Conversational AI for Faster and More Effective Customer Service Training

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed consumers’ expectations for the customer experience. Customer interactions are frequently online, through websites and other digital tools. Customers expect support when they need it, which could be any day, anytime. The pandemic also changed customer service work. Customer service increasingly utilizes online tools. Most customer service and support functions shifted to working from home during the pandemic, and service representatives came to value the convenience of working from home. Customer service departments are short of staff and experience high turnover, so they continue to offer flexible work options.

Customer service training programs must adapt to this new reality. They must train people as rapidly as possible so that they are ready to be productive, even if they lack experience. In-person training seminars are no longer practical since representatives are working from home. Training must cover technology skills (e.g., how to use online tools) and people skills (e.g., how to communicate empathetically with customers).

Conventional training methods do not meet the needs of today’s customer service representatives. Some focus on customer service scripts that standardize customer interactions. It is difficult to show empathy with the customer, and offer solutions to the customer’s problems, when following a script. Role-play exercises are harder to organize when representatives are working from home. Many customer service reps find role-plays to be embarrassing, and they get flustered when they practice in front of their peers.

At Alelo we have extensive experience using conversational AI technology to train interpersonal skills and critical thinking skills, which are essential for good customer service. Alelo technology and methods achieve results in a fraction of the time of conventional passive instruction. Trainees can access them online anytime, at home or wherever is convenient for them. Because trainees are not practicing in front of their peers, the embarrassment factor is eliminated. Because the training solutions are AI-driven, they easily scale to meet the ongoing needs of large customer service departments.

Training addresses the core competencies needed to connect with people (communication, emotional intelligence) and address their needs(critical thinking, problem-solving, upselling, and cross-selling). Trainees practice their skills with conversational AIs that simulate authentic customer conversations. They apply core customer service competencies in their conversations, instead of following scripts.

Alelo’s Enskill® upskilling and reskilling platform collects data from each trainee interaction, automatically analyzes it, measures performance, and provides immediate feedback. Training managers can access analytics online and track each trainee’s progress toward competency.

Customer service representatives must have deep product knowledge so that they can understand customer problems and offer customer solutions. Alelo uses a Socratic questioning method in which AI-driven avatars probe the trainees’ product knowledge. Trainees who can explain products to the avatar are well prepared to explain products to customers.

If you would like more information about how Alelo technology and methods can address the training needs of your customer service team, contact us at and request a demonstration.

Related content: Conversational AI Checklist for HR Managers: 10 Questions to Ask Your Training Simulation Provider

About The Author

Lewis Johnson

Dr. W. Lewis Johnson is President of Alelo and an internationally recognized expert in AI in education. He won DARPA’s Significant Technical Achievement Award and the I/ITSEC Serious Games Challenge, and was a finalist in XPRIZE Rapid Reskilling. He has been a past President of the International AI in Education Society, and was co-winner of the 2017 Autonomous Agents Influential Paper Award for his work in the field of pedagogical agents. He is regularly invited to speak at international conferences for distinguished organizations such as the National Science Foundation.

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