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Using Experiential Learning to Train Customer Service Staff in a Post Pandemic World

Experiential learning techniques, often hailed as the learning techniques of the future, advocate developing new skills through first-hand experience rather than relying on theoretical knowledge.

This form of learning seems particularly suited to training within the hotel and customer service industries, where it seems obvious that handling challenging situations would be more beneficial for employees than merely watching a video about customer service. In a post pandemic world, gaining hands-on training has been more problematic – that is why using Immersion Studio has been so successful over the last few months – it can be used online with groups of participants OR face to face if circumstances allow.

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This viewpoint is corroborated by evidence from a learning programme for hospitality students, which found that students who participated in an experiential learning programme had an increased ability to adapt to change and a greater understanding of how hospitality organisations function.

Furthermore, hospitality leaders who participated in interviews at a leading UK hospitality training provider were in agreement that one of the most effective methods of developing self confidence in the customer service industry was through experience.

However, gaining experience in specific situations can be down to chance as it is dependent on the situation actually arising. Another issue is that hospitality employees don’t get the chance to practise how they will handle a situation until they are actually faced with it, and a negative customer experience can knock employee confidence going forward.

Our roleplay simulation platform, Immersion Studio, has been developed to allow hospitality and customer service staff to practise difficult interactions in a safe environment by interacting with our virtual avatars using experiential learning techniques.

Immersion Studio is easily accessible through a web browser and operates in real time. Nothing is pre-recorded and avatars, who react according to exactly what the participant says or does, are controlled by our Simulation Specialists.

Studies have shown that interacting with a realistic human avatar can replicate similar feelings to that which may occur when dealing with a challenging situation with a real customer; however, unlike real life interactions, Immersion Studio allows participants to re-attempt a scenario until they are satisfied with the outcome.

We have several customer service builds and a variety of different adult avatars, allowing us to create scenarios such as a lost guest hotel reservation or a customer complaint regarding the service they have received.

We can also create custom scenarios to support your teams in areas that they are specifically struggling with, or recreate a specific situation that an employee wishes they had handled differently. This allows employees to handle a wide variety of scenarios in a calm and efficient manner, perfecting their customer service skills to go above and beyond what customers expect.

If you would like more information about how Immersion Studio can be used to train people in your organisation, contact us on 01270 449 165 or email hello@connecttotraining.co.uk.

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