Government agencies were among the first entities to gravitate to speech analytics applications, but the technology is gaining traction in the contact center at noteworthy rates.
Posted Mar 27, 2007
The market for speech analytics will flourish by 100 percent in 2007 and 2008, securing its status as the fastest growing sector in the contact center technology market, according to DMG Consulting's "2007 Speech Analytics Market Report." Additional findings of the firm's second annual report on its speech analytics assessment reveal that the number of implementations has experienced a compounded annual growth rate of 391 percent, leaping from 25 in December 2004 to 603 in December 2006. The 270-page report, which features eight case studies, details several facets of the speech analytics market: uses and benefits, market trends, opportunities and projections, vendor and product analyses, competitive landscape, pricing, and market share.
Donna Fluss, president of DMG Consulting and author of the report, credits a significant chunk of the market's sturdy current and forecasted growth rates to speech analytics apps' ability to deliver actionable information that companies can use to strengthen their operating environments and improve the customer experience. "Speech analytics structures unstructured conversations. There is no other application in the contact center market that does that. It's giving results that you can put to work for your company."
In fact, Fluss asserts that speech analytics deployments can lead to quantifiable benefits for enterprises, with a three to 12 month ROI, and that millions of dollars in R&D investments are driving market innovation and enhancing the functionally, usability, accuracy, and benefits of speech analytics. "That doesn't mean that there isn't room for improvement--there is," Fluss says. "But it does mean that these applications are yielding quantifiable benefits to contact centers and then extending throughout the organization, particularly sales, marketing, and operations."
Identifying why customers are calling is the primary use of speech analytics in contact center environments; companies can then craft corrective or preventive course of actions for issues. Another benefit among several is the ability to more efficiently pinpoint which agents need additional training in specific areas; center management doesn't have to sift through loads of calls to pick up on problem areas, which means they can spend more time on agent coaching and improving training programs.
These applications can also impact marketing initiatives; for instance, if a company fields several calls regarding a competitor's new release, it can identify the issue, respond quicker, and perhaps retain many of its customers. In a sales setting, companies might identify new revenue opportunities. Other areas within the enterprise that can benefit from speech analytics, according to Fluss, are R&D, compliance, risk management, collections, fraud, and back-office operations. "What speech analytics does is listen on an institutional basis," she says. "If you invest time in the implementation and use the product well, you can find all kinds of information. [But] if there is no communication between service and operations, service and marketing, service and sales, then having all of this great information isn't going to help."
The number of speech analytics implementations is markedly stronger in North America compared to worldwide deployments; at least 95 percent of all seats are in North America. While the adoption rate for speech applications worldwide is just 1.47 percent, according to the report, Fluss expects worldwide acceptance to experience an uptake, thanks in part to vendors adding different languages.
Overall, Fluss says that the market is just beginning to realize its overall potential and how speech analytics can be leveraged: "We are touching the tip of the iceberg on how these applications can be used."
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