The PeakSpan team is thrilled to announce our $20M Series A growth financing in EvaluAgent, a leading provider of quality assurance and performance improvement software for high-performing contact centers. EvaluAgent sits within PeakSpan’s Customer Experience Management theme — specifically the Contact Center subsegment, in which we have been highly active with numerous partnerships and exits over the past several years.
After conducting extensive thematic research and evaluation of the agent enablement arena, we were privileged to meet the EvaluAgent team in 2021. Founded in 2012 by CEO Jaime Scott, COO Michelle Dinsmore, and CIO Alex Richards, the EvaluAgent team brings to bear decades of rich experience in Contact Center Operations on the Quality Assurance and Workforce Engagement Management software space. Our excitement for this partnership is driven by three factors: i) a substantial, unaddressed need in market for pure-play, best-in-class QA solutions, ii) a differentiated & feature-rich product suite tailored for (and built by!) contact center operators, and iii) an experienced leadership team with exceptional growth ambitions and the passion + know-how to build a truly next-gen QA offering that incorporates the latest technologies (e.g. LLMs) to the benefit of their contact center / agent users. PeakSpan is privileged to lock arms with the EvaluAgent team at this transformational inflection point in their scale-up journey, and we’ve included some further detail on our enthusiasm below!
Attractive Market Dynamics in Contact Center:
Several tailwinds have converged in the contact center to support a large and robust market opportunity for EvaluAgent. While quality assurance has always been a consideration for contact center operators, pure-play cloud-based vendors began emerging over the last 3–5 years. A paradigm shift occurred, accelerated by the events of the pandemic, in how businesses view the contact center and the technology that surrounds it — historically considered a dilutive cost, the contact center is now viewed as a strategic revenue-generating engine, handling high-stakes customer inquiries across multiple channels (vs. the status quo of voice only) while mitigating churn and promoting brand equity. The market is showing strong signs that the “sales through service” model is going to persist going forward, and software (namely quality assurance, compliance, and visibility) will be a key tenant of the new-age contact center. The value of enhancing the quality of customer interactions is now fully apparent — 85%+ of contact center leaders are confident their operations will be revenue drivers going forward. Further, customers with excellent experiences are more likely to become brand ambassadors and have been found to spend 140% more on services than those who had poor experiences, and 85% of customers report their desire to speak directly with an agent to resolve complex issues vs. an automated solution.
Not limited to simply increasing the quality with which customer interactions are triaged, addressed, and measured over time, QA/QM solutions like EvaluAgent are now highlighting the tight correlation between employee experience (EX) and customer experience (CX). Historically, the contact center industry has been plagued by high degrees of employee attrition and limited engagement (average annual turnover hovers around 50%). Further, with over 50% of contact centers deploying hybrid/remote models in the long-term post-pandemic, the need to maintain agent satisfaction and engagement now rivals that for the customer. Contact centers are facing a new dynamic — balance a leaner staff and fewer onsite agents with an increasingly demanding customer (call volumes, hold times, escalations have been steadily rising) all while optimizing cost to navigate a potentially choppy macro environment. In remote-first or hybrid post-COVID contact centers, CS teams need tools to i) ensure that agents are behaving in a way that maximizes CSAT while optimizing handle-time and throughput and ii) attend to and invest in agents personally to improve performance, reduce workforce attrition, and increase ASAT (agent satisfaction). If both objectives are delivered on, the alchemy of a delightful customer experience can be more reliably replicated as organizations win on both internal (EX) and external (CX) metrics. All told, EvaluAgent is exceptionally well-positioned to take advantage of these developments with its comprehensive QA + WEM product suite tailored to the needs of the modern mid-market contact center.
Robust Product Suite Built by Contact Center Executives:
The team at EvaluAgent spent nearly two decades working in contact centers before formally launching, and as a result has created a simple, highly-usable software product to enrich and optimize quality programs at contact centers for which AI-first platforms would not be initially practicable and for which legacy solutions do not pass muster. The EvaluAgent core product suite is two-fold (Core QA & Auto QA) which are leveraged to customize, execute, and analyze the scoring of interactions with customers across voice and digital modalities. Core QA uplevels contact centers’ QA scoring programs, which often live on spreadsheets, to highly efficient, scalable processes whereby interactions can be automatically flagged for QA team review, scored in a single window with integrations into the call recording and support ticket, and subsequently distributed to relevant team members (e.g. the agent or their manager).
Auto QA graduates the QA program from one based on sampling or triggered review to one with 100% coverage of customer interactions via scorecard completion by automated speech recognition and natural language processing technology. EvaluAgent not only delivers QA, but also provides customers with WEM tools to ensure that evaluators’ findings convert to ongoing behavior change in the agent base. This WEM wrapper around EA’s next-gen QA solution gives contact centers the ability to effectively engage and improve their agents after QA scoring via automatically generated 1:1 sessions with prebuilt agendas and automatic enrollment in eLearning programs for asynchronous development. Altogether, EvaluAgent’s QA + WEM platform represents a complete system of record for contact centers’ quality teams — automating workflows and increasing evaluator productivity, markedly speeding up the evaluation process, increasing the quantity and quality of feedback agents receive, and ensuring that agents are actively engaged throughout the QA process.
Bringing It All Together:
As the contact center itself has evolved from cost center to revenue generator, so too has the quality assurance program evolved from a check-the-box workflow to an essential component of customer-facing operations. Shockingly, much of the contact center market still runs their QA programs on spreadsheets, while another portion makes the best of in-house legacy tools. For vSMB contact centers, this antiquated approach to QA may be sustainable, but for all other contact centers, it does damage: it undermines customer support ops, injects volatility into service quality + CSAT, prevents solution identification to support problems, impairs agent improvement + coaching, increases agent churn, and ultimately impairs customer loyalty and the bottom-line.
EvaluAgent offers the ability to grow alongside a customer support operation in its quality journey: it can uplevel the QA program without uprooting the existing organizational approach to it, it can grow with a contact center all the way to AI-driven operations but does not force it to go there immediately. EvaluAgent simultaneously meets operators’ demands brought on by the rising importance of QA while remaining attuned to the realities of mid-market contact center operations in 2023.
In conclusion, we see EvaluAgent as having all the makings of a future market leader in the QA space: i) world-class management team, ii) ample expansion vectors, iii) best-in-class product suite and roadmap, iv) robust market size and opportunity, and v) intense product-market fit. We look forward to supporting the team with capital and value-add resource as they embark on the next phase of their journey in transforming customer interactions and contact center operations!