Automate Accent Neutralization: Case Study Microsoft

Verbal Transactions has a unique training environment designed to accelerate the rate in which it takes for call center agents to reach a mastery level of proficiency. One of their first large clients was Microsoft.

They saw tremendous value in how Verbal Transactions call center simulation platform, ACES, could help get their front-line Microsoft Office support personnel up to speed quickly.

What is ACES?

ACES (Accelerated Cognitive Engagement System), is a self-contained digital platform that can replicate any call center software platform that agents use to engage in customer interactions. ACES leverages speech recognition and AI to create an automatic way of ensuring the agent is verbally responding correctly to the simulated customer. If the software can’t understand their response or they give an incorrect response, the simulator will provide an automatic response via a coaching bot, to inform the agent that they did not provide the correct response and ask them to attempt it again. Each incorrect response is noted in an analytics reporting system managers have access to.

In this first project with Microsoft, they targeted one of their BPO call centers in Vietnam to test this out on. After one week of using ACES, Microsoft trainers informed Verbal Transactions they felt the simulator wasn’t working properly.

When they dived into why they thought the simulator was not working properly, what they discovered was that the agent’s accents were too heavy, and the software was not able to “hear” their responses as a correct input

Conclusion: The simulator was working exactly as it should have!

Verbal Transactions revised the simulations to allow the agents to have up to three attempts to provide the correct verbal response. On the second attempt, the built-in automatic coach would speak to them and ask them to slow down their response and annunciate more clearly.

If an agent was not able to get through by the third attempt, the reporting system would indicate that they were not able to provide the correct response for each section of the simulation they performed incorrectly. The onsite manager would then decide whether or not to move them over to the chat support group or not to allow them to move beyond the training period.

This has now become a standard style of designing simulations for any Microsoft call center using the ACES simulator.