Speech Analytics: The Driving Force for Better Business Practices and Customer Experience

Speech Analytics: The Driving Force for Better Business Practices and Customer Experience

Gone are the days when providing the best customer experience was a matter of intuition or experience. In this day and age of cut-throat competition among corporates to reduce customer attrition, cut overheads and maintain profitability, Speech Analytics may be the answer you’re seeking to keep your business relevant, productive and smart.

If customer-centricity is on your mind, then you might be well aware of how far the world has come in ensuring stellar customer experiences that begin at your contact centers. Gone are the days of manually scoring calls and sifting through astronomical amounts of data to cull relevant insights. Enter Speech Analytics – a technology that creates meaningful voice data that can be used to assess interaction trends and help companies improve services, reduce costs and grow their revenue.

Here are some reasons why you should invest in a Speech Analytics Program:

Improve Customer Experience

If you’re a modern business owner, a typical day in the office will entail uncountable calls going back and forth between your agents and the customers. From sales calls to customer complaints, each of these calls has the potential to improve the next customer interaction but induce considerable profitability in your business. Speech Analytics Technology helps mine through the data generated from each call, analyze it for detecting emotion, tone and stress in the customer’s voice, the reason for call and satisfaction, products mentioned, customer reaction and much more.

A consistent and intelligent monitoring of this data can help your business to identify customer needs, gauge expectations and therefore be the perfect foundation to plan out best response strategies that will ensure customer satisfaction and reduce attrition levels.

Reduce Costs & Increase Revenue

If reducing operating costs and increasing revenues are the flip sides of the same coin, then Speech Analytics is here to make a mark. Here’s how the tasks are achieved:

Cost Reduction:

  • Headcount reduction through automation for call monitoring and compliance checking
  • Call volume reduction due to optimization of call strategies resulting from intelligent call monitoring and insight collection
  • Reduced cost of quality assurance and monitoring
  • Waste reduction for non-compliance

Revenue Increase:

  • Increase in sales conversion rates due to the application of best practices
  • Optimized marketing messages through instant customer evaluation
  • Better retention of customers and possibilities for referrals


Better Business Practices

More than just transcribing calls to text, Speech Analytics enable managers to mine through thousands of calls to procure relevant insights on customer retention, agent training practices, and operational strategies. Here’s how the technology actively participates in driving better business practices in corporations:

  • Operational efficiency: Improves departmental efficiencies through reduced Average Handle Time, Call Deflection, First Call Resolution, Transfers and so on
  • Quality Monitoring: Exposes inherent quality issues at call center management by reviewing all calls against a fixed set of employee skills and producing actionable information for Quality Management teams
  • Compliance and Risk Control: Analyzing call data against compliance standards
  • Sales Optimization: Improves sales strategies by extracting critical intelligence from sales calls that helps in revising sales strategies and increasing conversion rates


It’s no surprise that the Speech Analytics market has grown from a mere 24 customers in 2003 to more than 3.5 million in 2015—around 20% of businesses that have contact centers.

An investment in Speech Analytics Technology may just be one of the game-changing decisions you make for the health of your business. From cost reduction to opening up unlimited possibilities to elevate customer satisfaction levels that have a direct impact on your ROI, this is one of the most promising technologies on the corporate horizon today.


Deep Learning And Communication Through Powerful Apis

Defining The Future Of Deep Learning And Communication Through Powerful APIs

According to the Harvard Business Review, historical evidence shows that companies have little to no control over their customer’s experience with their brand.

This is because one can define customer experience as the sum of all of your customer’s emotions, interactions, and unexpected behaviors, and it simply cannot be empirically controlled.

While there may be some truth to the randomness of your customer experience, the advent of accurate speech recognition technologies in recent years is looking to buck the difficulty of the unknown with your customer interactions. Cognitive Insights is looking to give you a comprehensive understanding of the voice of the customer to interact with confidence and transparency, allowing you to provide the ultimate customer experience.

Your customers value customer experience—it has been found that 86 percent of people will pay more for a better experience with a business. With this in mind, it should be your goal fully understand the voice of your customer, and our speech recognition API is the key to helping you provide exceptional service. Here’s how!


Understand each individual customer.

Differentiated value and customer loyalty critically depend on treating each customer interaction on a case-by-case basis. It creates a perceived value to brand that will keep your customers coming back again and again. This approach only makes sense, too—more often than not, each situation from customer to customer is going to be slightly nuanced in how they are handled.

The customer’s voice is imperative to handling situations with ease, and speech recognition is the new norm to obtaining these insights. By having a record of every phone conversation with every customer automatically transcribed and broken down into its valuable parts, you are more readily able to comb these interactions for information that can lead to better experiences for future customers.


Identify keywords that recur in your interactions.

While each customer conversation is inherently unique, there are certain topics that you can more than likely group together. This can include categories such as “customer concern” or “hot lead” that can better equip you to direct service more accurately. By grouping individual conversations into broader topics, you can easily differentiate between what a customer has contacted you for in order to provide a more seamless experience for them.

This is where speech recognition can also play a huge role in deciphering the voice of the customer. Identifying key words and phrases about the intentions of your customer—such as “I wish,” “I want,” and “I need”—you can start to develop a voice strategy to better handle the customer’s desires.


React quickly to your customer’s needs.

At the end of the day, it’s all about a quick conversion for the customer. Whether that be the completion of a sale or resolution of an issue, being able to solve problems quickly is paramount to customer retention and loyalty. The combination of catering to each individual’s needs while identifying recurring events in your conversations with your customers will give you the unparalleled power to creating a unique and unified customer experience.



Transform Customer Experience

Are you ready to tap into the raw power of the voice of the customer? Let Cognitive View show you how speech recognition technology is the key to creating the ultimate customer experience!


Sales Agent Evaluation with Call Monitoring and Scoring

Sales Agent Evaluation with Call Monitoring and Scoring

As customer centricity in businesses continues to increase, the importance of call centers and agent-customer interactions has come into sharper focus. Customer experience management is increasingly becoming the determining factor in whether the customer in question will continue to do business with you or switch to the competition. As is evident, it has become imperative for business owners to invest their energies in employing best practices to focus on customer retention and manage effective interactions.

Things, however, are especially bad with the banking and financial sector in Australia. The recent Royal Commission inquiry has revealed gross malpractices on the part of call center employees of some of the front-line Australian banking and insurance companies.

Apparently, the culture of heavily incentivizing agents for bagging policy sales has led them to flout basic norms and ethics during customer interactions on call. Some made admissions that sales staff gave personal advice or opinions to consumers when selling life insurance over the phone. It was also revealed that the company’s quality assurance system did not mark calls as non-compliant when a medium or high-risk operational requirement was not met.

As technology advances, NLP based applications such as Cognitive Insights with that uses Natural Language Processing for functionalities such as, Automated Regulatory Compliance and Sentiment & Tone Analysis to enhance customer interaction experience, are increasingly being employed by Call Centre Managers to handle quality issues and improve agent performance.

However, these applications are just part of a long and lasting set of integrated solutions called, Call Monitoring and Call Evaluation.

Call Monitoring, Scoring and Evaluation

Monitoring, Scoring and Evaluating calls is the sure-fire way for call center managers to keep track of their agents’ performances. With this scientific and elaborate method, they can easily spot and discover problems within their teams by monitoring their interactions against set standards, thereby boosting quality standards, compliance, and overall customer satisfaction levels.

Steps to ensure Quality Control at your Call Centre

1.     Setting Quality Goals: At the pre-monitoring stage, set a baseline of metrics to measure against. This will help compare the current state of the call center against the desired state. Ask questions like: What standards should be put in place? What areas are functioning perfectly?

2.     The Monitoring Process: Develop a quality monitoring scorecard that takes into account not only the agreed upon metrics but also other indicators that will be instrumental in driving financial stability and improved customer experiences. Some things to be considered while building the ideal scorecard are:

a.     Metrics should be aligned with company policy, customer expectations, KPI’s and external benchmarking

b.     Maintain clarity on the definition and measurement of Quality Interactions (how/what will be measured?)

c.     Comprehensive understanding of customer expectations through data collected via interviews, surveys and focus groups

d.     Identification and listing of excellent, average and poor quality examples of behaviors to be assessed

e.     Continual reassessment of scorecards to detect scope for improvements

3.     Training Managers and Agents: Conduct Manager-Agent coaching sessions to update the team about metrics and expected codes of behavior in customer interactions.

4.     Analysing Calls for Data: Make calls with the metrics in place and monitor them against existing scorecard. Analysing each call will reveal if existing scorecard is working or not. While it is impossible to monitor each call, the ideal scenario is to strategically select calls prioritized by importance and criticality i.e. new agent calls, high-value prospect calls, calls to those with negative experiences in the past and so on.

5.     Repeat and Update: Review and update processes according to monitoring experiences.

As a business owner, Call Monitoring and Scoring can directly impact your revenues by influencing customer retention rates and much more. Here’s why you shouldn’t be thinking twice about it:

·       Improves Agent Productivity by successfully spotting his flaws in interactions

·       Provides Insightful Feedback through Manager-Agent coaching sessions

·       Helps Goal Setting by taking action on qualitative/quantitative data culled through call data mining

·       Tracks Progress through scientific Call Monitoring and Call Scoring

·       Expedites Skill Building by pinpointing agent problem areas

·       Improves Customer Satisfaction by improving service quality

To ensure consistent call delivery quality, it is important to invest in standardized call monitoring practices. This will increase agent effectiveness and remarkably reduce compliance issues while decreasing agent turnover and costs. That’s a small investment for big returns!

How balanced scorecard and conduct gateways can be used to improve the culture

How Balanced Scorecard and Conduct Gateways can be used to improve the culture

All is not well with the Australian Finance Sector. The recent Interim Report by the Royal Commission has lashed out at banks and mortgage-home loan agencies for gross malpractices accruing from sales-based incentives for all banking staff. This has led employees to ‘put profits before people’ and the “pursuit of short-term profit at the expense of basic standards of honesty”.

Almost all the scandals unearthed in the report can be traced back to improper handling customer needs, driven by the need to ‘sell’ and not ‘serve’. Practices such as up-front and trailing commissions paid to mortgage brokers by lenders are making the home loan market more risky, the royal commission said. Volume and Value based broker payments in the burgeoning home-selling markets are leading huge advisory failures and accounting for considerable monetary losses for the client.

Most agree that the solution is far more complicated than a refurbishing of existing regulations. Nothing short of a “banking revolution” can salvage the Australian finance sector from the trust-void it has created amongst the common customer. So far however, regulatory responses have focused on the remediation of specific instances of poor advice, rather than seeking to identify root causes within institutions and the industry.

Those responses largely set the tone for future approaches to misconduct by financial advisers, that is, to compensate customers according to arrangements negotiated with ASIC while requiring few changes to the business itself.

Where’s the Problem?

A look at the present state of measures and controls throws light on the problem. The Report reveals that:

Governance and risk management practices being insufficient to prevent poor conduct.
Culture and conduct being driven by remuneration practices and policies: The report questions whether incentives are really necessary for staff and intermediaries to do their jobs effectively.
It also questions whether any bank employee should receive an incentive for helping to sell a product to a client.
While existing balanced scorecards and conduct gateways disqualify ‘wrongdoing’, they are insufficient and still do not a) account for aggressive practices b) reward the correct and proper performance of a task

What’s the Solution?

As Norton and Kaplan (the inventors of the Balanced Scorecard) noted, while today’s managers recognise the impact of measures on performance, they rarely think of measurement as part of their strategy. Effective measurement, however, must be an integral part of the management process.

Here’s how the Balanced Scorecard can help the finance sector:

Strategy to Performance Shift: The Balanced scorecard translates a company’s strategic objectives into a coherent set of performance measures. As such, it can initiate breakthrough improvements in such critical areas as product, process, customer, and market development.

Easily Adaptable: The scorecard is easily adaptable to various industrial scenarios. In view of the Australian crises, the need of the hour is to re-calibrate the measure in incentivizing customer value and experience rather than incentivizing purely sales.

Offer Real-Time Feedback: The Balanced Scorecard can be regularly updated to generate and use feedback received from business processes. This is especially relevant for Australia that is facing a loss of trust among customers and therefore needs the banking/mortgage sector to be constantly upgraded in its dealings

Increase employee productivity and reduce costs: As the Balanced Scorecard is aligned to the company’s objectives; it also takes into account individual employee performance, measuring it against regulatory standards. This in turn helps the sector reach optimal productivity and accrue maximum value for both the customer and the company.

Advanced AI based applications like Cognitive Insights, (world’s first regulator-optimised augmented intelligence platform) may be of immense help in this regard – as it is designed to extract knowledge from regulatory and compliance data from various control points across the organisation to drive balanced scorecard and conduct gateways.

In face of the scandalous revelations by the Royal Commission, the Australian economy is facing a long tight-rope walk between maintaining profitability and reviving customer trust. The smart way out is a re-calibration of Balance Scorecards and Conduct Gateways focusing on a shift from ‘sales’ to ‘customer experience.’ An effective reassessment of banking and mortgage measures and controls is the need of the hour.

Cognitive View blog

What is Cognitive View