In this case study we see the successful partnership between corporate learning and text to speech. Business Lease uses audio support from ReadSpeaker in its Learning and Development program. Geert van de Wouw, Knowledge Development Consultant at Business Lease, discusses their experience with the services from ReadSpeaker.
ReadSpeaker: What role does e-learning play in the Learning & Development program of Business Lease?
Geert van de Wouw: At Business Lease is Care our number one priority for our customers and drivers. We strive to make things as easy and convenient as possible. Our employees are essential in this. They are the difference between a lease company and Business Lease. To create this knowledge and attitude, every new employee will take a plunge in a “warm Care bath,” as we say. This method is a combination of traditional presentations given by the managerial staff, and E-learning modules to expand employee knowledge. Also those who have been employed long-term at Business Lease will walk through this eLearning program to refresh and increase their knowledge.
RS: Starting in 2014 you have been using text-to-speech technology from ReadSpeaker to benefit the learning program of Business Lease. What was the main reason to start using this technology?
GW: Both for our customers and drivers, but also for our employees, we find Care important. Due to our international presence with English as the language of communication, we offer the possibility to use text-to-speech technology in our eLearning environment. Analysis showed that 48% of those using ReadSpeaker, didn’t turn it off throughout the eLearning process. Because of the success of our introduction program in all countries, we created more modules. Nonetheless, a good introduction program can only succeed when the content is right. The moment you present out-dated or incorrect content, you lose credibility. From this perspective and the constantly changing market in which we are moving, it was in our interest to update content on a regular basis. Updates are easy to apply when it comes to text in our E-learning modules, but audio turned out to be a lot more difficult. A native speaker being absent/present poses a risk of being able to effectively update the modules. This is a separate matter from the risk when a native speaker is not present from some reason or other. Therefore, we came into contact with ReadSpeaker to consider replacing speakers with text to speech. It allows us to generate the audio every given time of day, to be able to run updates faster and to create new modules.
RS: Do you find ReadSpeaker user-friendly to generate audio in you eLearning environment?
GW: ReadSpeaker is easy to use and very user-friendly, though of course there’s always room for improvement. Text to speech, even considering the quick development, is not yet at the same level as a native speaker. Nonetheless, there are so many possibilities to try to replicate natural speech. To make it more appealing for our employees, we added more additional breaks between sentences. By varying the length of these breaks, you can make the text to speech sound more realistic. At the moment we are doing this manually, but we call it ‘Care’ to add this for our colleagues, so we’re happy to do this.
RS: From your internal investigation, it turned out that half of the customers use audio. Do you have the feeling that audio is an addition to the learning environment and leads to more positive results?
GW: We work with different cultures, different language levels and different positions in our company, all using the eLearning modules. A casual link between better learning results and audio support is unfortunately not possible to make at this point. However, we have received feedback that adding audio creates more perception to our modules. Besides that, our employees pointed out that it helps to go through the content structurally and not too quickly.
RS: Would you recommend Text to Speech technology to other corporate learning parties?
GW: It depends on each situation. If you are not dependent on a budget, time is not an important factor and you don’t have a lot of modules, then a native speaker is your best choice. However, we live in a world in which you have to make choices. Our choice wasn’t tough to make. We want to be able to develop quickly and provide updates on a short term notice. If you’re in a situation similar like ours, I can definitely recommend ReadSpeaker’s text to speech.
Our choice wasn’t tough to make. We want to be able to develop quickly and provide updates on a short term notice. If you’re in a situation similar like ours, I can definitely recommend ReadSpeaker’s text to speech.
Geert van de Wouw, Knowledge Development Consultant
- Replace voice actors with text-to-speech technology.
- Scripted texts from a database are automatically converted into audio via ReadSpeaker speechMaker.
- More flexibility and a decrease in costs.
Click on the film below to see the eLearning from BusinessLease in action, using text-to-speech technology from ReadSpeaker!: