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Header How TD is using virtual reality to kickstart the next evolution of customer service training
• May 29, 2024

For Michelle David, there's no better teacher than lived experience. David, a TD branch manager in Toronto, learned to support everyday customer interactions over the past 15 years by experiencing them first-hand. Each one helped her build the soft skills, institutional knowledge and confidence she needed to better support her customers.

"The impactful way to learn how to solve a more complex interaction with a customer was to have one and use it as a learning moment," said David.

Now, David's colleagues can gain that same experience before they ever step foot in front of a customer. Through TD Invent, the Bank's approach to innovation, 20 TD branches in Canada are piloting virtual reality (VR) headsets to simulate unique customer interactions so colleagues can learn how to address them in a safe space. In June, an additional 11 stores in the U.S. will begin using VR for training.

In VR, TD colleagues are learning to build the expertise and confidence to assist customers in a branch setting. In each simulation, they're transported to a virtual TD branch where they're approached by virtual customers.

Colleagues are tasked with resolving the inquiries of the virtual customers and to do so by practicing empathy and understanding — just like they would with a customer in a physical TD location. Following the training, they're able to review their performance and grade themselves so that they can learn from their mistakes.

The benefits of using this VR program for training are clear, according to a survey of TD colleagues who are participating in the pilot. Almost 80% said this VR program is more effective than traditional training, while 93% said their ability to retain the information they learned was either "high" or "very high."

The VR pilot program was showcased at this year's TD Tech and Innovation Day, an annual innovation showcase event. The pilot is another example of the Bank's focus on human-centered innovation and the use of emerging technologies to help solve problems for its customers, colleagues and communities.

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