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The future of AI-powered speech analytics: 6 considerations to gain maximum business impact


AI-fuelled speech analytics has been around for the past 18 years. Initially, speech analytics was popular with enterprises, who were early adopters of this new technology.

The mid-market businesses followed, with more cost-effective speech analytics platforms that made their way into the stack in contact centres across the globe. Speech analytics today is mainstream, AI-fuelled and feature rich, with businesses seeking to further utilise and extend the use of their platforms to release the many business benefits.

Ultimately, the objective will always be to improve the financials, for example increase the top line, reduce costs and improve profitability.

Today, the business impact of AI-powered speech, chat and text, often called interaction analytics, should not be underestimated. Speech analytics can bring financial improvement if businesses make the most of what it offers. There are six questions you need to ask to ensure AI-powered speech analytics is benefiting your business.

  1. Are you following your Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) and is this automated?
  2. Are you finding new insights and opportunities that should amend your SOP and is this automated?
  3. Are you detecting broken processes and is this automated?
  4. Are you augmenting the workload of your staff and is this automated?
  5. Can you truly automate customer interaction without damaging CX/C-SAT/revenue?
  6. Are you mitigating and automating risk, compliance and maximising trust?

Are you following your SOP?

Every company or organisation has a defined SOP process for selling, serving, or supporting its customers or prospects. Some are heavily defined, some less so, but we all have them. One of the challenges is gaining a uniform standard of operations: the height of procedural excellence that covers knowledge, soft skills, process and a myriad of other dynamics. Speech analytics plays a critical role in this field as other data capture mechanisms are either gamed, incomplete, wrongly categorised or just not collected in the first place. Speech analytics and interaction analytics can give you an impartial view of the real voice of the customer and cover 100 per cent of all interactions. This delivers a phenomenal baseline and true visibility in a simple red, amber and green format of how the business functions across all channels whether they are answered by a human or a bot.

Are you finding new insights?

It is a fact of life that humans do not always get it right and the world changes at an alarming pace so, whatever your SOP, you should always be open to changing it. You should have the ability to automatically detect changes to your internal environment (for example product change) or external environment (competitor change) and be notified that this insight changes your SOP. You should know if you are no longer optimised, you are missing sales opportunities or incurring unnecessary costs. Advanced AI-powered speech analytics can automatically unearth unknown and new topics of conversation that do not fit into the drop-down field options and are not part of the defined knowledge set.

Are you detecting broken processes?

This can be lined up with identifying new insights but can also stem from systems failing or integrations and or knowledge not being in sync: the web says X but the IVR routes to Y. This is actually a great example. I recently asked a company what percentage of their calls were routed correctly. They said 93 per cent, which is high, but where did they get this understanding? They said that they extracted the switch CRD record and tracked all transferred call records. There were very few calls transferred. What they did not know was their agents were saying: “You have come through to the wrong department. I could transfer you but trust me it would be quicker if you redial and press 5.” The call was closed, with no transfer, and it was recorded as first call resolved (as far as the agent was concerned, they had solved the problem as the customer was talking to the wrong department).

Are you augmenting the workload?

The workload is not only increasing, but it is also getting more complex and more dependent on real-time solutions. Competitive challenges, pricing, packaging and super-complex delivery supply chains are dramatically impacting businesses. Additionally, we know automation is just scratching the surface in relieving the high-value, high-complexity issues and opportunities, and many of the simple interactions fail and end up with our human agents. Augmentation is a key asset in supporting the agent in high-pressure workload environments. Speech analytics assists in automating call classification, auto-summarising actions, customer intent, questions or issues, as well as prompting best next actions or ideas to assist the speedy resolution of a call.

Can you truly automate customer interaction?

Automation is clearly the future. It has such a direct impact on costs and, in many cases, convenience for the customer if it is done correctly. Today, we know that there is a massive failure rate, with frustration and damage being done in this area. This topic requires a blogpost all of its own as it is such a massive topic that spans into areas such as joining up the human-to-human analytics to capture failed automated experiences and updating knowledge, process or areas of service. Going further, we see a need to go beyond decision-tree automation – the press 1 for credit card, 2 for mortgage and so on – to a truly conversational experience, with the same level of understanding as a human agent.

Are you mitigating and automating risk, compliance and maximising trust?

This one does not need much explaining. It can cost organisations dearly, in money but also in reputation and trust. Add all these together and we arrive back at financial transformation. Closing the loop is essential.

If you would like to know more about Contexta360 and how we have helped businesses of all sizes navigate interaction analytics, please feel free to contact us.