Vocalabs Newsletter: Quality Times


In This Issue:

Announcing VocalPro

By Rick Rappe

VocaLabs Professional (VocalPro) is a new product offering designed to appeal to clients and channel partners in need of regular usability research, ongoing performance testing, and support of consulting services.

Traditionally, a VocaLabs study is quoted on a project specific basis. VocalPro adds significant flexibility by providing an alternative in which subscribers can mix and match study sizes for different needs. With VocalPro, any VocaLabs client, re-seller or channel partner can purchase Panelist Research Units, or PRUs, in quantities of 1,500 or more and use them as they choose. A PRU is the equivalent of one test call and one completed study response.

When To Use VocalPro

  • Volume: VocaLabs clients who perform more than ten studies in a 12-month period will realize significant cost savings through VocalPro.
  • Flexibility: VocalPro provides the ability to perform usability and satisfaction studies of any size, allowing clients to design flexible research programs.
  • Screening: Small VocalPro studies can be used to discover the "low-hanging fruit" for customer service improvement.
  • Responsiveness: VocalPro allows VocaLabs' clients to get detailed caller feedback within hours, avoiding the time it takes to gather focus groups.
  • Ongoing Monitoring: For long-term Quality Assurance of customer service operations, VocalPro allows clients to get caller feedback on an "as-needed/when-needed" basis.


When the need for a study arises, a VocalPro subscriber specifies the number of test callers, drawing from the supply of PRUs. There is no minimum study size requirement or setup charge. For studies with at least 100 participants, VocaLabs will provide all the features our clients rely on in a traditional project, including benchmark performance ratings, and the provision of test callers by demographic profile.

Because of the reduced administrative overhead, VocaLabs waives study setup fees; and if the client delivers the call in assignments and questionnaire in XML form, authorship charges are avoided as well. Cost savings versus a single study range from 5% to over 85%.

Because VocalPro gives the ability to cost effectively conduct studies with a smaller number of participants while an application is under development, it provides a valuable adjunct to Wizard of Oz design, focus group tests and pilot project release. Putting more control in the developer's hands speeds project development, and makes study set up and production easier.

VocalPro delivers a more cost effective tool for tune up assessment of customer care applications already in service too; even if the target application isn't a current account. It can also be used for rapid screening of an agent based call center for customer satisfaction performance, and to uncover applications which lend themselves to self service client care via automated technology such as IVR or Speech Recognition.

Contact us anytime to learn more about VocaLabs-Professional and how the service will help in your specific circumstance.

Which Service to Use?

By Peter Leppik

With the introduction of VocaLabs Professional, there is now a complete range of VocaLabs services for measuring the usability and customer satisfaction for any kind of call center or self-service application.

VocalPro is designed for clients who want more flexibility, smaller-scale studies, or can take advantage of volume discounts. Traditional VocaLabs studies are most appropriate for clients who need to perform one or two studies which are over 500 participants.

Some scenarios for VocalPro include:

Preliminary Studies

At the early stages of application design and development, it may not make sense to perform a 500-call evaluation, but it would be extremely helpful to have data from 50 to 100 callers. VocalPro allows you to gather data in any size study, at a cost of between $6.50 and $12.00 per participant. After any major problems have been fixed, a large study with 500 to 1,000 participants or more should then be performed to provide statistically reliable data on the application's performance.

Application Screening

It might not always be obvious which parts of a customer service operation can benefit most from a tune-up, or from the deployment of new technology like speech recognition. A series of small studies, in the 150 to 250 caller range, can quickly and economically uncover areas for more intensive study. VocalPro provides VocaLabs' traditional performance benchmarks for any study with over 100 participants, making this an ideal tool for helping to direct future efforts.

Ongoing Quality Assurance

VocalPro makes an idea tool for ongoing Quality Assurance in a customer service operation, as it allows complete flexibility in gathering data about the performance of a call center, IVR, or speech-based customer service operation. Just as with traditional VocaLabs studies, VocalPro gathers both call recordings and customer opinions, allowing our clients to quickly go from high level performance data to specific action items for service improvement.

See Us at AVIOS/SpeechTEK

By Peter Leppik

VocaLabs will be teaming up with CT Labs to exhibit at AVIOS/SpeechTEK in San Francisco later this month. Come see us in booth 412 for the latest on SectorPulse, VocalPro, and our other services.

In addition, I will be speaking at 3:30 on March 25th about "The Details Which Make The Difference."

If you are planning to be at AVIOS/SpeechTEK, you can get a 25% discount on your conference pass by being our VIP Guest. Contact Jessica Ament, jament@vocalabs.com, for more information.

In case you miss us at AVIOS/SpeechTEK, we will also be at V-World in Orlando during May.

ROI Right Before Your Eyes!

By Jessica Ament

Teaming up with Ambient Consulting, we recently hosted an educational webinar about finding the best ways to improve your customer service operation.

We want to thank everyone who attended and made this event a success. We haven't yet decided when the next webinar will take place, but for the time being, a replay of this event is available online. Please contact me (jament@vocalabs.com) for more details.

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