Digital communications such as email, SMS and live chat yield stores of searchable digital data that call centers can easily analyze. Despite an increase in such correspondence, however, customers continue to prefer to interact with brands via traditional voice calls. In contrast with typed information, telephone calls do not lend themselves easily to automated analysis.
Call center solutions have long collected call volume and duration data for use in performance assessments, the information represents only a smidgeon of the data generated by the modern call center. In spite of manual attempts to analyze recordings to determine caller sentiment and agent competence, vital information has been left in storage, being too difficult or expensive to extract. Speech analytics changes that.
Technology can now build upon existing voice-recording technology to analyze the content of voice calls in real time. As a result, companies can achieve strict control over voice communications and thereby reduce the cost of communications while improving efficiency.
About Speech Analytics
Right now, three approaches to speech analytics have created amazing opportunities for call centers. The first, keyword spotting, detects meaningful spoken words and phrases and flags them for use in manual evaluations, agent coaching, and cause-and-effect analyses. Companies can quickly realize a substantial ROI using this entry-level technology.
Phonetics-based speech analytics processes voice communications at a higher level than simple keyword detection. In fact, this technology analyzes the grammatical structure of voice conversations and can discover and transcode patterns that can directly impact the customer experience and reflect upon agent performance.
Finally, the third approach to speech analytics, speech-to-text processing, transcribes voice calls into searchable text files that managers can subsequently analyze methods similar to those used for evaluating other text-based communications. Although this technology delivers substantial value to the firm, it also requires manual intervention and training to maximize precision.
Typical Uses for Speech Analytics in the Call Center
Having the ability to perform in-depth analyses on voice data can transform businesses by furnishing new data streams and insights. From in the call center environment, speech analytics has five major uses that can lead to reduced staffing requirements, improved service quality and increased efficiency.
By identifying and repairing poor procedures, companies can improve vital call center metrics such as first-call resolution and average handle time. The technology can also improve sales and customer retention through improved customer service. Speech analytics also creates new upselling opportunities, because firms better understand their customers.
In the past, supervisors could only monitor a small number of calls per agent, allowing many training and coaching opportunities to go undetected. Speech analytics substantially increases the ability of companies to evaluate agent behavior and performance, paving the way for increased retention rates and improved call handling.
Speech analytics equips call centers with the ability to mold the customer experience with precision. Because the technology allows for the categorization of every call by its root cause, companies can understand how to prioritize their efforts to improve customer service. As a result, companies can enjoy high levels of customer loyalty and satisfaction that directly contributes to profitability. Furthermore, good customer service leads to the type of word-of-mouth referrals and positive market sentiment that leads to sustainable growth.
Big data has become big business as businesses look for ways to capitalize on internal and external data sources. Traditionally, voice data has been impossible to harness as part of the business intelligence effort. Now, the ability to thoroughly analyze voice calls gives businesses the ability to understand the attitudes, needs and expectations of their target market. Additionally, they receive actionable information faster and can thereby become more responsive to changes in the marketplace.
Legal and Regulatory Compliance
The number of laws and regulations that affect firms in various agencies continues to expand, increasing the liability of many companies. Speech analytics gives managers complete awareness of and control over the goings on in their call center, helping them provide the necessary oversight and training to comply with all internal and external operational requirements.
Benefits of Using Speech Analytics
In return for the extra cost, speech analytics offer call center impressive benefits:
- Because of the technology, companies can dramatically improve the quality of agent training. Managers can precisely and personally target training opportunities to meet the needs of each agent while trimming redundancy and unproductive training time.
- In addition to training and as a result of it, businesses can across-the-board improve their quality of customer service. Agents know better how to do their jobs and managers can streamline operations. The implementation of speech analytics helps managers identify the root causes for customer contacts. For this reason, customers enjoy faster resolutions and, therefore, feel loyal and satisfied.
- Speech analytics technology allows companies that already record telephone conversations to tap into and benefit from their recordings. The insights they receive can help identify bottlenecks and operational inefficiencies. Ultimately, companies can substantially improve their efficiency and reduce their human resource requirements, so speech analytics can pay for itself as time passes.
- Marketing campaigns always need reliable and recent data for monitoring purposes. Companies can use speech analytics to help measure the reach and impact of their advertising and can use the data to refine their tactics. In the past, marketers could not reliably use voice data to guide their campaigns, but now voice calls can serve as a broad foundation for their efforts.
From basic keyword spotting tools to full-blown grammar analysis, speech analytics gives companies a way to monitor and interpret market sentiment, improve agent training and create a fantastic customer experience. Additionally, by lending itself to operational, marketing and sales support, the technology enables companies to boost their profitability while simultaneously improving organizational performance.
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