As a Role Player you will act as a family member of one of the persons affected by the crisis.
You will dial in and speak to one of the Call Center Agents (we will provide you a list of the agents taking part to the drill, their site location and phone number).
Agents’ interactions with the callers should be caring but as brief as possible, to be able to answer as many calls as possible. Realistically, those calls are screening calls and the Agents are expected to provide and collect information in a caring manner; those calls are not long calls as one would think, and certainly not the typical customer service calls. Callers are dependent on the Agent taking the call to get any information available at that time and, collecting their contact details, provides the caller with the reassurance that as soon as more confirmed information will be available, a member of our team will be in touch with them.
You will provide the information of your loved one and your contact details.
The list of names of those affected will be provided to you before the drill, via e-mail. You will be able to choose names from the list and make up your name and relationship to the person you are inquiring about.
You should be able to perform a minimum of 15 calls during the two hours. If you reach 15, please continue calling until the end of the drill – a combination of the call types below. You will be provided with a list of role plays, they will provide the scenarios and the expected outcomes/goals of each of the calls you make. Please use the role play sheets and choose names that are on the manifest (or not), in order to complete the calls.
Research and experience show that callers in traumatic situations are typically not angry, as they may be when making normal customer service calls. Calls are more realistic when role-players are trained to sound helpless and dependent upon the agents for information about their loved one.
Use the following emotions: Anxiety, Fear and dread, Denial.
Roleplay emotional calls, but please avoid anger, it is not typically expected in a real situation this early in a response. Anger is more likely shown when calls are not answered timely and the caller feels that the agent is as helpless as they are. And “anger” does not challenge the agent to think of “how” to deal with caller, as the only way to handle anger is to listen, validate and be patient. The other emotions are more challenging, like anxiety, fear, dread, etc. and cause the agent to have to listen and think more about how to manage the call.
Sample questions to ask Call Center Agents:
•How many people were hurt?
•What should I tell my Mom/family?
•When will they know more information?
•Who will call me back?
•How can I get to where my loved one is?
•Should I call the airline?
•Why the press is telling something different?
Regard each call you make as a training opportunity. Each role play is supposed to have a set goal which is to evaluate the knowledge and skills of the call center Agent and we will avoid putting unnecessary pressure on the call center Agents, to the point where they will not be able to perform/learn.
The Yerkes-Dodson Law
According to what is known as “The Yerkes-Dodson law,” performance increases with physiological or mental arousal (stress) but only up to a point. When the level of stress becomes too high, performance decreases.
There is an optimal degree of arousal that leads to optimal performance – if that level of stress is taken beyond this point, the performance becomes impaired because of strong anxiety. Our goal is to role play realistically and never cross that line where we put the Agent under so much stress that they are unable to perform. Keeping compassion consciousness at the forefront of all our actions, we want to show the call center Agents the care and respect they deserve and understand their position, while making the best of their time on drills with us to help them learn and practice.