Call Center Management Feature Article
May 01, 2014
Speech Analytics Narrows Reduces and Narrows the Tasks of Managers and Marketers
By Tracey E. Schelmetic, TMCnet Contributor
While most call centers today record and monitor calls, most of these calls are never used. They’re kept for liability or regulatory compliance purposes, or a tiny handful of them are used when it’s time to do performance evaluations on agents. A few calls might be used to resolve disputes. By and large, however, most recorded and stored calls simply represent a data storage burden to companies.
As companies look to improve the quality of the customer experience, however, these recorded calls should come back into play. A company’s recorded customer calls contain a gold mine of intelligence related to the company’s products and services; marketing practices; billing, shipping and returns policies; competition; customer perception and preferences and more. While of course no one has time to sit and listen to thousands or even millions of calls to review for quality or categorize the calls, speech analysis technology does have the time and the ability, according to a recent blog post by Monet Software CEO Chuck Ciarlo.
“Sometimes called audio mining, speech analytics refers to the analysis of information from recorded customer phone calls,” he writes. “It is a more in-depth procedure that merely reviewing calls and categorizing them by outcome; it provides insight into why customers are calling, and how their needs can be better serviced.”
If, for example, a number of customers are calling because they find a new billing practice confusing, the speech analytics solution will identify the trend by collecting all calls in which the customer uses the words “confusing” and “bill.” It can spot trends in calls that mention a company’s competitors. It can immediately flag calls that use the words “close my account” and send that information in near real time to a customer retention specialist. It can allow marketing departments to collect customer feedback related to a new campaign. It does all this with a feature known as “keyword spotting,” which focuses on the identification of specific words, phrases and topics throughout each call, and how often these terms appear over a given shift, day or week, according to Ciarlo.
“The keyword spotting process can be simplified through software that converts agent-customer conversations into phonetic representations or into text files, so they can be reviewed without having to listen to each call.”
If contact center managers or marketers want to listen to all calls in a certain category, they can do so, since the speech analytics solution will have put all relevant calls into a category for easy retrieval. While no technology will ever replace human common sense and complex thinking (not in the near future, anyway), speech analytics can go a long way toward clearing extraneous tasks out of the way so human minds can be applied to the problems faster and easier.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi