Speech Analytics Enters Its Next Act—Maturity

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The speech analytics market continues on its remarkable journey as it matures, enters middle age, and confronts a variety of new challenges. The primary issues are these: Speech analytics is not yet considered a “must-have” application; analytics-enabled quality assurance (AQA) has not caught on; real-time speech analytics has a limited number of use cases; and text analytics continues to struggle to be noticed.

Each of these market challenges represents substantial opportunity for vendors and end users. Companies that are serious about using speech analytics and treat it as an enterprise-level analytics solution, support it with highly trained business intelligence analysts, and build a change management program to apply its findings are realizing great benefits.

Unfortunately, there are also many hundreds of organizations that are not yet doing so. This typically happens when a company uses a basic and limited speech analytics application that performs only keyword searches, or a company has not made the investment required to build a true enterprise-level speech analytics program to apply findings on a timely basis.

Speech analytics has reached maturity after 14 years in the commercial market. Currently, there are two types of speech analytics solutions. The first group consists of a small number of feature-rich solutions. These sophisticated applications are evolving into business intelligence platforms that use speech- and text-based findings to provide enterprise-level data. The second group of solutions is much larger and includes many that have more rudimentary functionality. They concentrate on identifying keywords and even some key phrases and might come with charts or dashboards to help users find some basic word and phrase patterns. DMG expects this high-value IT sector to continue to evolve and transform into increasingly valuable solutions.

THE NEXT ACT FOR SPEECH ANALYTICS

The upside for speech analytics remains great. While adoption has been strong, the addressable market is still large, and there are thousands of contact centers that have not yet adopted speech analytics. Given the maturity of the market, it’s time for a replacement cycle; there is great opportunity for speech analytics vendors to replace existing solutions, particularly now that the current generation of solutions is available in the cloud and addresses both speech- and text-based interactions.

The technical innovation that is coming from leading providers of speech analytics is compelling, and there are substantial differences between current and older applications. From the market’s beginning, these solutions held great potential for companies, but their contributions will increase as their capabilities are incorporated into other applications. This is absolutely the case for customer journey analytics. Speech and text analytics are necessary to understand many aspects of the customer journey and are a great way to get started in building a voice-of-the-customer program. Interaction analytics, another name for speech and text analytics, does not address all touch points in the customer journey, but among its many uses, this tool can provide context and great insights about customer needs and wants through many communications channels.

Speech analytics technology, specifically keyword search and transcription, is being incorporated into a variety of third-party applications, creating a very large opportunity for the engine providers. It is common to find speech analytics as a fully integrated module of sales solutions and marketing automation platforms. Speech analytics engines are a standard component of e-discovery tools and are finding their way into enterprise business intelligence solutions.

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