Speaking clear, understandable English is a critical agent skill

Did you know that only 10% of the South African population speaks English as their first language, and yet virtually all customer service agents and front-line staff have to use English extensively in their jobs. English is the language of preference in the customer service and sales environments. If your vital customer facing staff can’t speak English clearly and intelligibly then their careers are going to suffer. Research shows that not being able to understand the agent is the number one problem for customers calling in to their service providers.

The problem starts at school because a large proportion of South African matriculants and their teachers do not have an adequate command of English. This is one of the greatest challenges facing our education system, and it becomes a very real problem for young job seekers when their inability to express themselves in English blocks their efforts to enter the job market. As the demand for customer service and contact centre agents increases, more and more young people are needed to fill the gap, but often their inability to speak intelligible English and the problems they have with spoken English renders them unsuitable for the task.

There is a proven training programme that can help to prepare new first time candidates for their jobs and improve the performance of new and current frontline staff. The Accent Labs E-Learning Course reduces and neutralises the effect that the mother tongue has on a person’s English accent, and improves their auditory processing capability, which is their ability to interpret what is being said to them in English.

Successful auditory processing is the capability to accurately decode spoken language. With a limited command of English it is a real challenge to process and understand what a person is saying, especially when they are speaking English with an unfamiliar accent as is the case when your agents are dealing with international customers.

The Accent Labs Accent Improvement course takes 18 to 24 hours to complete. All you need is a desktop or laptop with a microphone and internet access. Plus the course is fully mobile friendly. There are hundreds of lessons, quizzes and dialogues that will put your learners on the right path to speaking good English clearly and understandably. We also offer blended and train-the-trainer options. If you would like to know more about the Accent Labs course and our voice coaching and voice assessment services please get in touch with us via our web site.

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