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Scenario-based training on dealing with service user enquiries


  • E-learning
  • Video
  • Story/scenario driven

Walkgrove created an interactive, scenario-based e-learning module to train Age UK staff and volunteers on their initial responses to new service user enquiries.

The training need

The charity Age UK has 155 branches that each deal with over 4000 enquiries a year from older people seeking help and advice, including face-to-face and telephone contact. The first five minutes of interaction with a new client are particularly important in providing effective triage and signposting.

The charity identified a need to ensure consistent advice was being delivered at first point of contact. Age UK therefore required a bespoke e-learning solution for new and existing advice staff and volunteers that would strengthen their response during initial client interactions. The charity needed to develop the relevant communication skills and positive behavioural techniques of their workforce, as well as improve advisers’ knowledge and confidence regarding how to refer new clients appropriately for further support.

Our bespoke learning solution

Walkgrove created a one-hour custom e-learning module made of five interactive scenarios. Each scenario represented the first five minutes of service user engagement with Age UK advisers and focused on how to deliver an empathetic and effective first response. No time was spent on theory; instead, learners were immediately asked to interact with one of five characters in a typical client-facing situation and had to decide what to do at different stages of the conversation. After completing each interaction, learners were offered detailed feedback according to their choices, and advised on best practice. This powerful ‘learning by doing’ approach allowed learners to build on their existing knowledge of interpersonal skills and learn from feedback on the consequences of their actions.

Walkgrove used professional actors to create the mixture of video, audio and image-based scenarios because such techniques make realistic and emotionally engaging reconstructions of everyday client interactions. This pedagogical approach is also ideal for facilitating learning about communication skills, such as tone of voice and body language. The challenging and immersive learning scenarios were supported with optional on-screen learning aids, which gave advisers relevant practical tips on communication topics such as active listening, reflecting, reading visual cues, and positive physical responses.