How to Increase Digital Fluency by 172%

We recently sat down with one of our banking clients to go over the results from their latest digital fluency program.

I’ll be honest with you; it was a pretty exciting conversation.

Before the training, less than 1/3 of their employees felt confident recommending digital products to customers. A few months later that number had risen to 87%.

That’s a 172% increase in just a couple months.

Not bad, right?

Since digital fluency is a challenge for many banks, I thought I’d share what we did — and how you can replicate the strategy in your own initiatives.

1. Use Game-Based Training to Make the Basics Fun

Before your employees recommend a product to customers, they need to understand how it works and why it's beneficial.

But product information can be boring to learn about. Slideshows and pdfs just aren’t compelling enough to capture your employees attention. Engagement can be a real challenge.

That’s where game-based learning comes in.

With a game-based learning program you can teach employees the value of each product — as well as benefits and features. You can adjust the levels so they build on basic knowledge, learning more information without being overwhelmed. And because the training is fun, employees will play for longer periods of time. That increased engagement helps to improve retention.

Just consider how much time you want employees to spend on your training games. We’ve had to limit play time because our client's employees were spending too much time playing the training games!

2. Develop Hard Skills on How Products Work with Simulations

After employees understand the basics it’s time to get more in-depth. No one recommends things they don't understand. 

The best way we've found to to do that is with product simulations. Simulations allow employees to practice using your bank’s digital products in a risk-free environment. This helps to build their confidence — and ensures they can speak to customers about how to use each product.

However, getting people to use these simulations can be challenging. Most banks already have simulations, but they are buried on their intranet, or otherwise hard to access.

To solve this, we integrated simulations into our client’s new training program. This helped drive more traffic to their existing simulations. We also tracked who was using the simulations from within the training program. This let our client reach out to any employees who weren’t participating.


3. Build Your Employees’ Confidence with Role-Play Scenarios

It’s one thing to memorize the benefits of a product. It’s another thing to recommend those products to customers based on their needs.

You need to build your employees’ confidence so they are comfortable making recommendations. Otherwise, they likely won’t do it.

The best way we’ve found to do this is with role-play scenarios.

Role-play scenarios let you simulate actual customer experiences. Employees can then practice spotting opportunities to recommend products. As employees practice, the act of recommending product starts to become a habit. This encourages them to apply the training to their day-to-day activities.

4. Keep Your Knowledge Base Available 24/7

A great training program only works if people use it.

One way to boost participation is to make your training available on-demand. Instead of pulling employees away for a full day course, they can fit training in when they have time.

This works especially well with the strategy I’ve outlined above, because the components are bite-sized. Employees can spend 5 minutes playing and get a quick refresher on key information.

Allowing employees to access training on-demand also helps take some pressure off front-line staff. Instead of trying to remember how a product works, they can look up the information they need, when they need it. For example, a support staff member could use  a simulator to help troubleshoot a problem over the phone.

Another important part of driving participation is promoting your program internally. You need to have a plan to get employees to participate — whether that's sending email reminders, or getting support from management.  Employees need to know the program exists, and feel comfortable playing it at work.

5. Measure Everything

With technology rolling out faster, finding and addressing employee knowledge gaps is critical. But finding those gaps requires a system that is able to measure both individual and group learning.

In other words, the pass/fail/participate “tracking” your LMS provides doesn’t really cut it.

We use big data analytics to measure all of our client’s training programs. This helps us evaluate the program’s efficacy, and identify knowledge gaps in real time.

For example, we found that 75% of our client’s employees didn’t know customers could reset their passwords online. Without big data analytics, that knowledge gap would never have come to light — and our client wouldn’t have been able to take steps to remedy it.

What Can You Do To Get Similar Results?

Remember: no one recommends products they don’t understand.

If you want your staff to be a digital evangelists, you need to ensure they’re both digitally fluent and confident recommending products to customers.

Some best practices you can use to build an effective digital fluency program are:

  • Use game-based learning to make learning about your products fun

  • Create product simulations to teach employees how to use them

  • Integrate your simulations with your training to drive traffic to them

  • Use role-play scenarios to help employees gain the confidence they need to recommend products to your customers

  • Keep your training modules bite-sized and available on-demand

  • Promote your program to your employees

  • Get management buy-in so employees feel comfortable playing at work

  • Measure everything so you can identify knowledge gaps and take steps to address them

The important thing is to build both product knowledge and confidence recommending products. Both are necessary to turn your staff into a driving force for digital adoption.