result in faster and more effective performance on the job.
  3. Immediate Feedback: Simulation training provides real-time feedback on performance, allowing new hires to identify and correct mistakes quickly. This helps them avoid developing bad habits and accelerates the learning process.
  4. Data-Driven Decision Making: Simulation training also tracks key performance metrics, such as speed to proficiency, first call resolution rate, and customer satisfaction scores. This data identifies areas where new hires need additional training or support and how contact center leaders can adjust the onboarding process accordingly.

By providing an immersive and simulated practice environment, new-hire agents appreciate the opportunity to follow the “practice makes perfect” approach with less fear and anxiety — a key reason people quit.

Training and onboarding agents at scale have always been challenging. By leveraging new technology and approaches, like AI Simulation Training, you can immerse new agents in life-like simulations to master high-impact topics they will face with live customers.

In the end, customers still value personalized customer service despite the growing adoption of automation and self-service options such as chatbots. It’s human agents that help them resolve issues quickly and efficiently. By prioritizing innovative onboarding to embrace and thrive with the remote work trend that’s here to stay, contact center leaders will improve agents’ skills while reducing attrition rates and, most importantly, enhancing the customer experience.

I hope you have found this blog post insightful and helpful. This post is the first in a series of “Zenarate Insights” that will address the real-world issues our customers and the community at large care about. If you have any topics you’d like me to address, please feel free to contact me directly at caseyd@zenarate.com. In addition, I am happy to run through a personal demo of our AI Coach so you can see firsthand how we transform how agents learn and perform.

Casey Denby sq
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