AI-enabled remote training is the new normal
Demand for remote training, like many other developing technologies, rapidly accelerated in a business world transformed by COVID-19. The e-learning market in Europe is expected to grow by 12% between 2020 and 2024, according to ResearchandMarkets.com. As remote workforces grow, companies need a way to train employees remotely and track their progress. But what does remote training entail and what advances are shaping it?
Leading organisations are overhauling their training and reporting practices and discovering those answers firsthand. We are seeing how they are ramping up on artificial intelligence-enabled remote training to position themselves for a strong future.
Reimagining training – a case study
The objective of many organisations right now is to reimagine its contact centre employee training to increase efficiency, flexibility, and scale to deliver exceptional customer support. They also want to remove significant pain points, such as a lack of training consistency and visibility into employee progress. The goal is to quickly understand how employees are learning from a high, as well as granular level, and what insights can be acted on.
Before the pandemic struck, we were completing implementation of a set of AI-enabled training tools for a contact centre that seated several hundred agents. When the company shifted its employees to work remotely, the agents were able to easily switch to online training.
Here is how they did it. TTEC’s RealPlay Bot leverages AI and machine learning technology to simulate real-world customer scenarios, giving employees the freedom to practice and perfect problem-solving techniques. We worked closely with the client’s customer support team to create customised scenarios based on real customer interactions. Instead of role-playing with a fellow agent or trainer, the RealPlay Bot allowed employees to practice at any time and as frequently as needed.
Using the RealPlay Sandbox, we also collaborated with the client on building exact replicas of the front- and back-end databases that associates use when supporting customers. Instead of working with a stripped-down version of a CRM system and knowledgebase, the Sandbox lets agents practice manipulating fields and search databases as they would in real life. The Sandbox allows a nearly unlimited number of learners to access it concurrently and the screens automatically reset for each new learner.
Finally, one of the largest training challenges is providing employees with rapid feedback. Pairing trainers with employees to provide instant feedback is time-consuming and costly. When a trainer reviews call recordings of agents’, it can take several hours or longer to provide feedback. We have collaborated with the client on customising the RealPlay Dashboard, which will deliver instant feedback and reporting as each scenario is completed.
With the feedback and recommendations fresh in their minds, employees can repeat a scenario and apply the feedback they received. On the managers’ side, the dashboard generates reports that capture each employee’s KPI performance, speed-to-proficiency, and other metrics. The Dashboard also compiles the data into graphs and charts, making it easy for managers to track at a granular level, the employee’s areas of strength and weakness and other insights.
Hundreds of contact centre agents will be able to train remotely and managers, able to monitor their progress and gain insights. One of the early insights, for instance, was that call lengths were excessively long since agents were spending too much time honing their soft skills on the simulated calls. That insight was used to optimise the training and ensure that agents were focusing on more critical processes and procedures to efficiently assist customers while still connecting with them.
Remote training while keeping employees safe
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced organisations to put many things on hold, but training should not be one of them. Training remains a critical part of business growth and as employees seek more flexible work arrangements, forward-looking organisations are doing the same for training. Whether it is reskilling at a department level or a company-wide transformation, automation and AI are making it possible for organisations to deploy critical training initiatives while putting employee safety first.
Iain Banks, Regional VP International Markets, TTEC is responsible for developing TTEC's full International go-to-market business plan for sales, marketing and solutions. Iain is an experienced, senior-level business development professional with a career spanning more than 18 years in the Global BPO/Contact Centre environment, with a proven...