Let’s talk about Speech Analytics! I’m still surprised how we, as an industry, keep reinventing and ultimately improving speech interactions with our constituency. One of the big buzzwords nowadays is “Speech Analytics.” Now, this is not a new program or technique. Frankly, it has been around as long as I have been around contact centers – which is a long time!
Back in the 70’s, we would use a form of Speech Analytics to coach our agents to improve their interpersonal interactions. Sometimes we would use a cassette recording, sometimes a mirror (remember “smile with the dial!”) and a lot of live monitoring sessions. Granted this was more of voice analytics than speech (tone versus scripting). However, what we were looking back then and now is effective scripting, catenation and projection of sentiment as well as listening and responsive customer interaction skills.
With advancements in technology, we are now able to evaluate, score and provide feedback in real-time on both sides of the conversation. What was said by the caller, how the agent responded and which keywords or drivers can be evaluated to increase performance metrics. Speech Analytics is growing into a big business, a huge business. In fact, research shows that Speech Analytics is one of the fastest growing segments in the contact center arena. Some projections put its current industry revenue at three-quarters of a billion dollars – on a trajectory course to exceed $4 billion by 2023, with increasing focus on higher customer satisfaction fueling the growth.
So, how does Speech Analytics work? Sophisticated algorithms convert spoken words into text. From there, words or text can be indexed for analysis and ad-hoc searching. This allows for simple to complex modeling to identify a word or string of words or phrases used during the conversation. Armed with this insight, flow, technique, scripting and even sentiment can be detected allowing for agent (and consumer) interactions to be accurately scored.
Just think of your last call with a company representative – you knew within 3 to 5 seconds whether or not you were going to engage with the caller. Speech Analytics help us fine-tune the short period we have with a caller in order to make a great first impression and help us maintain that cadence throughout the speech interaction.
Contact Centers often do not have the workforce nor the analytic time to have a human’s set of ears listening and scoring every call, let alone the ability to coach every agent. Automated Speech Analytics, on the other hand, can and does process every request, at the cost of pennies per minute. The investment into Speech Analytics is yielding very positive results attributed to generating better sales conversion ratios; reduction of customer churn; an increase of overall customer satisfaction; more significant insight into new product innovations; and increased upsell and cross-sell conversions.
Coming soon, we’ll explore Speech Analytics techniques, options and take a peak around the corner to see where Speech Analytics may be heading. For now, be sure to check out our speech analytics solution here and make that first step to enhancing your customer experience.