Utopy Technology Given the P.T.O. Stamp of Approval
Utopy last week was granted a patent over “the system and methods of classifying a human-to-human telephone conversation into predefined categories of interest.” The patent, U.S. Patent No. 7,487,094, is titled “System and method of call classification with context modeling based on composite words.”
The patent covers the underlying technology at the heart of Utopy’s flagship solution, SpeechMiner. SpeechMiner is a package of speech analytics software that allows users to comb person-to-person calls for relevant data and taxonomize them. The product is aimed at call centers, providing them with data about customer feedback, orders, etc., and allowing them to use that data in reporting to warehouses and in other analytics tools and reporting suites.
The company also actively touts SpeechMiner as a learning tool for domain agents. SpeechMiner sports real-time alerts that can be tied to performance indicators and delivered to the desktop of each agent, supervisor, analyst, and manager on pre-scheduled basis. Utopy claims this could proactively improve agent performance by targeting learning and indentifying problem areas.
Traditionally, says Yochai Konig, co-founder and chief technology officer of Utopy, agents were coached by a supervisor who randomly selected a handful of calls and analyzed them.
“Now the whole coaching of an agent is a completely new setup,” says Konig, citing a case study with Affiliated Computer Services (ACS). “So when a coach sits with an agent, they have a report from SpeechMiner [and] they know that this agent needs to improve dealing with reception issues, how to put the customer on hold, or whatever we found specifically for each agent that’s coded with a different [key performance indicator].”
The system also highlights problem areas so that coaches and agents can listen to dozens of targeted clips rather than a few calls in their entirety.
“We find for each agent what areas of his behavior, the way he answers the phone, can be improved to improve the [call center] as a whole,” says Konig.
Utopy also markets SpeechMiner as a tool for monitoring the content of what customers say in order to track the success of marketing campaigns, services, etc.
By the end of 2008, the product was already deployed on three continents and handling tens of millions of calls in twelve different languages including Cantonese, Japanese, Mandarin, Dutch, English, and Spanish.
“We are in place to do hundreds of millions of calls this year,” Konig says. “This is actually in usage today.”
Konig remains excited about the technology, especially with regard to recent advancements made in speech recognition. He says “it is a good moment for us,” regardless of recession and consequent reductions in capital investment and sales the whole economy over.