Three Ways Leading Businesses Use Speech Analytics to Improve their Customer Engagement Strategies

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Delivering a meaningful, high-value customer experience is critical to your company’s success. The challenges? Your contact center technology needs to be flexible and scalable. Product support and call resolution processes must consistently deliver positive outcomes. Agent training has to inform and empower your employees. Finally, decision makers require real-time, in-depth data.

In recent years speech analytics has evolved into an essential tool for elevating customer experience. Cloud-based speech analytics utilizes audio mining technology to give contact center leadership an easy to implement, scalable platform that can analyze thousands of calls in real time. The resulting actionable business insights drive remarkable improvements: Statistics on the reasons customers call lead to new resolution flows. Agent knowledge assessments help improve training practices that in turn increase revenue and productivity. Customer comment analysis adds “voice of the customer” observations that can guide enhancements to products and services.
Case studies show again and again how speech analytics implementations can deliver transformative results. But after implementation and the initial gains are realized, how are leading companies using speech analytics to further enhance their customer engagement strategies?

1. Speech analytics enables rapid, precise response to fast changing conditions.
A competitor’s new product introduction, a government hearing about your industry, a viral video – these events can suddenly change contact center traffic. While traditional metrics track volume, speech analytics can categorize the underlying reasons for the uptick in calls and provide guidance for a coordinated, effective response.

As an example, a financial services company sees a spike in call volume due to a public announcement of a competitor’s data breach. The company’s agents report that existing customers are expressing concerns ranging from the security of their own data to confusion about whether their own company has had a data breach. An immediate response is needed. A real-time speech analytics platform can quickly uncover and rank the specific concerns voiced by callers. Using these statistics, managers can create scripts, web pages, and press releases that address customer fears while simultaneously strengthening the company’s credibility. Speech analytics allows this to be accomplished in real-time using detailed information that anecdotally-based analysis can’t provide.

2. Speech analytics allows companies to stay in front of the voice of the customer.
Even if hard metrics like call wait times are improving, they may obscure customer dissatisfaction about topics ranging from product pricing to the company’s employment policies. Speech analytics can be used to monitor caller comments and in so doing suggest changes in products, services, marketing and call center processes.

Take the example of a high-end software business. Revenue is up, its contact center’s dashboard is all green, but audio mining of caller comments has uncovered a trend of increasing, general statements that the software’s interface is “hard to understand”. This weakness could give competitors an opening. Leading companies respond in three ways. First, they revise their scripts to elicit from callers clarifying information about ease-of-use. Second, speech analytics tools are used to quantify the resulting stream of new usability data.

Finally, these findings are plugged in the company’s product improvement roadmap and the resulting upgrades used to increase customer satisfaction and head-off a competitive incursion.

3. Speech analytics guides continuous improvement of customer engagement strategies.
Leading companies understand that customer engagement strategies must constantly evolve if they are to deliver a positive customer experience. Speech analytics is one of the tools they use to create and test new scripts, processes and platforms.

Consider an appliance company facing an ongoing problem with its new flagship refrigerators – customers are struggling to set them up properly. First call resolution statistics are poor and callers are expressing anger and frustration. One proposed solution is a new script that would add a step in which agents would talk the customer through a re-set of the refrigerator’s settings. Contact center management is concerned that this lengthy process will only further irritate the customer. Rather than base a decision on gut instinct, the company launches a controlled experiment in which some agents use the old script and others apply the new, more time-consuming script.

A call analytics package consisting of traditional metrics plus speech analytics can quickly determine the impact on call resolution and, through audio mining, analyze customer comments for signs of frustration or dissatisfaction.

Embedding speech analytics into your contact center technology platform opens up numerous paths to improved productivity and a better customer experience. But beyond the one-time gains from implementation, speech analytics can improve your customer engagement strategy by enabling lightning responses to changing market conditions, providing more actionable input from your customers, and delivering in-depth quantitative data on which to make important decisions.

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