As recently as 2005, contact centers were designed with a focus on ensuring all systems support the company. But in terms of customer service, expectations were much lower. Companies could get away with putting in a lot less effort.
However, times have changed. And customer service expectations have grown exponentially. Since 2013, contact centers have been focused on hiring and training the right agents to ensure the best customer experience. After all, contact centers interact with customers more than any other department. Contact center agents are in the best position to establish and build customer relationships. Businesses are also realizing that in order to serve the customer, they must know the customer.
Before Speech Analytics: A Brief History of Quality Assurance and Call Recording
Figuring out what customers want was a real challenge to companies in the past. Quality assurance was mainly manual and maintained by supervisors listening to live calls and walking the contact center floor to coach agents. In other words, agents were scored with a simple checklist.
By the early 2000s, however, this type of QA gave way to listening to a handful of recorded calls after the fact. Listening to a random sampling of calls resulted in an incomplete evaluation of agents. Despite that, the goal was to provide agents with feedback on calls based on specific criteria, such as a closed sale, a missed opportunity, etc.
But more often than not, finding the right calls was based more on luck than anything else. Evaluating trends involved gathering data from multiple sources and painstakingly creating formulas in spreadsheets. Then, with the development of custom software, managers discovered trends more easily. But this still didn’t solve the time-consuming task of 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 how CallFinder can help your business in a free demo!