Nearshore Americas

AI Takes Call Center Language Screening to the Next Level

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is driving innovation around world. In 2020, the global AI market was valued at over US$62 billion, with an estimated compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 40.2% from 2021 to 2028.

The growth of AI is happening in all major industries. It is abetted by tech giants making significant investments in large, enterprise use cases for AI, including in cognitive computing, in which natural language processing is one of the fastest growing segments. 

Smaller, niche companies are able to leverage market trends in NLPs in a variety of ways. A company like Emmersion, for example, can run its AI-supported language assessment solution on top of engines from IBM (Watson), Google, and Carnegie Speech Company.  

AI is different from other computing technologies, in that it can learn,” says Dr. Jacob Burdis, Cofounder and Chief Strategy Officer at Emmersion. “Like a human, it can take data and information and improve itself.”

AI and Screening

AI screening gives instant, accurate analysis while minimizing human bias. It can also adapt during the testing process and deliver individualized results for each candidate. As a result, AI can be of great benefit to call center managers looking for agents to meet specific client requirements.

“As an AI-based system runs through an individual assessment, it balances an assessed level with confidence,” says Burdis. “Once the confidence level is high enough, then that becomes the exit criteria.”

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How an AI solution is delivered can make a big difference. For a call center manager — and for the candidates themselves — an AI-based test has the benefit of allowing for screenings at the beginning of the hiring process, and time saved from not having to schedule language interviews days in advance. This is a dramatic improvement over traditional, in-person assessments, which can be time consuming and inconvenient. 

“AI-supported language screening really helps when accurate decisions need to be made quickly,” says Burdis. “For BPO providers in Latin America, having this ability can give them an edge as they compete for the best possible English-language talent and deliver to a broad customer base.”

AI-powered assessments, by saving on human labor costs, can also be more available to smaller operations. As a result, nimble BPO providers can level the playing field with their competition, and have the confidence to put the right agents in place for their customers. 

Other Ways AI-Based Language Screening Helps Call Centers

Faster and More Accurate: AI does not only adapt and react — it can also deliver consistent and accurate results with incredible speed. “Quick results are mission critical for call centers in Latin America,” says Burdis. “They’re always hiring, and an accurate and quick result reduces the likelihood that a candidate will look elsewhere.”

Cost Effective: Accurate assessments require a significant commitment of human resources and time. This often puts quality assessments out of reach of many call centers. An AI-supported system delivers incredible value, and can be a cost-effective option — even for smaller operations.

Scalable and Accessible: An AI-powered assessment solution can be taken anytime, anywhere, and can be taken be taken by hundreds — even thousands — of candidates. 

Company-specific Thresholds: With AI, call center managers can set capability thresholds to ensure the success of their customers. “We are now thinking in terms of our clients’ clients, and what their needs are,” says Burdis. “In the example of a call center, our AI screening system can create custom thresholds, and tier employees for requirements at different levels. The result is an entire framework that supports better decision-making.”

Predictive Modeling: The beauty of AI is that it’s never static. As performance information is added regarding hires, retention, and other predictive points, there is the potential to have modelling tie into critical areas that are of specific value to call center customers. Because AI is always learning, the more you use it, the better it’s able to deliver valuable results.

AI-powered language assessments can be a dramatic improvement to traditional human- and computer-based systems. They can minimize human bias, save time, and increase accuracy. With AI, assessments are democratized, allowing for better access, scale and reduced human bias. For call centers, AI can deliver assessment that are specific to their needs and those of their clients, even to the point of predictive modelling. All of this can be delivered at lower cost. 

Tim Wilson

Tim has been a contributing analyst to Nearshore Americas since 2012. He is a former Research Analyst with IDC in Toronto and has over 20 years’ experience as a technology and business journalist, including extensive reporting from Latin America. A graduate of McGill University in Montreal, he has received numerous accolades for his writing, including a CBC Literary and a National Magazine award. He divides his time between Canada and Mexico. When not chasing down stories, he is busy writing the Detective Sánchez series of crime novels.

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