iQventures Taps IBM Watson for Sentiment Analysis


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iQventures, a provider of call center and call intelligence technologies, has joined IBM Watson's ecosystem, where it will leverage Watson's cognitive computing capabilities to bolster its SpeechiQ platform with speech and sentiment analytics.

One of four iQventures offerings, SpeechiQ is a cloud-based platform that transcribes dialogue from incoming calls through an automated speech recognition engine (ASR). According to iQventures' CEO, Nick Bandy, the technology, on its own, can isolate key words and phrases to determine how and why they're being used by specific customers. Based on deep neural modeling, the platform is able to learn new phrases that are indigenous to each customer as those phrases are fed into the system.

Thanks to the new partnership, iQventures' customers can get closer readings on their call transcripts with Watson's natural language processing tools. Watson's system, Bandy says, can asses each conversation to determine, on a percentage scale, whether a call was positive, negative, or neutral. Users can then use the IQventures' tools to isolate single phone calls or view trends in conversations across groups of people.

"One of the biggest trends we're seeing right now in contact centers is [organizations trying to figure out] how to take advantage of the wealth of data that exists in conversations [with] customers," Bandy says. "For us to tap into the cognitive computing of IBM Watson to actually understand caller sentiment by agent, customer, call center, and any given campaign and…glean insights is a really big opportunity." 

Bandy notes that the additional capabilities will be most helpful to companies in financial services and healthcare, where compliance plays an important role and an intimate understanding of contact center data is vital. Likewise, customer service organizations can use the solution to stay informed about the kinds of calls they are getting, and to fine-tune their operations based on findings gleaned from the varying degrees of tonality the solution is registering. "We're also seeing growth in sales-driven organizations," Bandy adds. Sales organizations, he says, are trying to understand what's taking place between their teams and potential customers, and to identify best practices and coaching opportunities.

Bandy singles out Community Choice Financial as one customer that has begun using the tool with some success. "They have been able to monitor the overall tone at any given time in any specific campaign to see if there are any types of calls they need to drill into to understand why the tone may be one way or another," Bandy says.

SpeechiQ works in conjunction with iQventures' other products, which include ContactiQ, a Web-based contact center; SalesLeaderiQ, a click-to-call CRM extension; and OfficephoneiQ, an intelligent business phone solution.

The company charges by the hour for recorded conversations, Bandy says. There are no hardware or software requirements necessary for those customers who wish to get the technology up and running, Bandy says. "As long as we're able to access your calls, either recording them ourselves, or you supplying them through an [MTP], we can get started immediately."