AnalyticsSpeech Analytics

Speech Analytics – What Can Be Learned from Science?

Speech Analytics

Image credit: Manu Escalante

State of the nation

Data, data everywhere – but what is it saying? Our most personal behaviours on Facebook, Linkedin, Google and online shops are measured and stored – to the consternation of many consumers. We apparently hold no secrets in the online world. Businesses harness these vast amounts of data (Big Data) to uncover insights into the ways consumers react and respond online. The methods used to uncover and analyse these insights are often routed in psychology and the scientific method.

Contact Centre professionals struggling with analytics have something to learn from these techniques as well.  After all, science has been testing, analysing and explaining human behaviours for decades. In popular culture, we become aware of this research even if we don’t really know how the results were derived (who hasn’t heard of Maslow?).

Using analytics the contact centre can confirm gut level hunches and identify new insights about human behaviours and interaction patterns. However, it is not as easy as plugging in the system, as many have found.

Many struggle with the system to produce valid word hits or speech to text conversions (depending upon the type of analytics solution).  For these companies, many multiples of the original licence or rental fee has been invested in trying to get a result. For those that have struggled through and have identified specific words, the reward from the business is often “So the customer says this word or phrase, so what?”

To get meaningful results, contact centre professionals need to leverage from psychology and the scientific method to uncover meaningful patterns in consumer behaviours that can be interpreted. In this way, speech analytics is less about a successful technology deployment and more about understanding what you are trying to find out and then using the scientific method to identify and explain it.

It’s time to rethink the approach to speech analytics…

If you are one of those that is struggling with analytics, there are three key reasons why it’s time to re-examine your approach:

The Very Nature of the Contact Centre is Changing.

The data revolution begins with the very nature of industry itself. Contact centres functions are simply becoming more complicated. No longer are individual agents siloed to simple enquiries – that is being moved across to digital channels. Instead agents are asked to perform complex tasks and solve problems that cannot be done online.   This makes it challenging for speech analytics to measure because the conversations are complex. In these situations, the context of the conversation is often as important as the actual conversation itself.

At The Same Time, Data is Opening New Doors and Insights Into Behaviour

Many speak about “digital footprints” referring to the internet but contact centres also have data trails. Everything an agent does using technology leaves behind a trail of data with traces of information. That trail can be tapped for insights into your behavior to provide context and clues behind the customer conversation. Real insights into complex issues happen when you collect all of the data you need to answer your ‘research question’.

Whilst the digital transformation journey is accelerating – elsewhere

Many contact centres seem to be a somewhat passive partner in the digital transformation journey, but this shouldn’t be the case. Using speech analytics, managers can identify how digital channels can improve or aren’t working based on customer feedback, as well as identify what services the customer expects to see. The contact centre can be a valued part of this journey by regularly reporting upon the customer experience.

This type of tracking and analysis is happening all around you. Breakthrough results are possible, but only if you treat the speech analytics tool as one data source in your enquiry, not the whole answer. Context is important!

Join the Evolution!

If you’re ready to get ahead of the curve, leverage untapped data, and improve connections between your staff and customers to boost your bottom line, contact us now.

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