Test Before You Cast: Online Voice Assessment

Test Before You Cast: Online Voice Assessment

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“Oh, that person has such a gentle and friendly English accent!” The HR manager thought while overhearing the two interviewees striking a casual conversation outside the interview hall. Both the applicants were waiting for their HR-rounds after selection through an online psychometric and voice assessment test. While person ‘A’ bid farewell with a clear straightforward accent, person ‘B’ responded with unclear pronunciation “Ah, ‘sore’. All ‘de’ best to you too” followed by an awkward giggle with over-confidence while their turn was forecasted by the secretary. The manager knew it was a hopeless competition for person B this time, but on the other hand he was certain to favor person A’s recruitment.

Both of the candidates were equally qualified and aspired to the position of customer support agent in the developing company. The company was equipped with a voice and accent test tool along with the virtual customer service assessment which ultimately favored the fittest candidate selection. Did the idea of such an evaluation stupefy you? Are you wondering how an English accent and voice delivery be considered as an important factor in choosing candidates for customer support?

Rather try to think of what ‘voice and accent’ does not affect, because it affects basically every conversation your organization has with your clients. Therefore, clarity in speech is the most dominant attribute of a customer service executive. Not just while dealing with the clients, but also while communicating within the team. It is one of the undeniably important components of customer service where communication is the core.

Just imagine, you hire a well-qualified candidate and it turns out the customers are constantly complaining about how they can not decipher that agent and requesting another agent to serve their purpose. This was just a single example of how worse things might develop due to faulty hiring systems.

To discover the best hiring trends for customer service you must visit our blog ‘Decoding Important Facts For A Better Customer Service Orientation!!’. No matter how efficient the candidates are in academics, what matters the most is, are they communicating well with the customers?

In the scenario given above, candidate ‘B’ is certainly aware of what they wish to convey or speak. However, the habitual accent adapted by them restricts to deliver a globally comprehensible English dialect and accent. It might be because of many factors such as limited vocabulary, bad pronunciation habits, faulty grammar, limited exposure, etcetera.

It is a major turn-off for the customers seeking help when your customer care service does not communicate with proper pause, emphasis, and overall fluency. Be it the inquiry, troubleshooting, or any other kind of customer calls, it will all go in vain if the agent is unable to solve. But in order to solve, the agent requires to understand and deliver understandable assurance to the customer on the other end of the call.

It is a necessity to replace the incompetent customer support to increase customer satisfaction towards your forum and products. Unless you are exceptionally lucky to have found customers who patiently communicate their issues regardless of an unappealing accented support agent. Which is almost an idealistic and impossible case for all the kinds of commercial platforms ever established.

You will be introduced to the core causes of English accent disparities such as regional influence of articulation, manner of speech, experience in global communication, and the following consequences of bad voice modulation of customer service agents. To calm your worries, the article will inform you of the various ways of facilitating accent training methods for your support agents. And also, the major takeaway will be entrusting your worries on the Voice and Accent test by PMaps to measure voice quality and ability of a candidate to interact with the customers effectively.

Consequences Of Bad Voice & Accent Procedure

There are many confusions that occur often while speaking English. This is majorly affected by the environment of being brought up and exposure of the individual. For instance, many people confuse P/B sounds, suppose your customer is not audible and the agent wants to convey the message that the network connection is poor. However, the agent ends up pronouncing ‘poor’ as ‘boor’ and this keeps continuing throughout the call. Do you not think the customer will end up being frustrated trying to comprehend?

It is true that when we hear a wrongly accented or voiced statement, we experience an additional cognitive burden to associate and comprehend the statement. And customers do not wish to keep patience while already bothered with queries and problems of their own.

Similarly, the scenario of candidate ‘B’ conversing with candidate ‘A’ outside the interview hall, clearly shows the habit of wrong pronunciation of ‘sure’ as ‘sore’ and ‘the’ as ‘de’. If the company was to hire applicant B, in the very first telephonic conversation with customers they would experience prolonged call times, irritated customers, criticisms and judgements from the straight forward callers.

However, there is a way to fix this problem. Since candidate B was aware of what they have got to convey, a little voice and accent training will help in polishing up the interactive skills.

To Avoid Unsatisfied Customer Encounters

The customer care units mostly attend to the customer queries through telephones. This adds up to the already existing pronunciation errors of the agent, ruining the overall experience of the service. The agents of the customer support sector are expected to be aware of the client’s comfort language and accent.

Whereas on the other hand, an agent with good comprehension and communication skills ensures a good impression of the company on customers. They adapt better to the new vocabularies that are globally understood and hence prevents intercultural communication failure.
Below are two most effective ways to avoid consequences of bad voice and accent:

Voice And Accent Training
These training are basically provided to reduce the errors in pronunciation and emphasis issues of an individual. It enables the individual to understand and communicate in a globally comprehensible manner. It often includes accent neutralization, understanding of global accent, correction of nasal and throaty pronunciation, and development of basic up-to-date vocabulary.

  • Voice Training
    Voice of a Customer Support Agent matters a lot when it comes to first impression making. It is a well known fact that customers tend to be free and natural with their problems and queries when attended by a pleasant voice. This training concentrates on voice modulation and pitch-tone coordination. In layman terms, it ensures clarity in speech and proper emphasis placement while delivering a statement. A voice test is crucial before determining the intensity of training required.
  • Accent Training
    After voice, what matters the most to the listener is the accent. The accent of an individual gets highly influenced by the first language of the individual, later it is molded by the environmental settings and exposure. The mother tongue influence (MTI) resists the new language learning process. An accent training will therefore attempt to reduce MTI, help the individual get accustomed to phonetics, and proper pronunciation of consonants and vowel sounds.

Filtering Out Candidates
It is always better to secure the position with competent customer agents who have self-developed their voice and accent to suit in. Fortunately, a voice accent test can help you determine the level of training required by your existing base of employees. Also, an online voice assessment test will help you in hiring the next generation of customer agents. This will save your time considerably in future, and the impression of customers would remain intact or might grow even better.

What is Voice and Accent Assessment?

A digital voice accent test tool built by psychologists of PMaps to help you evaluate the language proficiency of your candidates. Through this tool, you can assess the written and spoken ability of the candidate to interact effectively with the customers. The online voice assessment test also measures the comprehensive and solutioning skills of the customer support candidate.

Basically it measures the major aspects of language proficiency such as:-

  • English grammar– Grammar governs the sensible and appropriate statement forming ability of an individual. A sentence must comprise a subject, verb and object. The rules of grammar must be implemented by the candidate while delivering a statement. This voice test assesses the base of forming sentences with proper usage of punctuation, tenses and article placement.
  • Comprehension– A quick association and response of the candidate to the customer holds the key to providing smart support service. Hence, this voice assessment test assesses listening, understanding and responding performance of the candidate through situational, audio or visual questions. Comprehending and extending understandable solutions to the unique problems of a customer makes true CSO executives.
  • Fluency– The flow of speech and clarity in delivery is assessed by this test. The pitch and tone of communicating is very important when it comes to dealing with the customers. It creates an impression of the speaker that represents the company. The Customer service executives who are self-aware of the ongoing conversation and know how to offer a confident and friendly solution encourages the customer to feel comfortable and assured while discussing issues or inquiring about the products. The voice accent test will help you find such excellent CSEs!
  • Vocabulary– Vocabulary is an essential component of language as it helps in establishing effective communication with the customers. The correct and up-to-date vocabulary will help the candidates deal with modern-day customers. It defines the ability of the individual to interpret the client appropriately. The voice and accent test online section-wise ensures your candidate is accustomed to words used globally at today’s date and if they avoid spelling errors.
  • Pronunciation– No matter how effectively you prepare to communicate, it is very important for the CSE to understand the global comprehensible pronunciation in order to convey their thoughts during the conversation with the client. This online voice assessment test evaluates the candidate’s specific habits of articulations, mannerism of speech, and phonemes through audio utterance and recording.
  • Behavioral attributes– Most important aspect of an aspiring CSE is a positive behavioral attribute, which comprises empathy and troubleshooting instincts. Therefore, the voice and accent test measures overall behavioral attributes of the candidate by assessing the candidates’ willingness to work, conscientiousness, motivation and emotional maturity. The test is standardized to provide an industrial stimulation to the performer.

A few more components of voice and accent to be considered in interview rounds:-

  • Tone of voice– The way candidates speak to someone is assessed through the different layers of questions. This component of language affects the mood of the customer. The candidate applying for the CSO executive position must be able to shift the tone according to the necessity and seriousness of speech. The tone of voice used by customer care agents influences the flow of communication with the caller.
  • Cultural sensitivity– The level of cultural sensitivity makes the customer care agent sound more local, which positively affects the customers over call. An ideal CSO executive must quickly adapt to the local pronunciations and communicate comfortably, fluently and most importantly in an error-free manner. This voice accent test online measures the level of sensitivity that helps in preventing cross-cultural miscommunication with clients.

The PMaps voice assessment is a standardized and scientific test valid by license. It is very reliable and interactive due to its digital interface. Also, it is easy to use for the candidates and is simpler for the administrator. The reports obtained are accurate and detailed in nature. The questions structured are accent neutral and globally understood. The application ensures security of individual data through SSL certification and cloud facility.

The voice and accent test barely takes an individual 30 mins to complete in standard custom. However, there is an option for customisation according to the specific needs of the job post. It consists of audio and visual industry based stimulation along with situational aptitude for the candidate. Overall, it evaluates the English communication skills of the candidate.

SUM UP: 

The need for availing of modernized platforms and tools to operate organizations is growing unstoppably. Changing trends have taken an express ride with social media intervention. The efficiency of employees with adequate sales competencies will earn customers only when it is administered by advanced evaluating and monitoring tools.

Save your precious time by setting up your goals and criteria with the best competent salespeople from the very base of recruitment. Save a seat on the digital express evaluating critical core sales competencies before your competitors fit in!

– By Pratisrutee Mishra

Team PMaps