Skip to content

Speech analytics is worth the pain

Speech analytics is worth the pain 1/23/2012
By Donna Fluss

  Printer Friendly Format       View this document on the publisher’s website.

Speech analytics is one of the fastest growing applications in the history of the contact center. The number of speech analytics implementations has grown by 22%, 39%, 50% and 106% in the past four years, and the rapid pace of adoption is expected to continue for the next few. (This growth is even more significant, given the challenging economic times.)

There are many reasons speech analytics is on the rise: It identifies real business challenges and opportunities, delivers measurable benefits to enterprises and improves customer experience. It’s also different from other contact center applications, increases benefits from other contact center applications and provides great value (and information) to departments across the enterprise.

VOC drives speech analytics adoption

The explosive growth of social media, which is compelling enterprises to capture and understand the voice of the customer (VOC) before negative feedback goes viral, is also driving the adoption of speech analytics. Indeed, modern-day YouTube legends (and public-relations nightmares) are born of customer service experiences gone very wrong.

Speech analytics gives enterprises access to the VOC in a well-organized and systematic manner. Moreover, it provides a historical and contextual framework that allows an enterprise to reconstruct the entire customer journey and accurately evaluate the customer experience. Speech analytics is just one component of a broad set of analytics technologies that companies are using to capture the VOC across all channels and touchpoints. Because of the valuable insights it provides, companies are starting to use speech analytics outside of the contact center, in other parts of the enterprise — a trend that is expected to grow, albeit slowly.

Top uses of speech analytics

Contact centers remain the primary buyers and users of speech analytics. Not surprisingly, the top uses are to improve productivity and reduce costs; this is evidenced by the large numbers of organizations using speech analytics to understand customer trends, improve first contact resolution, optimize average handle time, enhance agent performance, identify agent coaching needs and recognize agent knowledge gaps. Companies are also using speech analytics for script adherence, regulatory compliance and quality assurance. They’re using it to help organizations improve the use of their self-service applications, identify at-risk customers and reduce customer attrition.

Part of the excitement about speech analytics comes from its flexibility. It is a tool that can help companies achieve many goals, as long as end users know how to operate and administer it.

Speech analytics is not easy

Buyers must recognize that they have to dedicate resources to speech analytics if they want to get the desired results. Speech analytics can provide rudimentary results and show high-level call trends and insights with minimal work. But to understand the underlying reasons for the trends, organizations need to go beyond keyword or key phrase searches, and that requires significant effort.

To generate operational improvements throughout the organization, a change management process must be implemented inside and outside the contact center. Information is great; action is better. Speech analytics is a highly compelling application, but only if you have the guts and resources to apply the findings.