Importance of speech analytics in call centers

Sprinklr Team

June 2, 202312 min read

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Imagine this scenario: You call a customer service center and wait several minutes to connect to an agent. Once connected, the agent struggles to understand your query, and you're forced to repeat the same information multiple times. Doesn't this sound frustrating?

Unfortunately, most callers face the same hardship, resulting in a poor customer service experience that costs companies nearly $1.6 trillion every year in the U.S. alone.

However, the good news is that speech analytics can help alleviate the situation by analyzing caller issues accurately in the first go, which improves customer satisfaction in a big way.

Whether you are a call center manager looking to improve customer satisfaction or a business owner looking to enhance your customer service experience, this blog is for you. Read on for the features of an efficient speech analytics tool and how to implement such tools in a call center.

Table of Contents

What is speech analytics in call centers?

Speech analytics in call centers is a process that can reveal subtle nuances of a conversation, such as specific phrases, vocal attributes, sentiment and tone. It can even detect emotions expressed by both customers and customer service agents.

At its core, speech analytics is powered by cutting-edge technologies such as machine learning and natural language processing (NLP). In addition, it relies on sophisticated algorithms that dive deep into historical audio data collected from customer interactions. These algorithms act as detectives, diligently searching for and identifying patterns, trends and insights that can unlock critical information about customer needs, preferences and pain points.

By using speech analytics software in call centers, businesses can gain a deeper understanding of customer experiences and expectations, opening up a whole new realm of insights that was unexplored previously.

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The transformative power of speech analytics

Speech analytics has the power and potential to transform your call center operations. By understanding recurring issues or areas in which customers face challenges, call center managers can design standard operating procedures (SOP) for their agents to respond swiftly, as well as take decisive actions to address and resolve recurrent concerns.

Consequently, customer satisfaction will improve, paving the way to unwavering customer loyalty. Moreover, speech analytics empowers call centers to capture the authentic voice of customers, enabling businesses to personalize their services and support and meet customer needs efficiently.

Therefore, in short, robust speech analytics is a gateway to the realm of enhanced customer experience, building solid and lasting relationships that stand the test of time.

Why is speech analytics a necessity in modern call centers?

Call centers are under constant pressure to deliver exceptional customer service and drive business growth. Customers today expect a high level of service, and they want their questions answered quickly and painlessly. They also prefer to interact with customer service representatives who are knowledgeable and helpful. Unfortunately, traditional monitoring and evaluation of customer interactions in call centers fall short of meeting the heightened demands of today's customers.

This is where speech analytics emerges as a necessity in modern call centers, providing a range of benefits that enable businesses to thrive in a customer-centric era. Here's how speech analytics can benefit various functions in call centers:

1. Improving customer satisfaction and loyalty

With speech analytics, call centers can identify specific problem areas in customer service, allowing you to resolve them promptly.

For instance, speech analytics tools can detect patterns in the causes of frustration among customers, such as a prolonged wait time before reaching a representative. Armed with this insight, you can address the issue by implementing a more efficient call routing system.

As a result, the wait time for a customer decreases, leading to increased satisfaction and a higher likelihood of retention.

2. Reducing costs and increasing revenue

Speech analytics can help call center agents to improve their skills by spotlighting poor support interactions and negative customer sentiment. When your agents are well-equipped with the right skill sets, they are able to reach resolutions faster, reducing your average handling time and overall operating costs for the call center.

Implementing speech analytics in call center operations can significantly enhance your agents' efficiency, increasing your revenue and profitability.

Further, speech analytics can be an excellent tool for identifying upselling and cross-selling opportunities. Call center agents can assess customer preferences and recommend relevant products or services by analyzing customer conversations.

You get access to new avenues of earning revenue while improving customer satisfaction, as 60% of customers tend to become repeat customers once they have a personalized experience with a brand.

3. Staying ahead of the competition and adapting to change

Call centers must keep up with evolving customer needs and preferences in order to remain competitive. Speech analytics enables managers to analyze customer feedback, identify trends and adapt their services to meet customer needs with agility.

Moreover, speech analytics in customer service can provide call centers with valuable insights into market trends and customer needs. For example, it might reveal that a significant number of customers express frustration when discussing a specific product feature. Once call center managers have this insight, they can address the issue by improving the feature or providing agents with guidelines on handling such concerns effectively.

It can also provide insights into the underlying causes of customer issues or complaints or top contact drivers. For instance, if multiple customers mention long hold times or difficulties in reaching the correct department, speech analytics tools can flag these issues as potential causes of customer frustration. Call center managers can then take action to streamline call routing processes or implement measures to reduce wait times.

Similarly, if customers express an interest in a new product or service, call center managers can inform product development teams of the requirement and the team can then prioritize the required offerings in their roadmap.

Learn More: How to Improve Contact Center Routing Efficiency with AI

4. Ensuring compliance with legal and regulatory requirements

Legal and regulatory requirements regarding data privacy, financial services, healthcare and telecommunications bind call centers. Speech analytics in call centers can ensure compliance with these requirements by analyzing customer conversations for compliance issues, such as unauthorized disclosures of sensitive information or non-compliance with regulatory guidelines.

For instance, by analyzing calls, businesses can identify cases wherein agents do not follow scripts or provide incorrect information.

Must Read: How to ensure contact center compliance in 2023 (+ checklist)

5. Identifying operational and performance issues

Speech analytics can help call centers to identify operational and performance issues, impacting customer satisfaction and loyalty. By analyzing call volume, call times and agent performance metrics, call center managers can identify areas of inefficiency and take corrective actions to improve the overall performance.

For example, if the call volume is high during certain times of the day, call center managers can adjust staffing levels to ensure that calls are answered promptly. Further, if agents struggle with certain types of calls, managers can provide additional training or coaching to help them improve their performance.

Features of an efficient speech analytics tool

Here, let us look into the key features you must consider when choosing a cutting-edge speech analytics tool:

1. Accurate transcription

The speech analytics tool should be able to transcribe every conversation accurately in real-time. This way, you are ensured of a complete and accurate record of what was said during the call.

2. Advanced analytics

The tool should be able to identify patterns and trends in customer behavior, agent performance and overall call center operations. As a result, you can identify areas for improvement and implement changes to enhance customer experience.

3. Customizable dashboards

The ability to create custom dashboards is important because it allows you to track the metrics that are most important to your business. For example, if you are a call center for a telecommunications company, you might want to track metrics such as average call duration, customer satisfaction and churn rate. You can then use this information to identify areas of improvement for your customer service and thereby reduce churn.

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4. Integration with other tools

The speech analytics tool should integrate seamlessly with other call center tools, such as your CRM or workforce management software, ensuring that all your data is in one place and can be analyzed together.

5. Easy to use

For analysts and agents, the speech analytics tool should be simple to use, which will increase the likelihood that they will fully utilize and benefit from the product. The user interface must be simple to use and navigate. Additionally, it ought to display error messages and clear, concise directions.

How to implement speech analytics in a call center?

Now that you know what to look for in a speech analytics tool, are you wondering how to implement it in your call center?

Here are some critical steps you can follow:

Step 1: Identify your goals

Before diving into implementing speech analytics, it is crucial to define your goals and desired business outcomes. Then, ask yourself what specific improvements you want to achieve through speech analytics.

For example, you may aim to enhance customer satisfaction by addressing pain points or reduce call times by identifying inefficiencies in call-handling processes. By setting clear objectives, you can align your efforts and measure the effectiveness of speech analytics in meeting those goals.

Step 2: Choose the right tool

Research and evaluate different speech analytics tools available in the market. Consider factors such as accuracy, scalability, ease of use and compatibility with your existing call center infrastructure. Look for a tool with robust speech recognition capabilities, advanced analytics features and customizable dashboards.

Additionally, consider the vendor's reputation, customer reviews and customer support services to ensure smooth implementation and ongoing support.

Step 3: Define critical metrics

Identify the key metrics you want to track and measure using speech analytics. These metrics could include average handle time, first-call resolution rate, customer sentiment analysis, agent performance, or specific compliance requirements. By defining these metrics, you can effectively monitor and evaluate the impact of speech analytics on your call center operations and customer experience.

Step 4: Train your agents

Educate your agents on effectively utilizing and incorporating the speech analytics tool into their daily workflows. Provide comprehensive training sessions highlighting the benefits of speech analytics and how it can empower your agents to deliver better customer service.

You can also train them to interpret speech analytics insights and guide them on leveraging those insights to improve customer interactions. By empowering agents with the necessary knowledge and skills, you can maximize the potential of speech analytics to drive positive outcomes.

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Step 5: Analyze the data

Once speech analytics has been implemented, leverage the power of data analysis to extract meaningful insights. Analyze the captured customer interactions to identify patterns, trends and areas for improvement.

For example, you might discover common customer pain points, frequently-asked questions or areas wherein agents require additional call center training. Use these insights to refine your call center processes, agent workflows and coaching programs.

Step 6: Take action

The true value of speech analytics lies in taking actionable steps based on the insights gained. Use the identified opportunities for improvement to drive operational changes. You can do this by leveraging insights to refine your agent training programs, revise your call scripts, implement new quality assurance measures or redesign customer support processes. Regularly monitor the impact of these changes and iterate as needed to continually enhance the customer experience and drive positive outcomes.

Interesting read: Contact center analytics — a comprehensive guide for 2023

The remarkable turnaround of customer care at AkzoNobel U.K.

AkzoNobel U.K., a top global coatings and paints company that owns Dulux, Cuprinol, Sikkens and Polycell, understood the importance of social media, even for a paint and primer brand.

However, in 2015, they had 60+ fragmented social accounts across multiple brands, with small audiences, and managed by various agencies. Consequently, the team recognized the need for a more mature social media strategy and a unified platform to manage multiple social channels, accounts and brands. On top of that, they required a method to escalate messages requiring immediate attention and track the value of care agents.

AkzoNobel U.K. adopted Sprinklr Service, the support module of the Sprinklr Unified-CXM platform to refine its complex care process. Their customer care team had no way to automate or prioritize inbound queries. As a result, it took them nearly a week to respond to customer inquiries before onboarding Sprinklr. The team set a goal of responding to customer care inquiries within two hours, and with the help of Sprinklr, they were able to respond to 47% of inquiries within five minutes by November.

With the Sprinklr Service solution, AkzoNobel U.K. has scaled from having limited to world-class social media management capabilities. They now provide social customer care across six social channels, 19 accounts and six brands.

Using Sprinklr, they dedicated two agents purely to social care. They also tracked social care's value to the business, which worked revolutionarily for them in the last 12 months.

As a spokesperson from the organization mentions, "We are supporting customers with their complaints and queries while also generating added value revenue through our social responses."

Future of speech analytics

Imagine a world where call centers address customer concerns and anticipate their needs before they even arise. With speech analytics, call centers can fit into the modern customer service landscape, identify emerging trends, adapt their services accordingly, and stay one step ahead of the competition.

Speech analytics technology is transforming call centers into agile, data-driven hubs of excellence in customer service. As a result, call centers can revolutionize their operations with hyper-personalized customer experiences, real-time issue resolution, predictive insights, proactive service, compliance and risk management and continuous process improvement.

Armed with insights from analyzing customer conversations, agents can deliver exceptional experiences, enhance efficiency and maximize revenue growth. The possibilities are endless, and the call center of tomorrow will be a customer-centric, proactive and data-driven hub of excellence.

For call centers to get the most out of speech analytics, they need to choose the right tool, train the agents rigorously, monitor their performance and restrategize as required.

Don't miss out on the opportunity to transform your call center operations with Sprinklr's powerful speech analytics tool.

Visit us today to schedule a demo and learn more about how we can help you improve customer satisfaction, reduce costs and increase revenue.

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