Once upon a time (that is to say, as recently as 2005), contact centers were designed with the focus on ensuring all systems were working fluidly to support the company. When it came to customer service, expectations were much lower, and companies could get away with putting in a lot less effort.
But times have changed, and customer service expectations have grown exponentially. Since 2013, the emphasis in contact centers has become more geared toward hiring and training the right agents to support customers and ensure the best experience possible. After all, contact centers interact with customers more than any other department, and are in the best position to establish and build relationships. Businesses are also realizing that in order to serve the customer, first they must know the customer.
Before Speech Analytics: A Brief History of Quality Assurance and Call Recording
The task of figuring out what customers really wanted was a real challenge to companies in the past. The majority of functions in contact centers were once mainly manual, with quality assurance being maintained by supervisors listening to live calls taken by their agents with a simple checklist to fill out. By the early 2000s, live call monitoring gave way to listening to recorded calls, with individuals listening to handfuls of specifically selected calls and evaluating several agents per hour by hand. The goal was to provide agents with feedback based on calls specifically chosen based on criteria such as a closed sale, a missed opportunity, etc.
But more often than not, actually being able to find such calls was based more on luck than anything else. Having to evaluate trends meant putting together data from multiple sources and taking the time to create formulas in spreadsheets (Excel was still fairly new at the time). The development of custom software allowed agents to discover trends more easily, but it still did not solve the time consuming issue of actually selecting which calls to score. Teams were going through hundreds of calls day after day, and even then, only about 1% of calls were scored. Not a very valid sample size from which to glean any real results. There had to be a better way. Enter: Speech Analytics.
Speech Analytics in the Contact Center
The development of speech analytics technology has made it possible for contact centers to quickly categorize and review 100% of their calls, thus obtaining more accurate samples for evaluation. It is no longer enough to simply listen to customers; one must truly understand what customers are saying by unearthing tacit problems and issues hidden in each conversation. By identifying specific keywords and phrases, speech analytics can expose trends and patterns, taking the morass of unstructured data and converting it into actionable insights and improved business processes.
Speech analytics is also a powerful tool in training contact center agents. Speech analytics is the most effective tool in monitoring agents and ensuring compliancy, particularly in more regulated industries. It can also help agents learn better techniques for handling specific kinds of calls, such as being able to better recognize at-risk customers and developing methods to keep from losing said customers. By perpetually utilizing speech analytics, contact centers can ensure agents have the skills and confidence they need to always provide a superior customer experience.
Speech analytics software was once considered too expensive for all but the largest companies, but is now affordable for even small businesses. And the ease of implementing a cloud-based speech analytics system means results can be achieved even more quickly. The time of guessing what customers want has come to an end. With speech analytics, you won’t guess; you’ll know.
Discover the Power of Speech Analytics with CallFinder
Using your recorded audio files, a free assessment of your calls between agents and customers will reveal the customer experience you’re currently delivering, and will give you an easy opportunity to discover how your customers travel through the experience with your company when they call your business. Learn more at mycallfinder.com/obtain-cx-insights-with-callfinders-free-assessment/.