The Factors That Are Driving Contact Center Leaders to Use Speech Analytics

Gone are the days where many used to predict that voice as an interaction channel was going to slowly fade away. Modern customers expect greater access to self-service that works. They also expect to be able to interact with businesses across digital channels. However, for complex issues and issues where customers expect empathy, phone often remains a top choice. Hence, firms must continue to find ways to seamlessly manage voice interactions with their clientele. Enter speech analytics.

Findings from Aberdeen's 2019 Contact Center Trends survey shows that 29 percent of contact centers currently use speech analytics, and more businesses say that they are incorporating the technology within their activities. The top reason driving contact center leaders to implement speech analytics investments is customer experience improvements. Today, delivering top-notch customer experience has become a key factor for firms to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Meeting and exceeding buyer expectations allows firms to keep their customers engaged and increase their spend over time.

But besides the pursuit of better customer experiences across voice interactions, what exactly are the reasons driving contact center leaders to invest in speech analytics? Participants in the survey noted that finding opportunities to cross-sell and up-sell is the second top reason driving them to use speech analytics. Speech analytics pulls apart voice interactions in real time analysis and can prompt agents through screen pops with recommendations for tailored cross-sell and up-sell opportunities. Companies must first satisfy their customers to grow their spend. Hence, the top two objectives have a natural correlation between them.

Other reasons for companies to use speech analytics include improving agent performance and ensuring compliance with regulations, such as the Payment Card Industry's Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) or the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Speech analytics also helps analyze phone conversations to determine whether agent activities improve or worsen customer sentiment. This information enables organizations to provide agents with relevant coaching and training. Similarly, speech analytics can be used to determine whether agents are following the appropriate rules, such as reading mini-Miranda rights, and if not, remind them to do so through screen alerts. As a result, companies minimize the risk of non-compliance.

Are you currently using speech analytics? What were the top reasons influencing your use of this technology, and were you able to attain the desired performance improvements after implementation? Please share your perspective.

Omer Minkara is a vice president and principal analyst in Aberdeen's Contact Center & Customer Experience Management Practice. Follow him @omerminkara