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Nexidia Seeks to Put Quality in Speech Analytics
The company's latest offering looks to tie individual agent performance more closely with corporate initiatives.
Posted Jan 12, 2010
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Quality monitoring (QM) in contact centers, for years, has largely been a manual process that looks to help out individual agents. A supervisor can sample a few calls, look for some different performance indicators, and assess whether or not a customer service representative needs additional training.

While this may work for individual agents and specific objectives within the contact center, it proves difficult to connect to broader company initiatives. With customer service looking to get a seat at the c-suite table, speech analytics company Nexidia recently unveiled ESI-Quality, the newest component of its Enterprise Speech Intelligence (ESI) software suite.

"Everyone knows that at its core, any change you're trying to make in the contact center starts at the agent level," says Jeff Schlueter, vice president of marketing and business development for Nexidia. "Change starts there, but what about having knowledge at the macro level?"

Looking to take QM from being a back-office process to one more on the front-end, an asset to help with real-time decisionmaking and agent coaching, ESI-Quality can tap into 100 percent of recorded customer interactions and apply speech analytics to help measure and improve quality, and consequently agent performance. "Existing QM systems are designed to focus on individual agent behavior, not tie into corporate objectives," Schlueter says. "That's why we took our solution to the next level."

With the latest offering, Nexidia provides its phonetic indexing and search technology to quantitatively analyze data sets, coaching, and performance management throughout a contact center organization -- including companies with multiple, distributed centers. Business users can configure which categories they would like to establish to tie in with corporate objectives, for example, average handle time or first call resolution for particular calls, deemed "Quality Initiatives".

Then, measurable performance goals are created to track these initiatives, with customizable parameters set in order to show which agents are performing up to par, and others requiring additional coaching. The solution then automatically categorizes and measures all calls for each agent, presenting the information in one report that shows agent performance against expectations for each initiative.

According to Schlueter, the solution is essentially recorder agnostic, meaning that contact centers with any legacy recording vendors can easily integrate. "We can translate that directly through a set of application programming interfaces, and integrate that closely," he says.

Keith Dawson, principal analyst of information and communication technologies at Frost & Sullivan, explains this offering has the potential to change the way many companies think about QM. "We think about it as a very manual, labor intensive process," he says. "I was struck by the degree of automation Nexidia is adding to the process of doing these quality evaluations."

Dawson is quick to add that it is not uncommon to see integrations between speech analytics and QM as part of the analytics process in suite solutions -- particularly in workforce optimization -- but "you don't quite see it baked into the QM in quite this way." "It's an interesting feature, one I suspect we'll be seeing more of going forward," he says.

According t o information provided by Nexidia, ESI-Quality is available immediately, and can be added as an option with any Nexidia ESI implementation -- on-site deployments or as part of the company's QuickStart and OnDemand hosted solutions.

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