Speech analytics: The key to contact centre evolution?
Voice-based interactions dominate the contact centre industry, even in 2023. While the numbers may vary depending on geography and industry, approximately 64% of customer interactions are by telephone, with email at 15.7%, web chat at 7%, social media at 4.6%, and self-service at 6.4%, according to Rod Jones, contact centre industry analyst.
Omni-channel experiences, in particular, low-cost, self-service channels like web messaging, WhatsApp Business and social platforms, are considered the future. However, voice remains paramount (for now) to a contact centre’s operations and success. To deploy these futuristic and digital chat solutions effectively, companies will need to draw on the deep analytics and insights gained from voice channels to inform the rollout of self-service channels. Voice, as a channel, is not dead. In fact, it could be argued that a deep understanding of the data that voice channels deliver is the key to unlocking efficacious contact centre evolution.
Speech analytics provides this deep understanding of voice data (when insights are correctly analysed) – evolving raw information into business intelligence. Capitalising on this intelligence equips the contact centre decision-makers to strategically implement new channels, bypassing avoidable pitfalls by “foreseeing” them through speech analytics. At this point, it’s important to note that speech analytics technology can also be used across all text-based media types.
How will speech analytics aid contact centre evolution?
Speech analytics drives a reduction in operating costs for companies by providing ‘insights’ from calls and recordings, which can be used to improve future interactions between agents and customers. By understanding the root and branch causes around why interactions happen, coupled with automated subject classification, it is possible to highlight process problems that contact centres didn’t know they had. By deploying speech analytics software appropriately, contact centres are able to monitor 100% of all calls and use insights gained from analytics to drive performance and compliance improvements such as increase first-call resolution and reduce call duration.
By analysing all interactions to check whether the agent has the right knowledge, whether they have resolved the question or not and whether they did and said the right things to drive operational efficiency.
By being able to correctly analyse 100% of all calls, contact centres can drive down operational costs. However, this is not the only benefit. By better understanding the various interactions the contact centre’s decision maker can make confident enhancements to the contact centre, for example opportunities for self-service, IVR changes, routing strategies and more. Contact centres thus can invest in the future (self-service channels, and more), simultaneously freeing up the agent to handle more complex queries.
Speech analytics not only reduces contact centre operational expenses but can also empower revenue generation streams in the following ways:
1. Increased sales conversions/higher debt collection ratios
Speech analytics software can identify the critical points in an interaction that are associated with a successful or unsuccessful sale or collection. Armed with these insights this, companies can tailor their processes, training and coaching to increase sales conversions or debt recovery rates.
With improved revenue, the financial investment required to implement new channels can be supplemented and supported. Speech analytics delivers fast, credible ROI.
2. Improved customer service evaluations
With the help of speech analytics, agent performance can be monitored and evaluated across 100% of their calls. The resulting insights can be used by team leaders, supervisors to provide focussed coaching and training interventions.
These insights can also be mined for intelligence pertaining to current or planned self-service channels.
3. Reduced customer churn
Since customers are getting quick responses and their problems are getting resolved, this makes a huge impact in building a positive brand image and reduces customer churn.
With less customer churn, contact centres will see less feed into self-service channels, making operations more efficient.
Customer and agent experience
A good speech analytics solution can identify customer pain points and high-effort processes quickly and use this knowledge to build positive customer and agent experiences.
The positive customer and agent experiences can be used to guide the development of self-service channels, creating an extension of the positive customer journey. These insights will also aid in reducing the friction that may come with the territory of change.
Additionally, this data will expedite the rate at which the contact centre can expect to see positive returns and efficiency on self-service channels. By implementing the new channels from an informed perspective, the chances of out-the-gate success are higher. This means less adaption to achieve efficiency and faster ROI.
How to become an insight analyst for contact centres using speech analytics.
It is not difficult to grasp how using speech analytics technology to monitor the recorded interactions can significantly benefit any contact centre. It is also easy to understand how technology can identify and report on critical words and phrases such as “I have a complaint”, “I have called many times”, or “I want to speak to your manager”, ultimately increasing the contact centre’s understanding of the customer and improving operations, revenue and decision making. But speech analytics is not a simple software solution that miraculously produces insights.
Speech analytics is something that you do, not something that you buy.
Instead of merely ‘ticking boxes’ in a conventional quality assessor role, by using speech analytics creatively, QAs rapidly become adept Insights Analysts and their reports become elevated to being Business Intelligence.
To learn more about becoming an insight analyst, download “Your guide to becoming an insight analyst for call centres using speech analytics” authored by Rod Jones.
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