Voice-Driven Assessments Predict Which Candidates Will Provide Best CX
Over the years, while helping companies solve issues with speech analytics, we couldn’t help but notice how the voice qualities of the agent seemed to have a strong influence on each call’s outcome. And evidence has proven that out.
Taking it a step further, we found analysis of the human voice during the prehire process allows recruiters to not only measure for the skills, language ability and problem-solving capabilities desired, but also gives much deeper insights into what kind of employee they would be hiring—before they even reach a human evaluation. Combined with other prehire assessments, voice analysis becomes an even stronger predictor of a hire’s success, retention length, and customer success KPIs. Recruiters can also reduce bias by removing appearance and content from the equation.
Thanks to innovative AI technology that analyzes a candidate’s voice in a virtual interview to determine his or her emotional intelligence and behavioral characteristics, you can now tailor your prehire efforts around predicting which candidates will become the best agents before you even waste a breath on a first-round interview.
How can this all be gathered from a person’s voice? The process is simple: An applicant calls into the system and answers prerecorded open-ended interview questions. Once the responses are recorded, software immediately evaluates hundreds of prosodic cues detected within the voice and matches those with machine-learned behavioral models developed to match the ideal contact center position. Adding voice analysis to your prehire strategies can become a key indicator of which candidates will become successful agents—and which will create successful customer satisfaction experiences.
According to Talent Development Advisors, 80% of turnover is due to bad hires, with customer satisfaction cited as a leading indirect cost of poor hiring practices.
How to Increase Customer Satisfaction through Predictive Hiring
The ideal first step is evaluating your current agents. Every company has their rock star agents. They’re the ones who pick up on training quickly, go above and beyond for your customers, are team players and raise the morale of those around them. Oftentimes, these agents also get promoted to higher positions leaving more open seats to fill. If only there was a way to clone them!
Begin by picking out your top performers and think about what it is about them that is so valuable to the company. Is it their ability to retain information? Is it their empathy on difficult phone calls? One important measurement to consider is their Transactional Net Promoter Scores (tNPS). Other metrics worth reviewing are First-Call Resolution rates, Average Handle Time and Issue Resolution percentages. Spend some time finding these top performers and record what they bring to the table directly (metrics) and indirectly (attitude and impact on culture).
Once you have selected the agents that you would ideally duplicate, ask them to complete prehire assessments that pair behavioral traits found in their voices with necessary skills to understand which ones possess the ideal combination of qualities to produce an ideal agent in your contact center. By determining the “voice DNA” of your overachievers, you can use the results found in your designated top performers as a guide for hiring your future classes.
After those benchmarks have been established, begin to assess actual applicants’ skills and behavioral tendencies to see who falls within the accepted ranges, and use the data to select which candidates should move to the next round in the hiring process. Start with the analysis of their voice, and then factor in skills assessment results deemed important for this position’s success (i.e., language skills, data entry abilities, problem-solving, math knowledge, chat, etc.).
When candidates reach your determined threshold, bring them in for their first face-to-face interview. Not only will you need to interview fewer people because they have already demonstrated they are technical proficient, but the interview process should be shorter because at that point you have assessment results that allow you to home in on specific questions, help you understand which important job-related qualities the candidate possesses, and verify they are good cultural fits.
Prehire Assessment Scores Are Strong Predictor of Superior Performance
Consider one company who selected a group of newly hired agents to undergo a series of Data Entry, Math, Chat, Language Skills and Voice Analysis assessments. The agents who generated the highest composite of assessment scores generated significantly better performance metrics than those at the bottom quartile (SEE THE TABLE BELOW).
Your New Prehire Plan in Action
No matter the size of the company, implementing new technology always has the potential to increase productivity, efficiency and performance. Yet, how the technology is introduced can make or break its success. It’s natural to fear the potential challenges of implementing a new process or technology, and some might be under the impression that this added layer may extend the time it might take to truly see changes.
The good news is using AI to analyze characteristics found in the voice is refreshingly easy to implement. You may even be surprised to find it easier and less time-consuming than your current processes—all while widening your talent pool. Because candidates only have to call the system directly to begin their virtual interview process, companies find the setup secure and extremely quick to implement, which is always a top priority when handling recorded content.
I also find that using a prehire assessment which has been statistically validated is often a huge relief to hiring managers working in the ever-complex world of employment law. The fact that this process can be up and running as soon as you decide to implement it and it ensures your organization continues to follow nondiscriminatory strategies for attracting talent, is often music to HR and Operations department’s ears.
And with personal bias removed, there’s less burden placed on HR to spend those countless hours sifting through applications. The simple addition of voice analysis to your prehire strategy automatically identifies which applicants show tendencies of engagement. And because a more engaged employee leads to a more satisfied customer, you can have more confidence in your new-hires before they even begin training.
No More Bad Hires
The more I see organizations embrace voice analysis technology, the more confident I am that high turnover from bad hires who deliver poor customer experiences is a thing of the past. AI technology can identify which candidates to focus on based on prehire practices that are built around your expectations.
If customer satisfaction continues to be a high-priority metric for your contact center, repairing your prehire strategy needs to be the first step. There is a way to know exactly who are the right people to interview and hire, and once you experience the ease of determining who your best agents will be, high turnover and low CSAT scores will seem like ancient history.
MainTrax is a leading provider of speech analytics professional services to end users and industry partners. Free of allegiance to any one solution or supplier, MainTrax has earned a reputation as an independent, unbiased resource for consulting expertise across a variety of products and providers.