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Speech Analytics is Ready for Prime Time

Post-call speech analytics is ready for prime time. Real-time speech analytics is an emerging solution that is highly compelling. Although the underlying technology for these two types of solutions can be the same, their uses are different. Post-call speech analytics is a strategic enterprise application that companies should use to rapidly identify operational, procedural, technical and staff-related issues, as well as to identify new revenue opportunities. Real-time speech analytics is a tactical application designed to alter the outcome of phone conversations while the caller is still on the line. This makes it a contact center tool that can be used to reduce risk and minimize bad customer experiences. And as a result, it also becomes an effective coaching tool for agents.
Post-Call Speech Analytics is Reaching Maturity
Speech analytics is the only application that can structure phone conversations and find insights and trends. The technology component of these solutions is the easy part of the implementation and it’s quite sophisticated; the challenge is to figure out how to apply the findings. Speech analytics solutions are sophisticated tools that require highly trained resources to administer them in order to realize the expected benefits and return on investment. These solutions require ongoing care and oversight – tuning, searching and filtering – to deliver targeted and effective findings. And once trends and insights are identified, companies need a formal process to share this information on a timely basis as a vehicle for driving change.
Not all Solutions are Created Equal
There is a misconception in the market that most speech analytics solutions offer similar capabilities. Solutions designed to spot key words and phrases, which are the most common, cannot perform a forensic analysis and identify new trends, for example. Speech analytics packages built to address specific business issues and come with pre-defined lexicons (libraries), searches, reports, dashboards and key performance indicators, are different from those that come with a blank canvas where users have to build everything themselves. Prospects should carefully evaluate the various solutions and keep in mind that if you are getting it for free, there is probably a good reason why.
Speech Analytics Reduces Risk
From the beginning, speech analytics has been used to measure agent script adherence and to ensure that agents are not saying inappropriate things to callers. But as governments and other agencies in countries around the world have introduced regulations to control the handling of sensitive customer credit card information, debt collections, sales, the calling of mobile phones, etc., speech analytics has become a valuable tool for proving that a company is in compliance. Real-time speech analytics is also beginning to surface as a new capability for outbound solution providers who need to demonstrate compliance with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).
QA Gets an Overhaul
Companies have been doing quality assurance (QA) the same way since this technology was introduced 40 years ago. Analytics-enabled QA takes QA to a new level. Speech (and text) analytics can be used to identify calls (and emails, social media interactions, chats, etc.) where agents do not follow departmental policies and guidelines. As long as a company can build a rule to check for certain things, speech/text analytics can find it, although there are still lots of things that speech/text analytics cannot catch. Given that most companies only check 3 – 10 calls per agent per month, or just 1% to 3% of all calls, applying speech analytics to 100% of calls improves the odds of identifying behaviors that need to be changed, even if it does not catch everything.
It’s all About the Customer Journey
Companies are finally building multi-channel and cross-channel servicing environments. Companies need customer experience analytics to measure all “touches” in the customer journey, and the speech analytics vendors have jumped at the opportunity to deliver packaged solutions to address this need.
What to Expect in the Future
The speech analytics market has come a long way in a short time, and a great deal more is expected. Real-time speech analytics is in its infancy, but its potential is great, as it gives companies a new way of looking at and interacting with customers. More companies are going to integrate speech analytics with real-time guidance solutions to transform the way their staff handles customers. Speech, text and desktop analytics will be integrated with predictive analytics solutions, and the output used to feed real-time guidance applications. More vendors are going to build customer experience analytics solutions that can capture and analyze customer behavior throughout their journey. It’s clear that speech analytics is useful on a stand-alone basis, but its value increases as it is integrated with other high-value applications and processes. For more information, please see DMG’s recently released 2014 – 2015 Speech Analytics Product and Market Report.


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Ask the Experts

Could you explain what VDI is and how it will benefit the contact center?
Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) is a technology that allows end users’ desktop environments (operating system, applications and security profile) to be separated from their physical computing devices (PCs, laptops, tablets, smartphones, etc). When VDI is used, the end user’s desktop environment is hosted on a virtual machine that runs on a centralized server located in a data center. End users can access their VDI desktop environment from any computing device that has access to their network. VDI technology is increasingly recommended for enterprise deployments because it reduces the time, effort and cost required to build, deploy and maintain individual computing devices.

Below is a list of common benefits that can be realized from using VDI in your contact center:

  • VDI image – Organizations can create various VDI images to address the needs of different types of users in the contact center. Each image has its own applications and security features. In addition, contact center personnel can be given administrator access to manage the images, reducing their dependence on IT.
  • Security – VDI provides organization with greater security control over desktops because security rules are applied from a centralized server hosted in the data center. Security teams have to apply changes only once, and they are automatically applied to end user’s VDI images. These rules can be used to prevent end users from connecting external devices such as jump-drives to collect sensitive information or copying data from the VDI image to a local machine… Read More

DMG Consulting LLC is a leading independent research, advisory and consulting firm specializing in unified communications, contact centers, back-office and real-time analytics. Learn more at www.dmgconsult.com.