Expediting onboarding in telecommunications with Retorio's AI
Amidst swift changes in the market environment and the rollout of novel products, effective onboarding is critical for companies seeking to keep up with demands and excel in customer service. For one of our clients, one of the largest players in the telecommunications industry, optimizing its call center onboarding procedure and getting new employees ramped up as efficiently as possible to deliver exceptional support was a significant challenge they wanted to tackle.
The previous onboarding approach was predominantly theory-based and incorporated limited opportunities for trainees to practically apply their knowledge before being considered fully tenured. The final assessment at the end of the training, which determined whether the new hires were ready to become official call center employees, was often the first client interaction they had. Due to the lack of practical application during onboarding, newly tenured employees often lacked the confidence to take on client calls after the induction phase.
The objective was clear: Allow more realistic interaction opportunities to increase self-efficacy in new hires during the induction phase and increase final assessment success scores.
With the mission to find an innovative training solution that would optimize the practical training duration for new hires and thus, expedite the entire onboarding process, the telecommunications provider turned to Retorio for a pilot project for their new hires in India and Egypt.
During the pilot, trainees were given 24/7 access to Retorio’s AI-powered behavioral intelligence platform to enhance their essential interpersonal skills in call handling - from managing challenging customers to confidently navigating through critical scenarios. Retorio was tested using the A/B testing principle
Harnessing Retorio's expertise in immersive training role-plays emerged as a transformative element that ultimately played a pivotal role in efficiently onboarding talent. The new onboarding process proved to foster high levels of engagement from trainees, and the impressive pass rate of 100% during the final assessment of trainees using Retorio underscored the value of increasing the practical training time.
A lack of real-world application during the induction phase, thus fully tenured reps still feel hesitant during real client calls.
Newly tenured call center reps take longer to reach sufficient experience level if they don’t have enough practical training during onboarding.
Pilot Retorio’s AI-Powered Behavioral Intelligence Platform to enhance the practical part of onboarding for the customer care teams. This initiative aims to allow more practical training time during onboarding, increase the success rates of new hires, elevate the proficiency level of recently tenured call center reps, and consequently, ultimately, improve the company’s overall customer satisfaction.
Maximized practical phase of onboarding.
Speed-to-competency of new hires increased by 33%.
Highly engaged onboarding phase with realistic role-play training.
100% pass rate within A/B test when training new hires with Retorio. (Control groups achieved 50%-67%.)
Training efficiency increased by 69%.
As the company’s traditional onboarding approach relied heavily on human trainers, it resulted in limitations in both training capacity (theoretical and practical aspects) and the speed of skill acquisition. Due to this limitation, the onboarding focused predominantly on the theoretical foundation, such as product knowledge, conflict resolution strategies, etc. Consequently, practical training components were lacking, leaving new hires with limited exposure to actual client interactions during the onboarding phase.
Human trainers could only do two role-plays per month, per employee, and new hires required at least 20 role-plays before they were considered ready for their first live call. With a group of 20 new hires, factoring in preparation and follow-up, about 520 hours of human trainer time were required each month.
Ensuring adequate engagement from all new hires during this time also posed a hurdle. With the existing method, the onboarding process for this major telecommunications company spanned a total of eight weeks. However, by allowing new hires to have more practice during the onboarding stage (i.e., the important factor for call center training), the speed to competency should significantly increase.
“I compared the ones who used Retorio and the ones who didn’t. I can see the difference in confidence level, the way they spoke, and on NPS, when it comes to the ones who used Retorio.”
The telecommunications company made the decision to pilot Retorio’s Behavioral Intelligence Platform, an AI-powered video training platform, for a proof-of-value project. This way, they could measure the cost-benefit effectiveness of Retorio's training platform in empowering their new hires in their service department before implementing it on a wider scale.
In the A/B test, the performance of users trained with Retorio was compared against a control group in order to directly compare the effectiveness of Retorio’s platform. During this time, the test groups, who were new hires from Egypt and India’s customer call centers, were given access to Retorio’s AI-generated role-play simulations to support their practical onboarding phase. The project was executed within six months.
Project success was measured by:
Learner feedback (e.g. NPS scores)
Learner engagement (usage)
Learner performance (exam passed)
The Behavioral Intelligence Platform simulated different customer call interactions with various inquiries, providing an opportunity for the cohort to practice realistic scenarios they’d likely face in the role. Once the AI understood and interpreted the behavior from the video data, it provided trainees with personalized feedback on performance and analyzed to what extent the trainee's responses matched the goals of the organization. Additionally, the AI gave feedback on how the trainees communicated their responses, from facial expressions, body language, tone of voice to language.
By learning from top performers and using behavioral insights, Retorio’s AI provided insightful feedback to the new hires on their performance, shaping their behavior, and improving their communication, which they could directly implement into their next call.
With this modern learning approach of AI-powered simulations, trainees receive the opportunity to speak freely during their training sessions, actively retrieve knowledge, and, like in real life, react immediately in a psychologically safe environment. This creates an environment where trainees experience a strong sense of presence and immersion without judgment or external influences. Retorio exclusively applies objective, transparent, and scientifically sound research, providing the call center trainees with fact-based, trustworthy feedback.
“I can actually know how to speak better to the customers and make them feel better about the conversation. We get rid of the panic that we usually get on the first call.“
A huge part of effective performance management lies in measuring training effectiveness and providing trainees with instant, personalized feedback on their training performance.
Unlike other remote learning platforms that typically measure variables such as number of modules completed, or access times, Retorio’s AI-powered training platform provides an objective, systematic method for behavioral data capture.
This gives the trainee valuable insight into their soft skill performance, and crucially, ROI.
The integration of Retorio's Behavioral Intelligence Platform marked a significant turning point in enhancing the efficiency of training by maximizing practical training opportunities and expediting the journey to competence for the customer care department in the telecommunications company.
Measured across multiple dimensions, the success was resoundingly evident after the proof-of-value project.
Learner engagement and exam performance underscored the positive impact of Retorio's Al-powered roleplays, while learner feedback, indicated by Net Promoter Scores (NPS), further validated the platform's efficacy. Trainer feedback and acceptance reaffirmed the AI platform's value in enhancing training usability, and the reliance on AI-driven simulations for the practical element yielded significant cost savings.
A quantitative and qualitative survey post-training revealed that the participants and trainers perceived Retorios AI-powered roleplays as helpful and relevant.
The project's averaged results:
NPS: 8.3 / 10
User confidence: 8.3 / 10
Perceived helpfulness: 8.51 / 10
Realism of role plays: 8.3 / 10
Retorio’s suitability as assessment preparation: 8.5 / 10
Further, the participants that had access to Retorio achieved a 100% pass rate in the onboarding, versus the control groups, which achieved 50% - 67% pass rates.
The pilot project essentially showed that, with the obvious limitation of trainer availability to conduct in-person role-plays across the entire customer care team, Retorio’s AI has the potential to elevate the skill set of the entire customer care workforce by providing unlimited role-play training opportunities, which has solidified their decision to essentially extend Retorio beyond the pilot phase with a specific goal:
Training efficiency enhancement
26 hours per new hire
8 hours per new hire
Accelerated speed to competency
Cost savings with increased productivity
Newly onboarded hires make 600 calls in the first week.
Newly onboarded hires make 720 calls in the first week.
ROI maximization with increased productivity
(A new hire in India costs approx. EUR 5570, and EUR 2900 in Egypt.)
Approx. 150 new hires start in India, and 100 in Egypt, monthly.
With a shorter ramp-up time and maximized productivity, a total saving of 800,000 annually.
As practical training and personalized instant feedback align perfectly with the prerequisites for success in sales, the potential for Retorio’s immersive capabilities extends beyond customer care, hinting at a transformative impact on the sales department in the future.