After spending more than a decade in the customer experience industry, three friends, Jaime Scott, Michelle Dinsmore and Alex Richards, decided to start their own company. EvaluAgentto develop quality assurance testing software for contact centers.
The three co-founders say they were motivated by a shared desire to find a solution to the problem of contact center managers’ overtime. Reviewing customer calls and texts for quality assurance calls takes time – so much time, in fact, that it’s rarely done on a regular basis. According to to a single source, only between 1% and 2% of calls to a contact center are actually evaluated.
“At its core, the contact center’s role is to serve customers,” Scott, who is the company’s CEO, told businessroundups.org in an email interview. “Those customers are human and will therefore always demand a level of service and experience that technology alone cannot provide. Our belief is that the greater the employee experience for agents, the greater the customer experience they can provide.”
Scott, Dinsmore and Richards founded EvaluAgent in 2012. The team grew rapidly, but was largely focused on working with a small number of corporate clients. That changed in 2018 and 2019, when Scott said leadership saw a gap in the market for a more flexible software-as-a-service-based quality assurance testing solution.
Today, EvaluAgent’s platform aims to help quality assurance agents analyze conversations – both text and voice – across channels to coach and train customer agents. Through largely automated workflows, EvaluAgent aims to increase the efficiency of QA teams by displaying quality assurance related metrics in a unified dashboard.
Managers can provide feedback to employees through EvaluAgent’s dedicated tool, while employees can find answers to frequently asked questions in EvaluAgent’s built-in company knowledge base.
“EvaluAgent not only provides quality assurance, but also provides customers with tools to ensure that reviewers’ findings translate into ongoing behavioral change in the agent base,” said Scott. “All in all, the platform represents a complete registration system for contact center quality teams.”
EvaluAgent also offers an automated scoring system powered by a combination of speech recognition technologies and OpenAI’s ChatGPT. The system, SmartScore, transcribes conversations as needed and uses ChatGPT – an AI chatbot that understands text – to summarize them for insights, reviewing line items, and providing coaching tips.
“Key moments like customer frustration, repeat contact, and complaint escalation are automatically tagged,” explains Scott. “It enables organizations to achieve greater interaction coverage and streamline the quality assurance process, while quality teams maintain full control.”
However, one wonders if biases creep into the algorithms used to evaluate agents’ actions. After all, studies have shown that AI is more likely classify Black speech as “poisonous” or “offensive.” And it is common knowledge that speech recognition technology is also racial and ethnic prejudiced. So can SmartScore be trusted?
Scott did not elaborate on what measures, if any, EvaluAgent is taking to combat bias in its algorithms. But he stressed that they are not intended to replace human quality assurance reviewers.
“EvaluAgent has invested in its technical resources to incorporate the best AI models available for its use cases,” he said. “We are model agnostic, which we believe is an important advantage in the modern, fast-evolving AI landscape. Additional AI-powered innovation and automation, incorporating the latest AI models but enabling quality assurance teams to remain at the center of key workflows, will follow based on this funding.”
The lack of transparency has not hindered the company’s success, it seems. EvaluAgent claims revenue has increased nearly fivefold over the past three years, with clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to mid-market business process outsourcers and technology companies.
The momentum caught the attention of major investors, who poured money into EvaluAgent’s Series A. Announced today, Series A, led by PeakSpan, closed at $20 million, bringing EvaluAgent’s total cash to $21 million.
PeakSpan’s Phil Dur, the lead partner on the deal, says he saw “huge opportunity” in what he described as the “quality arena”. That is despite stiffness competition in the $35.3 billion+ space, apparently — startups including Invoca offer features similar to — but not exactly the same as — those of EvaluAgent.
“After years of studying the category, we believe EvaluAgent is the strongest provider of quality assurance and performance improvement software,” Dur said via email. “The platform shines for small and medium-sized contact centers while retaining the capacity to serve enterprise-level companies with large contact center operations.”
Scott says the Series A funding will be used to enrich its products, expand its remote team and support customers in “new and existing geographies.”
“About 25% of the contact center market still run their QA programs on spreadsheets, while another portion is making the most of internal legacy tools,” he said. “Contact centers are facing a new dynamic: balancing leaner staff and fewer onsite agents with an increasingly demanding customer (call volumes, hold times and escalations are steadily increasing), while optimizing costs to navigate a potentially choppy macro environment. navigate.”