Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Hilton customer service training: All fun and games

Studies have shown that playing video games at work benefits the workplace by decreasing employee stress and increasing productivity. While companies that embrace gaming for fun have seen positive results, what happens when video games are designed specifically to deliver employee training?

Last month, Hilton Garden Inn announced that it would be the first hotel chain to offer employee customer service training designed and created for use on Sony's PlayStation Portable (PSP).

"Now when the Hilton Garden Inn team members are caught playing with a PSP system on the job, they are met with smiles and words of encouragement," according to a company press release.

With the use of this interactive, game-based employee training software Hilton Garden Inn is hoping to establish itself as the "hospitality leader in employee training." The software, called Ultimate Team Play trains employees to understand the special needs of hotel guests in a game setting.

“We’re thrilled to take our game-based employee training program to a whole new level, or, in this case, a whole new gaming platform that is also portable, to create some of the most advanced, realistic and interactive training anywhere,” said Adrian Kurre, senior vice president – brand management for Hilton Garden Inn.

“Ultimate Team Play is part of our ongoing commitment to making employee training compelling and relevant, which are our two most important criteria for ensuring long-term customer service success.”

The goal of Hilton's new employee training program is to show hotel employees how their actions have a direct impact on the hotel and on each guest's mood. The training game puts employees in a 3-D, virtual hotel where they must respond to a number of guest-related requests by a specific deadline. As employees respond to guests correctly, the simulated guest's satisfaction increases.

The power tool giant Black & Decker has been using technology in a similar way to deliver employee training materials to workers on the go. Through mobile learning (or m-learning) the company delivers training content to PDAs and cell phones, providing flexibility for workers who may not sit behind a computer everyday.

Companies like Black & Decker and Hilton are breaking new ground by using video games and cell phones to deliver employee training. As technology improves and opens up to a more mainstream market, we may one day see it become the standard in employee training across the country.

Does your company currently use mobile learning or online resources to deliver employee training? Have you seen any clear benefits from using technology over traditional methods?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This philosophy is a perfect fit with an on-line training tool that I use...ToonUps are on-line training animations that can be put in powerpoint and sent as unlimited emails. ToonUps deliver customer service training messages with humor and can be sent along with customizable on-line quizzes as well as printable training guides and posters. ToonUps can be found at www.marstar.com

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