The connection between flight simulators, agent attrition and better outcomes – Interview with Brian Tuite of Zenerate


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Today’s interview is with Brian Tuite, the cofounder & CEO of Zenarate, a leader in developing top-performing customer-facing teams through AI Conversation Simulation. Brian joins me today to talk about agent turnover and attrition and how much of that is driven by the level of training, preparation and support that agents receive and how they are leveraging AI and simulation training to help solve this perennial problem and improve outcomes for both customers and employees.

This interview follows on from my recent interview – The crucial role of constant storytelling and change management in our transformation – Interview with Nadia Ness of Ikea – and is number 462 in the series of interviews with authors and business leaders that are doing great things, providing valuable insights, helping businesses innovate and delivering great service and experience to both their customers and their employees.

Here are the highlights of my chat with Brian:

  • Agent turnover and attrition is a perennial problem in the service, support and contact center space.
  • Attrition is highest amongst new agents, and a lot of this is about how well prepared they are to deal with the different queries they have to face and the pressure they also face to perform.
  • Zenerate’s AI Coach is a lot like a flight simulator that pilots use to learn how to fly a plane and helps agents practice how to respond to different scenarios.
  • AI Coach complements other training materials…..classroom sessions, taking tests and quizzes, going through powerpoint decks and watching videos.
  • Works across voice and text based channels and challenges in 15 different languages.
  • There’s no scripting anywhere in the platform except for some compliance use cases.
  • It’s not just for new agents but also for things like brushing up on old skills and introducing new policies and products/services etc.
    • For example, say an agent is struggling with empathy. They can be assigned a set of stories (simulations) with the AI Coach where they can go and practice and get some coaching on particular call types or skill gaps before returning to live calls, confident and proficient where I previously they would have struggled.
  • Agents can do this training remotely and also have the ability to share a completed simulation with their trainer or manager for their review.
  • Bank of America, as an example, implemented AI coach across all functions to help every customer facing associate at the bank master their role and interactions with not only customers but also fellow colleagues.
  • Difficult conversations don’t just happen with customers.
  • We’ve really been helped by the fact that the use of our platform doesn’t require live data or any kind of IT integration and can be run from a browser.
  • Clients, like Bank of America, typically see results like an increase of 56% in their speed to proficiency, a 22% improvement in conversion rates, a rise of 33% in their CSAT scores, a reduction of around 32% in their employee attrition rates and also that the use of AI Coach is helping them be more attractive to new recruits.
  • When you think about the agent, it’s likely that the agent is your only human connection with your customer prospect. So, invest in them.
  • Brian’s Punk CX word(s): Human connection
  • Brian’s Punk XL brand: Elevance Health (formerly Anthem)

About Brian

Brian Tuite 2Brian Tuite is co-founder & CEO of Zenarate, a leader in developing top-performing customer-facing teams through AI Conversation Simulation.

Brian’s background includes enterprise, private equity and VC leadership. He’s held executive positions at MBNA, Bank of America, and SquareTwo Financial. He’s an experienced contact center leader and understands how today’s automation is leaving agents with the most demanding problems to solve. Brian formed Zenarate’s AI Conversation Simulation vision developing top-performing customer-facing teams around the globe.

Find out more about Zenarate, say Hi to them on Twitter @ZenarateAICoach and feel free to connect with Brian on LinkedIn here.

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay


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