Farmers Insurance and Talespin develop VR training curriculum

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Farmers Insurance is working with Talespin to develop a virtual reality (VR) training programme for critical workplace conversations and interpersonal skills.

The first employee communication training applications that the US insurer and extended reality (XR) training company Talespin are working on focus on simulating vendor collaboration and communication with customers.

Farmers and Talespin previously created a VR training application that helps claims representatives practice home damage assessments.

In that simulation, trainees navigate through an intuitive, gamified learning course with more than 500 simulated damage combinations and scenarios.

Farmers said the tool has accelerated learning, improved confidence and reduced time and travel costs related to training programmes.

Since launching the VR training application, the majority of the insurer’s employees who experienced the module have provided positive feedback on the training simulation.

Tim Murray, head of claims shared services at Farmers, said: “At Farmers Insurance, technology is a constant investment driven by our commitment to improve the customer experience at every point of engagement. By implementing Talespin’s virtual human training technology, we will enable our claims representatives to practice critical interpersonal situations and complement our current training processes, empowering our employees and continuing to offer our customers quality service.”

“Executives today view soft skills as some of the most critical components of career success,” added Kyle Jackson, chief executive officer and co-founder of Talespin. “However, training nuanced skills like communication and active listening is a challenge. By using virtual humans and VR, employees now have a way to practice their most challenging workplace conversations. We’re excited to continue our work with Farmers Insurance on training innovation by introducing this technology to their training practices.”

California-based Talespin launched its VR soft skills training tool for employee learning and development earlier this year.

Talespin’s tool presents trainees with a safe, repeatable learning environment to practice interpersonal and leadership skills such as communication, negotiating and conflict resolution.

When using the tool, trainees interact with a virtual human, or character, that uses speech recognition, artificial intelligence, natural language processing and narrative branching to realistically simulate a conversation.

Image credit: Farmers Insurance