What is Speech Analytics and How Can It Help Your Business?

by Chris Kontes | July 9th, 2019

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What is Speech Analytics and How Can It Help Your Business?

Running a call center is a difficult task. You want each caller to get exactly the information he or she needs, but that’s tough to do when you have human beings answering the phones. That’s not a criticism of those humans – they are trying their best – it’s just hard to get everyone on the same page and make sure they are responding properly to each question and statement. That’s where speech analytics comes in.   

To optimize your call center team, and to get the most out of each call, use speech analytics. A technology that would have seemed impossible just a short time ago, quality speech analytics now can help call center employees in a variety of ways. If the goal is to best serve callers and to capture the maximum number of leads, employing speech analytics is an easy choice.

Speech Analytics – The Basics

On a high level, speech analytics uses software to listen to the interactions between your call center workers and your customers. As the software listens, it develops valuable insights that can be used to improve the way your call center team is responding to questions. In virtually every call center, many of the same questions come up over and over again, all day long. Most likely, your team members know how to handle those questions. But what about the queries that don’t come up as frequently? Those can put a call center worker on the spot, and they may get tripped up. By using speech analytics, it is possible to help a team member through that awkward spot, giving them exactly what they need to offer a satisfactory and helpful reply. 

The training provided to your call center employees is important. The better they are trained from the beginning of their time with the company, the better they can be expected to perform on a daily basis. With the help of speech analytics, you can improve your training by spotting common mistakes and making sure employees are trained away from making those errors. It would be impossible to manually observe and evaluate all call center workers and their performances but doing so with the help of technology is well within reach. 

Improving your training process is a good step in the right direction, but speech analytics has even more to offer. With advanced speech analytics, you will have the ability to provide you call center team members with assistance while they are live on the line with customers. That’s like being able to sit there next to the employee and coach them along through each call, only it doesn’t take up all of your time. You could never actually do that with all of your employees, but you can make it happen with the right software.

Business is Always Changing

By using speech analytics technology to monitor conversations, you will have an opportunity to track changes in the way your business is operating and the things your customers want to know. Things never stay the same for long in business, so monitoring the way things are changing will help your company to respond properly depending on the trends being experienced. 

This can pay off in a number of ways. For one thing, you can use speech analytics to adapt your training by taking note of what customers are now asking for that they may not have been interested in previously. If questions keep coming up that your team is not prepared to answer, because the questions are new, you can quickly adapt and supply them with the necessary info. 

Another valuable use for trend monitoring is to make changes on the front end to reduce call volume. If customers all seem to be confused about the same part of your product or service, you can alter the way it is presented to the customer so that confusion is removed, and the calls are eliminated. In this way, speech analytics can not only help to improve the way your calls are handled by your team members, but it can also help to reduce the overall volume of calls that are received. 

Analyzing Both Sides With Speech Analytics

It’s easy to understand the value of having speech analytics in place to monitor what your customers are saying and how that changes over time. With that said, another value that this A.I. can bring is to monitor how your representatives are handling calls – for better or worse. It’s not just about finding the team members are underperforming, but it’s also about monitoring how your best team members are getting the job done so you can instruct others to do the same. 

For instance, speech analytics can draw information from the call center workers who are able to close sales at a higher rate than the rest. What are they doing differently? What words are they using to turn potential customers into buyers? A quality speech analytics software will be able to extract this information, so it can be provided to those who don’t close as successfully. In the long run, that should mean that your closing rates improve across the board, and your bottom line will reflect those gains.

Simple Mistakes Can Be Expensive

It is the little things in business that make all the difference. Margins are thin in many markets, so it’s important to close as many deals as possible, and to not let interested parties get away without turning them into buyers. By using speech analytics to track customer interactions, you can strip away some of the costly mistakes that are being made by your team members. Are there certain words that seem to cause calls to end without a sale? Maybe types of responses to specific questions that don’t pay off in the end? Speech analytics will track this information and make sure the errors don’t keep happening. 

More Than Sales

Focusing on sales is common in call centers, as it is sales that drive revenue at the end of the day. That’s great, but speech analytics can aid your business for far more than just sales. For instance, if your industry or the types of calls you receive are governed by compliance regulations, speech analytics can help ensure you are conforming to those rules. Non-compliance could be quite expensive, so investing in A.I. that will keep you on the right side of the rules is a worthwhile choice. 

There is also value to be found here in terms of collecting on past-due accounts. This is a tough task for any business, but one that is important nonetheless. There are compliance issues to deal with in regard to collections, and there are also techniques and methods that work better than others. With the help of quality speech analytics technology, your accounts receivable processes can be improved and you can capture more of that lost revenue. 

If your business takes a significant volume of calls, speech analytics can help you optimize how those calls are handled. Gathering insights that can be used to better train your team, as well as offering your team live assistance to provide the right responses in the moment, are just a couple of ways in which speech analytics can pay off. Once it is put in motion, you’ll wonder why you waited so long to take advantage of this exciting technology.