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Reported Business Impact of Using Versant in Call Centers and BPOs

"I have total confidence that if a candidate can score well on the Versant English Test that she or he can lead conversations and manage complex issues." - Maxim Kutov, Parallels International HR Manager

Access Worldwide

Due to the fast growing nature of the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry, high turnover rates and filling positions with qualified candidates is not uncommon. To raise their below standard customer satisfaction scores, Access Worldwide was seeking ways to more efficiently recruit and accurately identify the English communication skills of their candidates. After implementing Versant in their recruiting process, Access Worldwide improved their candidacy pool by 20%, lowered the cost and turnover rate for acquiring new customer service agents, and significantly improved customer service. Read more...

Reduce customer complaints attributed to language problems

A large technology provider learned customers were reporting higher than expected dissatisfaction with customer service due to perceived language problems with the agents. The customer experience team realized that each of its internal and outsourced service centers had different standards for spoken language and were using different methods for assessing English speaking skills. The team decided they 1) had to identify an assessment that could be used in all locations and 2) establish spoken English standards globally that supported the customer experience they required. After extensively studying and piloting different options, the team selected Versant English as its global spoken English assessment tool. Two years after implementing Versant with standard cut scores with all internal service centers and outsource service providers (in India, the Philippines, and Latin America), the customer experience team has seen a significant reduction in the number of complaints by customers about language problems.

Reduce the number of "mistake" hires

A large contact center provider found that too many new hires had to be let go after onboarding and training because their English skills were not deemed strong enough to qualify them to start taking calls. The company was screening the English speaking skills of job applicants informally through HR interviews. The company decided that they needed a more accurate and consistent spoken English assessment and evaluated several standardized tests that were available in their market. It selected Versant English because its reported high levels of reliability and validity were borne out in the pilot it did. Since implementing Versant, the number of new hires terminated because of insufficient English skills has dropped to a negligible level.

Reduce time for screening administration

A large telecommunications provider manages several in-house customer service call centers. The company was using a third party provider to assess English speaking skills with an interview test. Across the company's several service center locations, this method required significant administrative time to schedule and coordinate interviews, collect results, manage discrepancies, and follow-up with the interviewers. When the HR and recruiting team for a group of the centers in Central American centers felt staffing pressure, they moved to the Versant English Test. The test could be taken on demand, at any time, and produced score results immediately. They were able to reduce the administrative overhead for testing by an estimated 75-80% and redirect that HR/recruiting time to other key activities.

Improve alignment across recruiting and training

A leading BPO in India was screening English skills several times as a candidate and new hire moved through their recruiting and training processes. The recruiting team used an interview style test to determine which candidates could qualify for new hire or near hire programs. The training team then screened hires again using a different, more detailed interview test to place them into the right training classes. After training, operational managers then tested people again to ensure they met company standards for performance. The use of three different tests for English made it difficult to compare results and standards and led to disagreements and tension across recruiting, training, and operations teams. By transitioning to Versant English, the company was able to standardize testing for all three groups and align their standards. Versant English also provided enough detailed score information from the initial test done by recruiting that training was also able to use the same test and eliminate the need for a second test.

Reduce screening time, enable faster hiring decisions

The Philippines operations of a global professional services firm felt pressure to compete more aggressively for talent. Specifically, the HR leaders wanted to streamline their recruiting process so they could screen and make hiring decisions faster and advertise this as an appealing benefit to job seekers. They moved to automated screening for spoken English and other skills. The recruiting team used Versant to implement an automated 2 step assessment for English speaking. When job seekers apply online, they must immediately take the Versant English Test and other tests from home. With immediate scores, only those in the upper score group are invited in for interviews. When the interviewees come into the recruiting offices, they take the Versant English Test again to get a precise score that allows the recruiting team to direct the candidate into further screening for either voice or non-voice positions. This automated approach allowed the company to cut its decision time in approximately half. They advertised this in their sourcing campaigns and believe it has helped differentiate the company to job seekers.