A product recently released by speech analytic software vendor Nexidia assesses the spoken language skills of call centre employees, helping businesses make sure customers can understand customer service representatives.
Nexidia specialises in phonetic-based technology for audio and video search that is used for e-discovery in the legal, healthcare, financial services, insurance and other industries.
Earlier this month, it released Nexidia Language Assessor, which automates the testing of a person’s fluency and pronunciation, and is designed for the recruitment of call centre representatives and training of existing ones.
The automated tool analyses recordings of call centre applicants reading scripted paragraphs, and measures them based on pronunciation, fluency and speed. Applicants who say “mm” or “ah” often or whose readings simply don’t match the script might not be quite fluent, says Chris Jeffs, Nexidia’s vice president of product management. Employers may also be concerned about the speed of speech.
“Too fast tends to be bad because it’s difficult to comprehend,” Jeffs says. “Too slow is concerning to call centres because if you have a very slow call centre representative, you’ll have very slow calls that tend to be more costly.”
The scripts applicants must read include common language and words and phrases.
A recent survey found that two-thirds of customers will consider switching to a different vendor when they have a bad call centre experience. Customers are often left unsatisfied by offshore call centre representatives, the survey found. Callcentre employees who speak clearly resolve customer problems 88% of the time, while those with poor communication skills resolve problems only 45% of the time, according to the survey.
“It’s well understood that language barriers have a direct impact on customer experience,”Jeffs says.
The software is available in 33 languages and variations of languages, including North American English, UK English, German, Russian and Japanese.