Sber has introduced SmartBadge—a technical solution that will enhance customer service



Sber introduced SmartBadge, a new device for analysing employee-customer communications, at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. Designed by SberDevices, SmartBadge integrates seamlessly with the Speech Technology Center's speech analytics system. The SmartBadge system incorporates portable dialogue-recording devices (badges) with e-ink display, a docking station for charging up to five badges and downloading recorded data, as well as software for secure remote management, diarising records and exchanging data with the speech analytics service.

SmartBadge is a pioneering device in the Russian market featuring record diarisation that separates dialogue into two audio tracks (employee and customer speech) for further independent analysis. Another key feature of SmartBadge is its e-ink display, which enables an organisation to purchase as many devices as it has employees working at the same time, without assigning a badge to each employee individually. The Smartbadge system is securely protected against physical and software breaches and misuse.

The new device will enhance service quality, help train employees, resolve disputes, analyse customer requests, increase sales, customer loyalty and the efficiency of marketing campaigns. To provide a business owner with deep and concentrated analysis instead of plain service session recordings, the software does a huge data-preparation job by diarising the signal, converting the speech into text, followed by its semantic analysis.

To diarise the signal, the badge is equipped with a microphone array containing four MEMS microphones—a proprietary SberDevices design. A special microphone positioning configuration and algorithm make it possible to effectively extract employee and customer speech from a dialogue, even if it takes place in a noisy environment or against music background. The Speech Technology Center's speech analytics then convert dialogues into text analysed by multiple algorithms, while rich reporting helps quickly pinpoint problem areas. Reports are generated through the analysis of keywords and expressions. The solution has pre-configured basic and specific cases designed by Speech Technology Center's experts. These include control of service quality and inappropriate words, identification of negative and positive customer reaction, successful and poor sales tactics. It is apparent that the quality of speech analytics depends on the quality of speech recognition: it is critical to recognise exactly what was said, even if speech is indistinct due to noise. Speech Technology Center's speech recognition technology, which has gained international professional acclaim, provides the ability to 'understand' even spontaneous speech that is not perfectly clear. Another feature of Speech Technology Center's speech analytics is the deepest level of speech analytics on the Russian market spanning over 50+ parameters.

'SmartBadge is the most secure, convenient and easy-to-use device that can be used in a wide range of scenarios, from retail to medicine. The SberDevices product implements several innovative solutions, such as separating employee and customer speech into two distinct audio tracks with a specially designed microphone array and diarisation algorithms, as well as an e-ink display expanding the badge's areas of use. Managers can use SmartBadge to directly evaluate the quality of customer service at any level—from company-wide statistics to a specific communication session—and make the required decisions in a timely manner.'Konstantin Kruglov. Senior Vice President for New Digital Surfaces of Sberbank, CEO SberDevices.

'Speech Technology Center's speech recognition was acknowledged as the world's best at the international CHiME 2020 challenge. Speech Technology Center's speech analytics has proven its effectiveness in contact centres across the country, including for banks, telecom, developers, fuel and energy companies and government organisations. Its implementation allows you to "hear your customer's voice" and integrate the actual feedback in business development. Demand for speech analytics in online and phone channels has also contributed to its implementation in offline settings, such as offices, points of sales and face-to-face analytics. By satisfying this demand, we scaled our successful experience. Speech analytics in offline channels and front offices will now become even more convenient. Speech analytics is available in Russian, English and Spanish, with Arabic and more languages coming up. The solution will be particularly interesting for medium and large businesses.' Dmitriy Dyrmovskiy. CEO, Speech Technology Center.

The shape and dimensions of the SmartBadge are the same as for a conventional badge and it weighs 35 g. The badges are securely fixed in the docking station during charging and data downloading, which protects the device from unauthorised removal. To start using a badge, the employee must undergo authentication with a special RFID tag or the organisation's pass. The employee's name and position will then be displayed on the screen of the portable device, and the badge will be automatically released from the device.

During the whole working time, the portable device will record dialogues between the employee and customers. The device can record up to 16 hours without recharging. The recording can be paused if necessary. When a badge is returned to the docking station, the encrypted audio file is analysed. After the audio file has been transmitted to the analytics server, the docking station clears the memory of the portable device and charges it. If data cannot be transmitted to cloud storage due to network issues, it can be stored in the docking station's internal memory, which can hold up to 250 hours of records from the entire set of badges.

The security of handling customer data is a priority that was taken into account when creating the SmartBadge device. Solutions that ensure this security, from system architecture to individual data exchange protocols and mechanical tools to protect the devices from unauthorised removal from the docking station, were developed together with BI.ZONE, a digital risk strategic management company that is a part of the Sber ecosystem. The device's data protection is based on digital signatures and a hardware-level asymmetric encryption algorithm. The entire set of solutions provides multi-level data security: even if an employee's device is lost or stolen, intruders will not be able to access sensitive customer information. This will provide business owners that purchase SmartBadge with confidence that their customers' data will not be compromised or misused, which is especially important in sensitive areas, such as finance or health.

 

Speech Technology Center group (part of the Sber ecosystem) is a global developer of products and solutions based on artificial intelligence, machine learning and computer vision with 30 years of experience. A technology expert in speech technologies, face and voice biometrics. Speech Technology Center group is focused on AI-based solutions for B2B and B2G segments with over 5,000 AI projects implemented worldwide,

including nation-wide programmes in Mexico, Ecuador and the Middle East. In Russia, Speech Technology Center's solutions have been implemented in the largest banks, telecom, fuel and energy companies and government organisations. They are also used to bring the Safe & Smart city concept to life. Speech Technology Center's voice imitation identification and speech recognition technologies hold top spots in international ratings by NIST, ASVspoof Challenge, VOiCES and CHiME Challenge.