With the banking market growing more and more competitive, customer service training can hardly be overestimated.
Quite often, bank staff is provided with training in compliance, regulatory processes, and product expertise. However, frontline people should not only be equipped with information, but also be able to gather the necessary information from clients, and offer targeted solutions.
In the past, professionals who dealt with customers had to practice their communication skills on the job, often resulting in errors. Today, they can learn to ask the right questions and have engaging conversations, even before these conversations begin. This has become possible with the advent of dialogue simulation technology. The walkthrough below explains how to create a bank sales training course, based on an interactive conversation simulation.
Demo [interactive, click through]:
Step 1. Design a Conversation Scenario
This guide describes how to create a simulation using iSpring TalkMaster.
A dialogue between a client and an employee generally consists of questions and answers, where each answer leads to a different question, and so on. With iSpring TalkMaster, you can present a conversation scenario in an intuitive tree structure. The branches of the tree should lead to different results; for example, if an employee offers an improper solution, a client may want to end the conversation.
To start creating a script, click on New Scene on the TalkMaster toolbar. Here, you can enter character speech and replies for a bank employee to choose from.
You can then link replies to new scenes by dragging and dropping the link icon away from them on the grid.
It’s also possible to provide employees with personal feedback depending on their answer choices. To do so, simply click on “Add message” in the new scene and leave a comment which will let a learner understand how s/he’s been doing and what could be improved.
Apart from practicing communication skills, dialogue simulations can be used to assess those conversations. To monitor learners’ progress, enable evaluation and indicate a passing score in the Properties section, then apply relevant scores to different scenes – the better the outcome, the higher the score. Thus, by choosing the best answers, the learner will accumulate more points.
Step 2. Design an Environment
To make a simulation realistic, you can add a suitable character and background by switching to the IMAGES tab in a scene window. Here you can explore the integrated character and background libraries, or even upload your own images (e.g., a photo of your office to make the environment look familiar). Each character can express different emotions relevant to particular points in your scenario.
One more way to enhance dialogue simulations is to add sound to them, which can help employees train their listening skills. Voice-overs for characters can be either imported or recorded right in iSpring TalkMaster. If you record narrations with a third-party tool, you can bulk import all the audio files at once.
Step 3. Publish a Conversation Simulation
To make a course easily accessible, you can publish it for the Web (in HTML, Flash or even Combined format) or an LMS (in SCORM, AICC, xAPI or cmi5). It doesn’t matter what devices your employees use – dialogue simulations play back seamlessly on different screens.
If you aren’t using any hosting platform or LMS yet, you can try iSpring Cloud or iSpring Learn LMS, both of which offer free trial periods. This will allow you to publish simulations in one click and view detailed statistics on learner activity.
Tips on creating effective simulations
Here are a few ideas on how to make dialogue simulations meaningful and effective:
1. Test behavior, not knowledge. Dialogue simulations are a great way to check how your employees would act in certain situations. For instance, you can ask bewildering or even impossible questions, just as educated customers often do in real life. When not knowing an answer, customer service agents can either make something up or admit their lack of knowledge, so include those choices. To show your employees how to maintain a professional demeanor, you can use these five alternatives to saying “I don’t know,” suggested by Forbes magazine.
2. Imitate face-to-face and remote conversations. Implement all kinds of scenarios an employee is involved in in real life, including live chats, phone calls, and in-person meetings, then set up corresponding goals. For example, in a brief face-to-face talk, a bank salesperson may need to ask a potential client to leave contact details.
3. Let them choose words rather than answers. To make sure customer service agents sound professional and courteous, you can include the same information in answer choices, but present those in different ways. The right choice of words can often be the deciding factor behind a communication failure or success. The training manuals of Apple Inc. have a list of prohibited words and their better alternatives.
Being well-informed about company products doesn’t make customer service professionals truly effective. What’s more important is their ability to adapt to customers’ needs, and provide targeted solutions. Using a course based on conversation simulations allows frontline people to evaluate both product knowledge, and communication skills.