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Price: Base system starts at $100,000; specific price depends on implementation, services and options.
Simulation training is a relatively new idea in the contact center, but its benefits are already becoming apparent. Studies have shown that customer service and satisfaction are greatly enhanced because of these training programs, but the degree to which these programs help depends on the specific program and how it is implemented. There are programs that offer anything from general simulation, that may be geared toward a contact center but not to a specific company or industry, to those that are implemented based on a company's particular contact center needs. Ulysses Learning's CallMentor, reviewed in the May 2001 issue of Customer Inter@ctions Solutions[TM], offers an example of more general simulation. Now, TMC[TM] Labs offers a look at a product from the other end of the simulation/training spectrum -- Simtrex's StarTrainer.
StarTrainer is separated into three different components: StarDesigner (the developer software), the Student Administrator and StarRunner (the client software). When StarTrainer is implemented, Simtrex works with the customer to plan and develop a training program, which closely simulates a specific system and situation that a contact center representative would experience when dealing with a real-world consumer. StarDesigner is a developmental tool used during the implementation stage, which usually takes approximately six weeks to accomplish. In this time, scheduling and planning is conducted, content is collected, a set of scenarios is developed and an average of two weeks of training on the new system is provided. There are usually six scenarios with each simulation varying in terms of what is being said, the caller's voice and other variations of a call.
Student Administrator. While we did not look at StarDesigner because it is primarily a development tool, we did log into the Student Administrator and added, a few users to the system. To create a new user, we simply used typical Windows conventions, typed in general information and selected the type of user from a drop-down list (trainer, student, designer, etc.). New departments, classes and courses can be established if the server is set-up for this type of entry. Reports for simulation topics such as course content, lesson scores and user assignments can be created. In...