The home security division of a large U.S. cable and telecommunications company receives incoming calls from and makes outgoing calls to existing clients. Many of these calls are service calls, but a portion of them are actual emergency alarm calls.
The company revamped their new hire training and are looking for a training solution to give new hire agents exposure to the intensity and emotion involved in handling a real emergency call.
A major objective of this new training is to address a drop in new hire retention at the call centers, which Leadership attributes to the intense nature of the alarm calls. Newer agents don’t get a lot of exposure or practice in handling alarm calls – they discuss them theoretically but don’t get the chance to experience them practically. Because of this gap, when agents are faced with their first alarm call, they feel unprepared and overwhelmed, and many tend to leave the position.
Practica Learning designed a one-on-one, telephone-based roleplay program that realistically simulates real emergency alarm calls. The program consisted of two sessions.
During the first session, each participant calls into Practica Learning for three roleplay calls. These include a burglary alarm, medical alarm and fire alarm. The agent must maintain control of the call while also gathering important information to pass along to first responders.
At the end of the third call/first session, each participant committed to an Action Plan consisting of areas of strength and development for future calls.
During the second session, which occurred one week later, each participant called into Practica Learning for another three roleplay calls. This time, the agent added the use of their internal computer system. The client created fictitious profiles in the system that matched the roleplay characters which allowed the agents to practice handling the emotional intensity while layering in the technical aspect of the job.
At the end of the second session, they updated their Action Plan to reflect the learning they took away from the course as a whole.
After completing the Practica Learning sessions, participants were much more confident in handling the emergency alarm calls and improved their skill sets throughout the process.
The participants reported an increase in their own perception of how ready they are to take alarm calls which will lead to a reduction in the retention issue to be measured over the next 3-6 months.