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Farmers Insurance® and Talespin Announce Collaboration on Leadership and Communication Skills Training with AI-Powered Virtual Human Technology

WOODLAND HILLS, Calif.May 1, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Farmers Insurance has announced the development of a virtual human training program in collaboration with Talespin, the leading developer of enterprise XR solutions. Farmers Insurance will deliver a virtual reality (VR) training curriculum that focuses on simulating critical workplace conversations and helping employees practice key interpersonal skills.

Leadership and communication skills, often referred to as ‘interpersonal skills,’ are the fundamental attributes that allow people to communicate effectively and are critical for employees as they interact with colleagues and customers in the workplace. The first employee communication training applications Farmers® and Talespin are working on focus on simulating vendor collaboration and communication with customers. These training modules are intended to help improve the overall customer experience by focusing on the moments that may matter most.

Farmers Insurance is using Talespin’s Virtual Human Technology to simulate conversations with customers and vendors. 

"At Farmers Insurance, technology is a constant investment driven by our commitment to improve the customer experience at every point of engagement," said Tim Murray, Head of Claims Shared Services at Farmers Insurance. "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."

- Tim Murray , Head of Claims Shared Services at Farmers Insurance

Talespin’s virtual human technology uses VR and artificial intelligence (AI) to realistically simulate critical workplace conversations. Training scenarios built with the platform use virtual environments, speech recognition, natural language processing, and realistic body language to simulate conversations with customers and colleagues. The virtual environment offers employees a safe space to hone their communication skills.

“Executives today view soft skills as some of the most critical components of career success,” said Kyle Jackson, CEO 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.”

Previously, Farmers Insurance teamed up with Talespin to create a VR training application that helps claims representatives practice home damage assessments. Trainees can navigate through an intuitive, gamified learning course with more than 500 simulated damage combinations and scenarios. This tool has been beneficial in the areas of accelerating learning, confidence building, and reducing time and travel costs related to training programs. Since launching the VR training application, the majority of Farmers Insurance employees who experienced the module have provided positive feedback on the training simulation.

In 2019, Farmers will continue to embrace technology and innovation in its training practices by incorporating the new virtual human interpersonal skills training program. The VR software is designed to write to a person’s memory like a real experience would, and is supplementary to existing training curriculums. By implementing this program, Farmers Insurance will deliver impactful, emotionally realistic training experiences for its employees with dynamic, measurable feedback that allows trainees to learn best practices and improve as they go.