Everybody wants happy customers, right? Wrong. Your customers want quite a bit more than to be happy. Of course, you want them to be happy, but their loyalty is a far more worthy goal. So, how can AI-powered speech analytics increase your customer loyalty? Retire the oversimplified goal of happy customers. It may be time to upgrade your thinking, practices, and probably your technology.
Speech analytics: no longer an experiment
In a 2017 Deloitte survey, almost 70% of contact center executives named advanced analytics a crucial investment. That’s because analytics provide a view of our customer base as one big family, which was not available until now.
Think about your own family. This one’s happy today, that one’s grumpy. This one is always annoyed rain or shine, and this one has trouble speaking up for what they want. They’re, well, predictable. Maybe that doesn’t sound very interesting, but that predictability indicates how well you know them.
The use of speech analytics has made it clear that happiness is not enough for our customers. Did you know that anger doesn’t have the most significant impact on customer loyalty? Frustration and disappointment pull more customers into the hands of your competitors than simple base anger ever will.
Why is a customer loyal?
If you buy my product, you want it to work. When it doesn’t work, you call me because you want me to make it work. If I invite you in and remind you that you made the right choice, and send you away with a solution, I will win your loyalty. If, on the other hand, I frustrate you by putting you through a long-winded IVR system or by failing basic courtesy toward you, of course, you’ll go in search of a better situation. And rightly so, but notice it wasn’t anger about the product that pushed you to the brink. No, things went sideways when I frustrated your effort to get my help.
Phone interaction remains the primary way people seek help with a product or service. Over the years, a wall has formed between the customer and the service department consisting of IVR systems, support email, forums, and the like. It’s understandable, there’s only so many people in your support staff, and they’re heavily outweighed by your customers. But then speech analytics comes along, and you’re compelled to take a fresh look at phone interaction for the massive potential it contains. The potential is for speech analytics to increase your customer loyalty so great that you might start encouraging your customers to call your customer care specialists and talk to them as much as possible.
Call centers are beginning to embrace the power of AI
There’s a golden stream of data generated in a modest call center every single day. Until speech analytics showed up, it was impossible to extract that data, so everyone just went without. However, going without that data at this point is a choice and likely not a good one to make. Oh, here’s a piece of information that won’t be true forever. Not everyone is using analytics. Fewer than 50% of companies with contact centers have employed analytics. Why’s that?
Well, at the outset, embedding artificial intelligence into any contact center was tricky. Developers were still concentrating on core technologies, not on the applications that they would harness. Without an effective means to integrate AI, many companies doubted they’d gain any effective visibility from the analyzed data. Naturally, call centers stuck with what they knew—agent reporting, call auditing, etc.
However, things have most definitely changed. Analytics not only has its backend, it now has a proper front-end. Integrating speech analysis and artificial intelligence into a call center is now simpler than ever.
So, even though the tanker turns slowly, many companies are deploying smaller boats into the water by the hour, sending them in the direction that things are going. The use of analytics can mean the difference between running your contact center as an overwhelmed medical unit or a bespoke care center that keeps ahead of its customer’s needs.
Analyze this: customer emotion
An old saying goes, “no one will remember what you say, but they’ll remember how you made them feel.” For a good reason, much of the development of artificial intelligence centers around emotional analysis. Probably the most significant indicator of emotion is human speech. Not just what is said, but how it is said. Having an efficient way to dissect and catalog the metric ton of speech information sitting in call recordings is another way speech analytics can increase your customer loyalty.
Studies show that customer satisfaction turns into brand advocacy when a customer feels valued and respected. Speech analytics show us how the customer feels and how the agent is performing (they have feelings, too). Analytics allow us to observe the direct ties between agent and customer emotion on the same call. The way you used to get that information was random call sampling. There is no comparison between random call sampling and analyzing speech across all your customer calls at once.
My calls are analyzed; now what?
Analytics will tell you how your customers are feeling, but what you do with that information is the key to inspiring and maintaining customer loyalty. So what should you do with all that data? Well, the human mind collects data and lets you answer questions. With the right analytics solution, like Atmos, your data becomes a giant super customer that you can ask questions. For example, hey, super customer:
Deep learning allows us to search through our customer conversations at a highly sophisticated level. But as you can see in the graphic, we’re not just looking for dissatisfied customers. Analytics let us find new business opportunities and protect ourselves legally by identifying breaches of compliance. It even allows us to score our support staff automatically. Speech analytics converts passive voice data into a full-time consultant that doesn’t charge a fee.
When is a good time to invest in speech analytics?
The general answer to that question is as soon as you possibly can. The amount of business done over the phone has not gone down because of the Internet’s advent. It has increased significantly. GDPR and CCPA both indicate an increase in communication of every kind, online and over the telephone. AI-driven analytics isn’t just a necessary layer of protection for your organization. Speech analysis opens the doorway to your customer’s heartbeat, agent performance, and future product development. Analytics provide your business with highly actionable insights that are the key to growing your customer base and profits.
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.