Voice assistants of the future should speak local languages and thus make everyday life easier for everyone, especially for people with disabilities.
For them to work reliably, they need to “hear” voice commands well. They also need to be trained with natural language and local accents so that they know the meaning of what is being said.
This is exactly what our project deals with: We collect everyday Business-related conversations on the phone between two people on predefined topics: “call center agents” and their “customers”. This conversation data is intended to improve communication with virtual assistants on product offers, help or specific services in natural language.
In the current study we look for participants from the UK with experience or interest in the banking, insurance or travel industry.
We look forward to your contribution!
Who can participate?
In the spirit of diversity, people of all races, genders, religions and ages are welcome!
Of course, your contribution to the project will be compensated!
Basic requirements for participation are:
UK English as mother tongue.
Be willing to perform realistic customer service conversations with some degree of conversational complexity.
If you participate as an AGENT you should have call center experience ideally in the banking, insurance or travel industry and have at least 16 hours available for our project.
If you participate as a CUSTOMER no previous experience is required. You should at least have 6 hours available for our project.
Your participation takes place from home, on the days and times that you prefer (Monday to Sunday, from 06:00-24:00 hours).
Whether you take the role of the agent or customer, you should enjoy speaking and asking questions.
You have a mobile phone to be able to call a local telephone number we assign you.
Where do I register?
In order to participate in our project, you need to fill in the registration form, selecting the role that you would like to take on. You are either:
*The call center agent who takes a call and resolves the customer’s problem. Ideally you can participate in total 40 hours whereas you are required to participate at least 16 hours.
*The customer asking for specific information, assistance with a specific problem or complaint. As a customer, you can participate up to 10 hours in our project. Ideally you can participate in total 10 hours whereas you are required to participate at least 6 hours.
Kindly note that our project only takes place until the beginning of July 2022. Please complete the registration form at your earliest convenience to secure your participation.
You will be scheduled for several 2 hour participation slots that take place on the days you prefer. During every 2 hour slot you will record 8 conversations of 15 minutes each. For each conversation both agent and customer will receive a detailed script to follow as well a local phone number to call to for their recordings. The structure of all conversations is as follows:
Customer calls with a goal/problem.
The agent guides the conversation.
Once the objective/problem is clear to the agent, the agent gathers information to meet the customer’s objective or solve the customer’s problem.
The end goal of the call/conversation between an agent and a customer is a performable basic action like opening an account, making a bank transfer, ordering chequebook, reporting lost or stolen cards, changing your insurance plan, filing a complaint or booking a bicycle holiday in Africa rather than general technical assistance.
What does an agent do?
Customers will be contacting you with a concrete goal or issue. As an agent, you will generally guide the conversation. Once the goal or issue is clear, you will converse with the customer to gather information needed to fulfil or achieve the customer’s desired goal or resolve his or her issue. You are professional, polite and at the service of your client.
You should clearly guide the conversation down the expected path well defined in the script.
You should stick to the topics to be talked about as mentioned in your script. If a customer asks for something else than planned, kindly inform him/her that you are unable to serve that request, excluding of course simple client follow up questions like asking for the price of something, or asking for a confirmation email.
Each script requests you to collect specific Information from a customer: In order to fulfil the customer’s request or address their issue, you will need to get a value for each item listed on the script. If you miss one, you cannot complete the request. This also means that the information must be of the correct type – a name should be a name, and codes should have the right format and length. If a customer does not provide the correct type of information, you will need to let them know what you are looking for so that they can provide that information. Conversely, while you may ask some general questions to be friendly and courteous.
As an agent you must talk with a minimum of 4 different clients. In the registration form you have the chance to also register friends, colleagues or relatives from the UK with whom you like to chat.
What does a customer do?
You will be contacting an agent at a call center with a goal/issue. As a customer your tone can be casual and you may call from different environments like shopping at the supermarket or picking up the kid from school.
Please respect the following constraints
Don’t go overboard with complexity and make things too exaggerated.
Follow the agent’s lead in the conversation.
Provide information that matches the correct/real format/length such as credit card 16 digits, email address with @ etc…
Information should be fake: Customers will be asked to provide information that would, in a normal conversation, be personal (e.g. names, credit card numbers, account numbers, etc.). We will provide you with randomized generated data in each conversation script to use.
Information should be believable: Although data should be entirely made up, please make sure the data is believable and seems realistic.