As published in Speech Technology Magazine:
New technology advancements make customer intelligence tools more available to everyone.
Customer intelligence provides a detailed understanding of the experience customers have when interacting with a company, and supports the decisions businesses make based on the analysis of customer feedback and behaviors. This knowledge can then be applied to support strategic decision making.
For example, purchase trends can help predict where to spend resources on product development, and understanding why customers are canceling can help a company assess its pricing/value proposition in relation to that of competitors.
Fortunately, development in the areas of customer intelligence-gathering and customer-facing technology solutions is allowing companies to capture this information more easily and affordably than ever before.
There are three key technology components that make up a robust customer intelligence gathering strategy: call tracking metrics, call recording, and speech analytics.
Let’s break each component down to understand the benefits, and to see how when dovetailed together, they provide powerful insights to customer actions, which ultimately guide the business planning process.
Call Tracking Metrics: Knowing which call tracking metrics to focus your attention on can be a crucial factor in understanding customer actions; when they are most likely to call, how many unique callers versus repeat callers you have, and which marketing programs are driving the most inquiries. Using a call tracking service that provides these detailed reports will make it easy to analyze customer actions by pulling all of your data together in one place. Many providers offer real-time, online tracking systems that provide dozens of reports, detailing calls by geographic market, call duration, time of day, callers addresses, and demographics, and much more.
Call Recording: With a call recording service, you can listen to conversations to identify customer satisfaction challenges, and monitor for quality assurance, script compliance, and in general hear customer interactions first-hand to keep a pulse on customer-company relations. However, for many businesses — large or small — listening to every customer conversation or even just a percentage of recorded calls can be a drain on valuable resources. Today, enhanced call mining technology is widely available and allows a business to automatically categorize calls based on keywords and phrases, which eliminates the manual process of listening to calls in their entirety and tagging them accordingly.
Speech Analytics: Speech analytics technology, the engine that provides data mining on call recordings, has been around for years, but was costly due to the necessary hardware and software installations that were required by vendors to run the recording and search applications. With more recent advancements in customer-facing technology solutions, mining calls for specific content and spoken phrases is easily available, affordable, and now within reach for businesses of all sizes. Businesses can now discover critical customer intelligence without hardware or software installations, and can implement an automated market research tool at a much more affordable cost.
A robust customer intelligence-gathering strategy that combines call metrics, call recording, and speech analytics is one that helps businesses improve operational efficiency, enhance the customer experience, improve the bottom line, close knowledge gaps, and will play a key role in keeping a company on a course of growth.
Overall, implementing call recording and speech analytics capabilities will help businesses gain flexible, scalable business intelligence, using data directly obtained from customer conversations. This opens companies up to a new method of gaining customer and competitor intelligence, and provides them with data that is more quantifiable and lower in cost than traditional market research.
The extended customer data provided by combining call tracking, recording, and speech analytics technologies is newly becoming an important combination for companies to gather critical customer intelligence to leverage when making strategic business decisions and future plans.
Laura Noonan has 19 years of experience working with the SMB market. She leads the marketing teams at 800response and CallFinder, delivering telecommunications solutions and Web-based marketing technology tools, including sophisticated call routing platforms, real-time call tracking, custom 800 number service, and call monitoring services like call recording. She can be reached at (802) 860-0378 or by email at [email protected].