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The benefits of contact and call center speech analytics software

Author: Satta Sarmah Hightower

When customers have a question or need to resolve a problem, they'll reach out to your company by email, social media or even in-person. That's why your contact center, also known as a call center, is one of your most important touchpoints for customer service. A report by Microsoft indicates that 61% of consumers will abandon a company after a poor customer service experience, which may explain why companies are increasingly using AI-driven speech analytics to improve how they engage and serve customers.

Artificial intelligence (AI) can help your company tap into all the data at its disposal to make your contact centers more efficient and effective, producing positive customer interactions that could drive sales and create greater customer satisfaction.

Current challenges in contact centers

Contact centers face various service delivery issues. First, balancing the right level of staffing with call volume has been an ongoing challenge. When there aren't enough agents to handle calls, customers often experience long wait times, which can add to their frustration.

While contact centers have a human-facing challenge, they also have an overwhelming data management challenge. Contact centers use data to improve their processes and agents' performance and to satisfy customers. However, like many organizations, contact centers continue to grapple with a growing volume of data and issues with data collection, duplication, data silos and complexity. Data is coming in from all directions, sources and systems, and it is not often formatted the same way. On top of this, data from your company's customer relationship management system (CRM) can sometimes be inaccurate or incomplete. Other technologies your contact center uses, including interactive voice response systems and call tracking software, often present similar problems.

All of which makes it more difficult for contact centers and call centers to convert unstructured and structured data into meaningful insights that help your company better understand customers' needs and expectations.

How contact centers use speech analytics

Speech analytics provide another source of data for contact centers. Companies use them to analyze recorded customer calls for insights that can improve the customer experience. These analytics cover a variety of data points, including the call's topic, relevant keywords and phrases, the emotional language the agent and the customer convey and the amount of talking during the call. The gathered data is then converted into text or transcripts for further analysis.

This data can help your business better understand pain points that cause customers to abandon their purchase or leave a negative review about the company online. They can also be used to drive your company's business strategy. For example, if speech analytics in a bank's contact center unearths that many customers take twice as long to complete the bank's online loan application and reach out to the contact center for help, this could signal the bank needs to make changes in their online application process to improve the user experience. It can also be used to provide insight into agent performance and where your company may need to invest more in training staff or in future process improvements to help agents work more efficiently.

Analytics are an invaluable tool for helping your business grow and strengthen its long-term relationships with customers. However, these analytics can be more impactful with the help of AI.

The power of AI-enhanced speech analytics

AI brings automation, speed and predictive insights to speech analytics. With the growing volume of data that companies must wade through, standard contact center technologies like CRMs or legacy call tracking software don't offer the advanced capabilities your company needs to make better use of its data.

AI helps businesses get real-time insights into interactions and identify patterns and trends that contribute to customer churn, leading to better agent and product performance and service delivery. For example, AI-enhanced analytics could enable a national retailer to automate quality monitoring in its contact centers, which could reduce the need for additional staff and potentially lead to cost savings for the company to reinvest in other business areas.

AI-enhanced analytics can also help your business reduce call volume by identifying patterns in repeat calls to help your company make improvements in its brick-and-mortar or online experiences, as well as improve training for agents to be more effective at solving customers' problems. In some cases, AI can provide insights in real time that agents can use to improve their customer interactions.

Transform your contact center experience

In a world where every interaction produces a data point that companies can use to better understand their customers, AI is a powerful tool to help your business bridge the gap between what you know and what you don't.

To make the best use of contact and call center speech analytics, your company should start by creating a single source of truth for all the data across your organization. That means centralizing your data into a unified platform that integrates and analyzes information from multiple sources in a single location.

Along with these technology changes, your company also should equip contact center managers and agents with the tools and training they need to take full advantage of speech analytics. Technical and non-technical business users alike need to become more data-aware and use the information at their disposal to help their companies achieve both short- and long-term business goals. Together, with the power of AI and your staff's experience, institutional knowledge and unique skill set, your company can fully leverage analytics to meet customers' needs and deliver an experience that makes them more loyal to your brand.

Learn more about how Verizon’s AI and speech analytics solutions helped a large retail bank increase customer satisfaction.