4 Ways Speech Analytics Can Build the Contact Center of the Future Right Now

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Contact centers have always been an important part of the customer experience, but they became even more vital over the past year. When customers needed fast answers to their questions and quick resolutions to their problems, they picked up the phone. Contact centers have become an essential bridge between businesses and customers when they have questions, concerns or complaints.

According to a report by Accenture, most consumers (57 percent) prefer the flexibility provided by calling customer support versus other, less interactive formats, such as online chat or email. This would explain why phone call volumes increased 151 percent last March alone. With so many people calling for assistance, contact centers have continued to rely on a tried-and-true method—call recording—for capturing customer interactions to review at a later date.

Call recordings alone are not enough for organizations to keep up with their customers’ needs. In order to stay ahead in this challenging market, contact centers must turn to speech analytics technology to analyze customer interactions and ensure compliance at every step of the customer journey.

Speech Analytics Can Eliminate Arduous Manual Call Reviews

Few contact center managers have the time to listen to call recordings. When the rare opportunity presents itself, they’ll still only be able to hear a fraction of the inquiries. This is in spite of the fact that many calls are recorded for training and quality assurance purposes, and to ensure compliance with disclaimers and company policies. Each of these components presents a compelling reason to review calls, but the human capital required to manually achieve this goal far exceeds the employee or equipment resources of any contact center. Thus, most contact centers simply accept their limitations and keep call reviews to a minimum.

As a result of this decision, the majority of the recordings remain stored on hard drives without anyone ever listening to them. The rest are merely listened to at random chance or because managers were informed of a potential issue that occurred on a particular call. And even when that happens, a manager is usually required to physically listen to the entire call just to locate a single area of discussion that requires further review.

This is, to say the least, a lengthy and arduous process that technology—specifically speech analytics—can eliminate. Speech analytics has the power to quickly and accurately pinpoint key words and other actionable insights. This eliminates the need to randomly and manually listen to old calls. In essence, this technology empowers contact centers to be more efficient and increase productivity while improving the overall experience for both callers and agents.

Speech Analytics Can Help Overcome Historical Tech Challenges

Most communication channels have evolved with the times, allowing businesses to perform sound analysis to produce superior outcomes. Historical challenges and technological limitations have made it difficult for users of voice communications to do the same.

However, there have been two shifts in the voice analytics market that have begun to drive an explosive uptake of voice analysis tools within contact centers. First, the technology itself has matured to the point where useful data no longer requires expensive and processor-intensive hardware. Useful results can be retrieved from voice AI analysis engines without the mess.

Second, new and extremely important products are now coming to market. They are taking this technology and packaging it in an easy-to-use service that requires no advanced AI or statistical knowledge. This will be a game changer that has the potential to push contact centers to new heights of productivity.

Speech Analytics Can Prevent Off-Brand Messaging

Consistency is a key component of any brand strategy, starting with every promotion and carrying through to customer service. If a caller is greeted by a differing message or a closing statement that does not align, customers may be confused, annoyed, or, in the worst cases, turned off.

This is one of the primary reasons why managers are interested in call recordings. They want to know their agents are starting and ending calls using consistent dialogue and, when applicable, that they are sharing information about any sales or promotions. Managers also want to know if any customers express negative thoughts or feelings toward a particular product or service.

As noted previously, the traditional method for addressing these concerns is severely inadequate. Contact centers either wait for a problem to be reported or listen to recordings at random every week, wasting valuable time while still missing out on the vast majority of calls.

In order to avoid this hassle, speech analytics can be deployed to produce a transcript of every call. At the same time, artificial intelligence (AI) can monitor and flag specific keywords or phrases used during the conversation. This effectively prevents managers from having to read through every line of text, which would be almost as time-consuming as the task of manually listening to each recording.

Speech Analytics Can Help You Expertly Manage Compliance Issues

Contact centers may also need to manage compliance issues. To maintain an open and honest dialogue with customers, and to meet company policy or regulations, some firms may have a disclaimer or compliance statement to share when discussing or selling a particular product. This is especially true for financial institutions and firms in other regulated industries.

If the right details are not shared, customers may say they were not properly informed and complain, hurting the potential for future sales. And if those complaints mount, it could become a legal issue if regulators get involved.

Speech analytics provides a solution to address these concerns. Managers can stay on top of possible issues if and when mistakes are made, take swift corrective action, and ensure they don’t happen again.

The contact center of the future is not ten or even five years away—it can be attained right now. Current technology is advanced enough to extract useful data from voice AI analysis engines, giving contact centers the power to be on the cutting edge of customer service. With these capabilities, we will ultimately see a democratizing of the conversational analytics market. Where once only large enterprises could benefit from the technology, now any organization can realize the benefits and fast ROI of well-presented conversational analytics. 

And as speech analytics evolves and becomes a more prominent fixture of contact centers, the potential for new innovations will develop. When they do, contact centers will continue their ongoing evolution, attaining even greater levels of efficiency.

Neil Hammerton is CEO of Natterbox. Having begun his career with BT, Hammerton cofounded the telecoms disrupter in 2010 with the aim of transforming the business telephony experience of firms and their customers. Today, Natterbox works with over 250 businesses around the world to improve data integration through CRM within Salesforce. Natterbox enables them to put the telephone at the heart of their digitized customer services strategy and guarantee high standards across their customer services experience.

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