Enterprises of all sizes are increasingly questioning whether they should invest in speech analytics. For businesses that interact with their customers over the phone, the simple answer is “yes!”
Unfortunately, many businesses that engage customers over the phone are either unaware that speech analysis is available or unfamiliar with the incredible insights and benefits this technology can provide.
What is Speech Analytics?
Not long ago, call center managers had to listen in on live calls or randomly sample call recordings in order to get a feel for how agents were performing and how customers were responding. Today, however, savvy businesses rely on cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence (AI) and deep learning to provide a more thorough analysis of the voice data gathered by call recording.
Rather than relying upon random samples, speech analytics technology can evaluate ALL of your call center data using machine learning. It can understand what is said on a call and can even interpret the emotional context behind the words. And the best part is that it gets better at doing this with every call.
1: Speech Analytics and Customer Loyalty
While every business wants its customers to be happy, what they need more is for them to be loyal. Loyal customers are not only likely to return for more, but they are also more likely to refer your business to others.
Unfortunately, no matter how good the products or services you sell may be, studies indicate that customer loyalty is driven more by customer service than by consumer value. Customers naturally expect the product or service they are purchasing to be ideal, so simply delivering on that promise is not usually enough to merit their loyalty. Instead, businesses must go “above and beyond” in some way, and that usually means exceptional customer service.
2: Speech Analytics to Prevent Customer Churn
Recent studies show that anger over product issues isn’t the cause of customer churn; it’s frustration. The customer may be angry when they call because your product or service is failing them somehow, but they still call because they believe you can help. Understanding the source of customer frustration is essential in improving customer experience and inspiring customer loyalty.
This is where speech analytics really shines as your customer consultant. You can search transcribed call data for terms like “disconnected,” “angry,” “upset,” or “frustrated” to try to identify problems, or you can allow your AI-driven speech analytics to tell you when tempers are heated.
Not only can you evaluate how your agents resolve these situations, but it also gives you the opportunity to resolve them yourself. Studies show that 82% of customers stop doing business with a company as a result of a bad experience. Speech analytics provides a means for you to turn a negative experience into a positive one by showing the customer how important they are.
However, the bigger picture is that using speech analytics to explore what makes your customers’ experience frustrating will expose the flaws in your business. Are products defective? Is shipping slow? Is billing causing unforeseen problems? Quickly identifying problems that negatively impact your customer experience allows you to solve those problems and prevent them from affecting the rest of your customers.
3: Speech Analytics and Customer Experience
The above describes how speech analytics can improve your customer experience, but it’s just part of the picture. The truth is that speech analytics allows you to explore and enhance your customer experience in a number of ways.
Speech analytics can interpret call sentiment to identify a number of different emotions customers may be feeling beyond just anger and frustration. This allows you to explore what customers find irritating, boring, or confusing. Using speech analytics can also reveal what makes customers excited or joyful, enabling you to see not just what your business is doing wrong, but also what it’s doing right.
Being able to identify the calls where positive and negative emotions are detected is invaluable. It allows contact center managers to then closely review those calls and understand EXACTLY how customers are being affected in these ways. Are there problems with the business itself? Or is it the agent’s performance that is lacking?
4: Speech Analytics and Agent Performance
Improving agent performance is a never-ending quest for contact center managers. Even top-performing agents have room for improvement, provided that the issues can be identified and addressed.
Speech analytics works as well for your contact center staff as it does for your customers. Not only can you identify trouble spots in an agent’s tone of voice or choice of words, but speech analytics also allows you to find favorable examples to use in training to help agents improve. And you can track their performance to see how they are or are not improving.
This kind of analysis benefits both managers and agents alike. Managers become more aware of how individual agents perform, and agents are given clear direction on how they can improve their performance. The result is increased sales and an overall improvement in customer experience that promotes brand loyalty and raises the overall profile of your business.
5: How Speech Analytics Can Aid Product Development
The value of speech analytics to businesses goes way beyond customer experience, however. It actually allows you to utilize your customers as a resource for business intelligence.
You can ask your customers what they want, but they probably won’t tell you because they often don’t know themselves. However, customers always want to be heard, and will usually talk when given the opportunity. Hidden within what they have to say are valuable hints about what they REALLY want.
Mining your speech analytics data for trends, for example, can uncover terms that are repeated by multiple customers. These may indicate desired features, or reveal product shortcomings that aren’t the source of frustration, but still merit improvement. By exploring trending words, you don’t have to guess what terms to search out in your call recording data. And the answers you’ll receive will be more truthful than those you’d receive by asking your customers directly.
6: Speech Analytics and Competition
Finally, let’s consider how speech analytics can provide your business with a competitive advantage.
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, speech analytics is still a relatively unknown technology for many businesses, likely including those that your business competes against. In this way, speech analytics can become your “secret weapon,” granting your business powers that allow it to outperform competitors and deliver a superior customer experience.
But it also allows you to keep an eye on your competitors from an invaluable perspective – that of your customers.
Use your speech analytics to locate calls in which your customers mentioned your competitors. What is the context of the mention? Often it will be a comparison of your company’s products or services to theirs, providing valuable insight into how your company is seen against the landscape of your competitors.
Perhaps one competitor will be most commonly mentioned, indicating where your market share is most vulnerable or where your products or services need improvement.
7: The Incredible Value of Speech Analytics
The insights provided by speech analysis can help you stay ahead of your competition on every front, from improving customer experience and inspiring customer loyalty to enhancing your product or service offerings. Normally, gathering business intelligence about your company on just a single front would be a long and expensive process, and the information would gradually become less useful over time.
But speech analytics provides all of this insight in an ongoing manner, allowing your business to continue to improve its bottom line week after week after week. In this way, it is not just a far more cost-effective business intelligence solution but one that is really invaluable to your business.
Analytics increase efficiencies in virtually every aspect of your business, cost far less than consultants and turn your idle call recordings into a potential gold mine of data. To top it off, they help your company legally protect itself and lead the way to the best-trained agents you could hope to have. If you’re interested in learning more about AI-driven speech analytics, reach out to CallCabinet today.
Brian is a freelance technology writer and media editor based out of Central New Jersey. He’s logged 20 years of experience in the Telecom industry and side-hustles in the record industry. Brian started his career in technology at a company that made analog modems. He migrated to a marketing career in the call recording industry where he learned exactly how and why calls are monitored for quality assurance. These days Brian fuses his skills together to deliver his researched observations about telephony and compliance laws in polished articles and videos. He’s also composed the music for a long list of big Hollywood trailers. He does not miss the sound of analog modems but he is endlessly fascinated with phones.