Skip to content

Speech Analytics is not reaching full potential in UK Contact Centres

Fewer than half are using Artificial Intelligence and real-time automation and analytics features

LONDON- 11th December 2019Contexta360, a leading speech analytics, AI and conversational computing company, today released the results of research into the deployment and use of speech and chat interaction analytics in UK contact centres and the view of voice calls as a customer support channel.

The survey polled 250 UK-based contact centre managers and found that although 92% have some form of speech analytics solution in place, a high proportion (43%) have deployed it in the past 12 months. Analysis of the responses reveals that, while using speech analytics is common for compliance and agent monitoring, organisations are not leveraging the full capabilities of the technology and less likely to be realising the real-time automation and intelligence benefits it can deliver. The findings also highlighted problems using call recordings with third party analytics software and the fact that newer users are experiencing difficulties.

Key findings:

  • 92% are using some form of speech analytics; 43% only started using it in the past year
  • 46% said they found it challenging to use recordings from their speech/chat technology with third party analytics solutions; a further 11% said it was not possible at all
  • 54% of deployments have no AI or deep learning capabilities
  • 57% say the voice channel is still important for customer service; 14% said the days of the voice channel as a customer service medium are numbered
  • Improved customer satisfaction, greater customer insight and improved compliance are the top three benefits speech analytics users hope to achieve.


Low AI adoption and significant integration difficulties

Fewer than half of surveyed organisations reported that their speech analytics platform has any AI and deep learning capabilities (46%). Only 43%  were using AI to auto-summarise call actions while 41% used it to auto-complete C-Sat/NPS surveys based on call contents and under half (48%) were using it to auto-inject the conversation into the CRM record, a facility that significantly improves the accuracy and future value of customer intelligence.

Respondents also reported difficulties using their call recordings with third party analytics platforms. Overall 46% said this was challenging and not as easy as they would like, while 11% said it was not possible at all. Among those who have deployed speech/chat analytics in the past year, the percentage finding this difficult was much higher – 68% said it was challenging and twice as many respondents said it was not possible compared to those who had used the technology for a longer period.

Commenting on these findings Andrew White, CEO, Contexta360 said: “The research indicates that enterprise adoption of speech/chat analytics is at an inflection point: companies are deploying the technology but not necessarily accessing the full range of advantages that are available. Interoperability with third party solutions is a challenge, especially for newer users, while use of the more advanced automation features offered by AI-powered interaction analytics platforms is not yet widespread. It is also clear that legacy vendor solutions are not easy to use or align to customer needs.”

“There is a clear opportunity for contact centres to deploy these additional capabilities to improve efficiency, accuracy and agent productivity. When scoping out providers, the focus needs to be on open, flexible technology that offers fast time-to-value.”

Agent performance, call intent and compliance are the main uses of speech/chat analytics

The most popular use of speech/chat analytics by respondents was to monitor agent performance (50%), followed by detecting the intent of the call (49%) and compliance with regulations (47%). Only 39% were using it to detect the sentiment of the call.

Larger organisations (5000+ employees) and those with more than 150 agents in their contact centre placed more emphasis on monitoring agent performance. Mid-sized businesses were more likely to be using speech analytics to detect the intent of the call and to assess compliance.

The enduring importance of the voice channel in the face of digital alternatives

Overall 57% of respondents said the voice channel was important to customer service provision, but among these there were reservations. 19% felt it was a necessary but costly medium for customer service and 15% felt it was important but hard to get usable insight and link it to other channels. 18% said they were actively looking to move customer interactions away from the voice channel as far as possible, while a further 11% agreed that the voice channel is of decreasing relevance to their business compared to digital alternatives.

Organisations that have been using speech/chat analytics for more than one year were more positive about the voice channel, with 28% rating it a premium channel with high value to their organisation, compared with only 20% of more recent adopters. More recent adopters of speech/chat analytics were more likely to say the days of the voice channel are numbered, with 18% holding this view compared with 10% of more mature users.

Andrew White, adds: “The voice channel continues to be important to consumers, particularly in the moments that matter when they need urgent help, when there is a high value transaction or customer conversation or a sensitive escalation, therefore it is still important to businesses. If contact centres can see beyond using speech analytics mainly for monitoring and compliance purposes, and realise the automation and real-time agent augmentation that AI-powered platforms can deliver, they can turn that channel from a costly burden into a competitive advantage.”


Research methodology

The research was conducted by independent research company, Opinion Matters, in November 2019.

250 contact centre managers were surveyed, with half representing companies with 500-4999 employees and half representing companies with 5000 or more employees. The survey explored how organisations are using speech and chat analytics, ease of use, how well it integrates with other technologies and platforms and the benefits respondents aim to realise.

About Contexta360

Contexta360 helps enterprises capture voice and video conversations across multiple languages, transcribing and analysing them for biometric, compliance, sentiment, topic, context, effectiveness and CX. Build a 360-degree view of customer interaction by analysing your conversations or transactional history from chat, email, social and CRM / ERP data files. For more information please go to