Case Study: Barclaycard Drives Learning and Fun With Training Games
As the lead instructional designer at Barclaycard, Walter Gill must ensure that the 17,000 domestic and international phone agents not only learn the details about their products, but prove mastery. “It’s challenging to try to make the material exciting and engaging,” he said.
Last year he found a way to do it: the leaderboard. He did this by leveraging The Game Agency’s DIY game-authoring tool, The Training Arcade®.
Gill knows it’s exciting because 85% of agents who play the game and pass on the first try take play the game again. And again. “That was something I did not think was going to happen,” he said. They did this not only because it’s fun, but because they are competitive and want to get on that leaderboard. A spot on the leaderboard gives the international crew bragging rights, while the game itself is engaging and challenging. It’s been equally popular with Barclaycard agents in Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Gill started with The Training Arcades’s Trivia game, a fun, competitive game with leaderboards, points, streaks and timers. The assessment questions are offered randomly, with a large selection available. The agent receives 10 multiple choice or true/false questions and a different order each time they retake it. The status bar time ticks down by the second for the agents to respond, and they find out immediately after each question if they were correct. The agents must prove they have mastery over the material with time limitations, in an adrenaline-fueled experience.
“They need to be at the top of their game on the account they’re talking about,” Gill said. The questions mimic the type of questions and scenarios they may experience when answering customer questions about specific product nuances. The training teaches them these nuances and details, and The Training Arcade games assess their mastery.
It is working. “I hear from managers that the agents love this format,” he said. Plus, Gill sees the data. The agents pass the assessment and in overwhelming numbers, take it again multiple times to do better on the leaderboard, showing their competitive spirit. The added advantage is more exposure and interaction with the training material in a quick-responding format.
A new generation of training games
Barclaycard began using The Training Arcade in 2020 as the final step after their video-based training modules were completed.
The financial services company’s past foray into developing an interactive learning tool involved creating an enchanted land where agents completed tasks and earned gems. “It was fun, but it was a headache to create,” he said. The agents love that game, and play it multiple times because they like the characters and journeys. “Now we’re getting the same results and impact with The Training Arcade.” And bonus: it’s a lot easier to build.
Gill doesn’t have a programming background. Fortunately that’s not needed by customers using The Training Arcade games. “It’s super easy and intuitive,” he said. “My mom could probably make a game in half an hour – it’s that easy.” Gill takes his team’s questions and answers, and pastes them into the dashboard. Within minutes, he said, the game is ready to go.
An added benefit to Barclaycard using The Training Arcade is the metrics. Previously Barclaycard couldn’t access the depth of metrics they wanted from their assessments. The Training Arcade can tell them if users have missed a specific question 90% of the time, for example. The instructional designers can then review the effectiveness of the training and make adjustments, if a topic needs more coverage.
Barclaycard requires a record showing the agents passed the assessment. Since their other training materials are in SAP’s SuccessFactors, a cloud-based Human Experience Management System (HXM), they did not want to have to consult a separate system to show compliance and a passing rate. So, The Game Agency worked with Gill to import his assessment results right into SuccessFactors via his Storyline 360 by Articulate video-based learning solution. “The Game Agency went above and beyond in getting the coding I needed, so it works flawlessly,” he said.
2021: Rolling out more games
This year Barclaycard plans to roll out JEOPARDY!®, an officially-licensed game in The Training Arcade. “I believe it will have a great impact on learners as we start to hire again and have them come in through the building,” Gill said. “Coming through this pandemic, you need something that will boost them up, and games do that.”
The instructional design group is also talking about other games from The Training Arcade that they could use for individual departments. They may implement a scenario-based game for their fraud department, for example. “There are so many avenues to go down.”
While the current prize for Barclaycard agents using the Trivia game is bragging rights when they appear on the leaderboard, the company is looking at adding prizes as well. Some of The Training Arcade’s other subscribers find that prizes like gift cards, a day off, or lunch with an executive, is good for motivating employees to engage with the games. “Our first game was extremely well received,” Gill said. “Now that we see the interaction, prizes are on the horizon.”