September 2020
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Virtual Reality Helps Soft Skills Training

Friday, September 18, 2020

People learn in various ways, but as the saying goes, experience is the best teacher. People learn best when they are doing and receiving real-time feedback, either from instructors or from the mistakes they are making and successes they are achieving. Because of this, virtual reality has shown promise as a training tool in various industries and applications. While it has mostly seen success in “hands-on” professions, for instance helping a mechanic take apart a digital engine and put it back together again, there are many ways VR can help other types of professionals as well. One of those ways is proving a consequence-free environment for practicing soft skills. It is immersive enough that learners will take the training seriously, but the environment is a safe space where people are less self-conscious than they would be interacting with real people. Verizon has taken advantage of this new technology to help train call center employees to de-escalate situations with frustrated customers. In doing so, they were able to reduce each employee's overall training time from 10 hours to only 30 minutes. “As they went back to work and we tracked their progress through the supervisors, the employees were much more confident, because they were more aware of themselves in how they were handling the customer,” said Cleo Scott, Verizon Business Services’ director of global L&D.

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