The Future of Virtual Learning and Development
By Bill Trocano
Vice President, Business Development
For any CX executive in today’s workplace, meeting the talent quota is only the first step in delivering a high level of customer satisfaction. The next order of business is supporting new agents in their learning and development--and keeping experienced ones up to speed. Whether agents need to be familiar with products and services, promotions, and pricing as well as the Brand’s policies and culture, providing the necessary skills and meeting the need for learning and development is no easy task.
The limitations of traditional BPOs are often at the heart of the matter. In a traditional, on-site contact center, new agents may have little to no industry experience or Brand affinity. They may need extensive training to deliver the customer experience associated with your Brand, yet the lackluster classroom training offered by many organizations contributes to the attrition rate. Another reality is that agents are needed to engage with customers soon after they are hired with time for only minimal training. It’s little wonder companies that rely solely on traditional BPO models fall short when it comes to delivering a satisfactory customer and employee experience.
Expanding the talent pool
With a Gig-CX solution, agents can be located anywhere offering a wider variety of skill sets, more flexible time availability, and more motivated talent. Customer experience leaders can also engage knowledgeable agents and individuals with strong product knowledge or Brand affinity, regardless of their location.
According to Gallup, 36% of US workers participate in the gig economy for a primary wage or to supplement their current income. That number is likely to rise as millennials and Gen Z look at gig work as a way to achieve a work/life balance.1 More mature workers are also attracted to gig work to stay active or keep their minds sharp.2 That flexibility helps attract knowledgeable talent into the resource pool. For example, professional gamers who wish to take on extra work might be well-suited to answering technical hardware or software questions. The agent on the other end of a pharmaceutical company’s care hotline could be a retired health care professional.
Technology to the rescue
The anywhere, anytime advantage of Gig-CX services is also beneficial for learning and development. Today, virtual learning tools are far superior to any “PowerPoint on Zoom” solutions. Interactive curriculum is another area where Gig-CX solutions stand out for the ability to offer exceptional learning experiences to workers.
While companies always want to keep an eye on the cost and time spent on education, investing in agent learning and development typically results in a better customer experience. The #1 driver of customer service-driven Brand loyalty in a competitive marketplace is agent knowledge, and 58% of customers need more than one contact to resolve an issue. Inadequately educated agents can lead to increased costs and unsatisfactory customer experiences, with 89% of contacts escalated due to lack of agent knowledge.
Delivering a dynamic learning and development experience is an essential component of agent satisfaction. In fact, we found that 20% of all new learners resign within 45 days due to poor learning experiences. Some gig workers are attracted to the extra work to increase their skills and knowledge. Virtual learning offers an opportunity to provide Gig-CX workers with the learning opportunities they need to be successful and take pride in their work.
Investing in learning experiences pays off: 20% of new employees resign within 45 days if they are not satisfied with the training and learning opportunities offered.
Gamification for the win
Arise utilizes virtual-first instructors and works with our clients to develop curriculum that is highly interactive and designed to accommodate different learning styles in a remote environment, including auditory, visual, kinesthetic, self-driven, and more. Learning modules may incorporate gamification, interactive assessments, and immediate feedback. Curriculum is tailored specifically to build strengths, measure performance, and ensure prompt completion of assigned modules.
As the curriculum is designed, instructional designers and subject matter experts help create instructive learning modules that are clear, engaging, and impactful. Breaking a long curriculum or module into discrete, bite-size components allows Brands to be more precise in their education recommendations so that gig workers can get up to speed as efficiently as possible.3
Effective learning fuels
25% sales growth
To increase sales of warranty and protection plans, Arise enhanced the virtual-learning program of a major home improvement retailer by using mock sales calls and virtual support rooms for active agents. The virtual learning program helped the retailer grow sales 25% in Year 1 and 39% in Year 2.
A virtual learning approach can also reduce learning time and give gig workers more flexibility. Self-directed learning experiences allow workers to finish modules during slow periods and work at their own pace. They can even take advantage of mobile apps to learn during downtime or on the go.
Virtual learning helps companies prepare agents to talk to customers quickly. By designing the right learning journey and delivering it through the right interactive platform, Arise launched a new program to prepare 600 agents to answer questions on the CARE Act for a major financial service brand in only 72 hours.
An AI-powered future
The future of Gig-CX virtual learning includes AI-powered tools such as augmented and virtual reality to provide hands-on skills learning.4 Other tools will be able to detect critical phases in an agent’s conversations with customers and provide auto-generated performance support. For example, voice recognition technology senses customer sentiment and alerts the agent to the next best action and when to alert support resources.
Technology plays an essential role in learning and development for Gig-CX workers and Arise continues to be at the forefront of innovations and best practices in virtual learning. We are ready to apply our expertise and to develop learning and development solutions suited to your situation and your workforce. Please schedule an appointment to learn how Arise can deliver results for your organization.
 Gupta, Jacobson, Kline, Mehndiratta, and Raabe. https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/operations/our-insights/an-on-demand-revolution-in-customer-experience-operations