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October 2008 | Volume 27 / Number 5
From The Analysts' Desks

Speech Analytics Market Experiencing Strong Growth

By Susan J. Campbell,
Contributing Editor, Customer Interaction Solutions

DMG Consulting LLC, a provider of contact center and real-time analytics research, market analysis, business strategy, operations and technology consulting services, has published the 2008 Speech Analytics Market Report. A comprehensive and timely guide to this growing market, this report examines this technology and its impact on the market and customers.

According to this report, the speech analytics market grew by a significant 106 percent in 2007, producing a four-year compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 268 percent.

DMG has forecasted continued market expansion at a rate of 70 percent in 2008 and 50 percent in 2009, regardless of the challenging economic conditions. The market is growing rapidly and there are now 22 competitors as well as many new entrants that are planning to introduce solutions within the next few months.

A great deal of attention has been placed on speech analytics as it has a proven ability to provide enterprises with insights into customer needs and wants. This ability is translating into significant productivity savings for contact centers, as well as increased customer retention and revenue for enterprises.

"The incredible growth in speech analytics usage is evidence of the growing realization that enterprises need more insight into their customers’ preferences and behavior," says Donna Fluss, president of DMG Consulting, in a company statement.

"A better understanding of customer behavior will help enterprises enhance the customer experience and improve customer loyalty. Speech analytics solutions deliver quantifiable benefits that improve productivity, customer retention and loyalty, yielding one of the more rapid and compelling ROIs among contact center applications."

Contact centers are growing in importance for organizations around the world as customers are demanding more in terms of customer service. The challenge is that these centers also cost money and in slower economic times, the organization must be able to extract more from this division than just customer service deliverables. Speech analytics is one area where the contact center can maximize its current systems to gather valuable customer information to drive up-sell and cross-sell opportunities, as well as delivering a better quality customer service experience. In doing so, the contact center can drive customer retention and long-term revenues.

This report from DMG Consulting features detailed information about the market, vendors, technology, products, capabilities, current and future uses, trends, competitive landscape, benefits and ROI, market share and pricing. It also offers customer satisfaction scores and feedback about the vendors and their products.

The assessment also includes an in-depth analysis of all eight primary analytics solution providers: Autonomy etalk, CallMiner, eLoyalty, Nexidia, NICE Systems (News - Alert), SER, UTOPY, and Verint Systems.

Study Shows Contact Centers Not Properly Aligned with Web Sites

With the proliferation of the Internet, consumers have discovered the ease and fun of shopping online. No longer is it necessary to burn gas and precious time to find the latest fashions, food or device. Consumers only need a way to connect to the Web.

The result of this influx in eCommerce is not all roses, however as recent research has shown that adults are experiencing problems completing transactions online. For a channel that can serve as an excellent deflection of contact center traffic, the reality is that many contact center agents are now busy trying to defuse frustrated consumers.

Yet the results of the 4th annual survey of online consumer behavior conducted by Harris Interactive for Tealeaf found that nearly 9 out of 10 online adults in the UK who have conducted an online transaction in the past year have experienced problems doing so.

Another 41 percent of online adults who experience problems transacting reported that they would switch to a competitor or abandon a transaction entirely if they experienced an online transaction problem. In addition, four in five online adults who experienced problems – or 84 percent – share their experiences with others both online and offline.

This represents a $57 billion potential impact to revenue on shopping sites alone, which is a huge opportunity for companies to harness, simply by ensuring their websites work.

A recent Forrester (News - Alert) Research report cited that 91 percent of business decision-makers revealed that customer experience is either very important or critical to their 2008 efforts.

While customer service is increasingly important to businesses, this survey highlights that companies need to take immediate steps to ensure they understand the experience of their customers who are transacting online.

These studies have highlighted that there is a lack of integration between the contact center and Web channels of these businesses. The survey found that 47 percent of all online adults have contacted a company’s call center after they encountered problems using the Web site. Of these individuals, 64 percent did not feel that the service agent was knowledgeable about the Web site and nearly two in five — or 38 percent — did not have their issue resolved.

Results have also shown that among these online adults who have experienced poor customer service from a company’s call center when calling about Web site issues, nearly 72 percent either stopped doing business with that company entirely at 45 percent, decreased the amount of business they do with the company at 37 percent.

"Businesses must take definitive steps to differentiate themselves by understanding and improving their customers’ site experiences, and equipping their contact centers to truly meet the needs of online customers, said Rebecca Ward, CEO of Tealeaf, in a company statement.

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