System simulation in call centres is an area of increasing interest at present, and on our travels recently we came across a little known but quite amazing company:
Day One Technologies
The Day One Technologies system simulation we recently reviewed is a wonderful example of Yorkshire modesty, with the product strap line of “Systems Training – Done Right”, Day One, a West Yorkshire based organisation provide systems simulation and retail telephony training for the contact centres of one the UK’s largest banks……yet they are practically un-known.
In our view this is one of the most evolved system simulations for call centre training there is….This really is a major step up from flat e-learning with screen grabs and text boxes, this is as about as realistic and as immersive as you can get.
Day One has incorporated a host of features that will deliver real improvements in performance of call centre agents. The benefits are both the obvious: improving time to competency, improving call handling metrics and reduced staff turnover, to the strategic: in standardization across multiple call centre sites anywhere in the world, and flexibility: the ability to train staff not usually working in call centres to take calls at time of peak demand or new product launches.
Speed of simulation
This is a web based solution that offers a speed of response that exactly replicates the live environment, and can handle a large number of learners at anyone time. There is no need for learners to wait until the next screen loads. With a simple click through from a learner’s desktop the system is ready to go. The systems speed of operation and simulation is best described as “streamlined”.
The data rendered as part of the simulation is dynamic. Learners do not just repeat the same old scenario time and time again. Full simulations of interactions are made with the replication of real scenarios requiring the management of complex client requests. These tasks require the learner to access multiple systems and are replicated with absolute accuracy. Indeed the training department can tweak the simulations to render data that reflects differing demographics – ethnicity, gender and age of customers for example. No learning interaction is ever the same!
Learners can choose (or be assigned) differing modes – “Walk through to test”, “role play” and “buddy modes” are all possible. Learners can choose their own avatars as guides! Buddy mode is great fun and allows learners to pair up to experiment with differing situations, with one acting as the customer and the other as the call centre agent. Daily reminder exercise tasks can be set by the training department for the teams. Learners are challenged to in the words of Colvin-Clarke and Mayer (2003) to “Select, Integrate and Retrieve new knowledge”.
More reporting than you could possible imagine
The Day One system offers a full Management Information suite…it supports a comprehensive reporting suite and real time progress monitoring, and allows for communications and reminders just as many LMS applications offer.
The Day One solution is an excellent example of the role that e-learning and learning technologies can play using system simulation in aligning learning and development to directly improving the performance of a retail telephonist, a call centre employee and an organisation in a seamless and streamlined way.
For further reading about training in call centres we would recommend Cross C. and Brennan A.Systems Skills Training and Banks D. and McClelland G Applying learning theory to data protection in “The Call Centre Training Handbook” Wilson J.P. (2009) Kogan Page London and Philadelphia.
This work provides an excellent overview of call centre training and the specific sections noted above provides the underpinning theory as to why the Day One solution really does work and what’s more, we were given a sneak peak at some of the pricing models as well, and were very pleasantly surprised!
You can request a demo of the system simulation directly from the Day One Technologies website.