#BankTech / Banks try online games, role-playing to teach soft skills

Financial institutions such as Bank of America; JPMorgan Chase; OceanFirst Financial in Red Bank, New Jersey; and PlainsCapital Bank in Dallas have used a variety of techniques… to adapt customer service training to the digital realm – including gamification, video role-playing and testing different answers to questions.

Financial institutions can author their own content, including technology demos and role-playing scenarios. A game that teaches how to demonstrate mobile check deposit, for example, may pose questions that cause players to gain or lose customers depending on their answers.

The games can also teach soft skills for everyday conversations. For example, PlainsCapital is working on role-playing how to diffuse a difficult situation with a customer.

This twist on learning has been welcomed by employees. “We’ve received emails stating ‘I had a customer walk in with this situation, and I played a Lemonade game last week so I knew how to handle it'” … The bank has organized lotteries with prizes for high scorers, while individual branches have held their own informal competitions, where winners can choose lunch catering or the right to duck out an hour early.

“You don’t want to see your name at the bottom of the list,” Williams said. “It gives people incentive to play games again or a game they haven’t yet played to up their score.”