Whenever a customer facing employee is confronted by an angry customer, his / her response represents your brand and its values. With high rates of employee turnover or attrition, often reaching 70%+ year on year, it becomes difficult to maintain quality standards for such a crucial responsibility.
“Role play exercises with coworkers for dealing with angry customers cannot really simulate the feeling of panic, or teach what tactics to use to defuse such a situation. Training in VR offers a unique advantage that I can practice this in a shorter span of time in a space where I could test multiple responses and their impact, while feeling the pressure of facing a virtual angry customer” - Jay, a Customer Service Executive for one of the world's largest retail stores.
Virtual Reality first broke through in the world of training with technical subjects. However, recently, companies including BMW, Walmart, Verizon and Ford are training their employees in aspects such as design, sales skills, empathy, and also customer service. A whitepaper by Intel estimates that their first VR-based corporate training course has a potential Return on Investment of 300% over the next five years with 94% of trainees requesting for more courses on VR.
How does all this apply to challenging situations in retail like dealing with an angry customer? The customer facing staff of your company needs to understand all the aspects of representing your organisation, starting with the mannerisms and appearance that are befitting the reputation of the organisation. Employees need to understand common causes of conflict within the department they are serving, the different ways each situation has historically been addressed, company policy towards exceptions, the challenge is to keep a customer happy, not cause financial stress to the company, all this with the utmost civility towards the customer no matter the situation. It is a delicate balancing act harder to achieve with high attrition rates most companies witness in these roles.
Imagine your customer facing employees and trainees can simulate commonly encountered scenarios with angry customers on their own phones, where they are imposed variations of the tonality and facial expressions they are likely to encounter in such a setting. Saying the right thing, and at the right time is crucial, or you aggravate the situation, and the customer walks away in a huff, or reports your behavior. Virtual Reality modules built on GMetri can help you recreate these, and allow employees to train on multiple such scenarios in their own time, on their own devices.
For a blended learning approach, the following elements should ideally be part of the Employee Training modules:
- Understanding conflict
- Common causes of conflict in your domain/department
- Body language
- Diffusing conflict
- Tips on how to deal with aggressive behavior
- Tips on proper communication in the face of aggression
- Escalation procedures
- Company policy
The advantages of virtual reality to train customer facing staff in handling conflict lie in the fact that you can design multiple scenarios, and create an experience that gives choices between possible responses and how they are received by the customers. The staff can do these experiences again and again, on their own time, thereby, making them ready for the shop floor in 30% of the time that classroom training would typically take.
- Controlled, monitored learning environment on the trainee's own phones
- Understanding customer behavior and handling by experiencing situations in a setting that feels just about real
- Train remotely - save time and money spent on logistics, trainers and real estate
- Phenomenal engagement, retention, and recall rates are higher than conventional rates in classroom or video-based training
- Shrinking on-boarding time for a new person
- Controlled exposure to stressful situations
- Improve skills faster by leveraging spatial cognitive learning
- GMetri enables the training staff to keep track of skill assessments with our analytics tools
- Use GMetri to create standardized sales pitch for meetings or conferences on VR