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Analyze This: Speech-analytics Technologies Can Get to the Heart of What Your Customers Want
As published in Scotsman Guide

Written by: Patrick Botz

As published in

Ever wish you had a crystal ball?

Maybe you seek something to help you predict the future, make better decisions and avoid making mistakes? You're not alone. The quest for predictive technologies has led contact centers worldwide to evaluate the benefits of speech-analytics technology.

Speech-analytics technology essentially is software that provides tools to let organizations automate the analysis of recorded information, such as what is captured in phone calls.

Banks and mortgage brokers are harnessing the predictive powers of this technology to gain, save and retain customers. In this highly competitive, customer-centric industry, it's crucial to be aware of and to react quickly when an unusually high volume of customers are bailing out on loans or choosing your competitors.

By working with a speech-analytics program, you can quickly uncover the reasons behind this customer behavior. Armed with this knowledge, you can address the situation quickly, sometimes even as it is unfolding, to prevent any additional losses.

Why use it?


Recording phone calls -- a standard practice for most financial institutions -- results in an enormous amount of recorded data to be sifted through for compliance and quality assurance. Unfortunately, because of the extensive amount of time required to listen to and analyze recordings, only a small fraction of recorded data usually can be used.

Speech-analytics technologies allow organizations to automate the analysis of recorded information. They help mine data and drill into it to answer questions. Speech-recognition technologies can analyze conversations and quickly identify trends that were previously too costly and time-consuming to uncover.

Speech-analytics solutions can provide a straightforward, cost-effective way to access and leverage the valuable information that many organizations already possess -- derived from everyday voice interactions between their customers and employees.

Responding to customers

Traditionally, organizations have been forced to conduct expensive outbound call surveys to find out why their customers are leaving in favor of a competitor's product or service. With speech-analytics solutions, companies can identify trends in customer behavior and determine an appropriate course of action.

For example, speech analytics can alert mortgage companies whenever a competitor's name is mentioned. If an unusually high volume of these calls is detected, the calls can be scrutinized to uncover the reason.

Perhaps your competitor has launched an advertising campaign designed to target a specific customer base or is offering a free gift or some other incentive. Once the reason for the calls is established, the wheels can be set in motion to correct the situation before any additional losses are incurred.

The most prevalent cause of customer dissatisfaction is being placed on hold or suffering through multiple transfers. Speech analytics can identify the topics of calls that are most commonly put on hold in the first place. Once the reasons for customers being put on hold are identified, management can take remedial action to handle those calls more efficiently in the future.

Analysis of tonal and emotive characteristics, including stress or frustration levels, combined with contextual information from the interaction, provides additional insight into the customer experience. Consequently, a mortgage company can take proactive steps to mitigate dissatisfaction or to capitalize on satisfaction.

Monitoring costs

Automated call-scoring systems run in the background alongside recording equipment and generate reports for quality monitoring, employee evaluations or customer-satisfaction surveys.

For example, if an organization has a small group of sales representatives that consistently outperforms the entire group in customer-satisfaction surveys, the traditional response would be to monitor calls randomly from these employees to uncover "best practices." With speech-analytics, you can mine for word and phrase trends on all successful and unsuccessful calls to create more-focused training and feedback.

The overall advantage

Unpredictable customer experiences and fragmented contact-center performance can cripple productivity -- and excessive call-center overhead costs can be detrimental to raising revenues and profits. By implementing a speech-analytics solution, organizations are now equipped to combat these potentially detrimental problems.
Speech-analytics solutions are empowering financial-services organizations to be proactive -- to identify, intervene and optimize actively, rather than to wait and react. These powerful technologies help organizations reduce labor costs, maintain profits from loyal customers through better retention and reduce business risk associated with liability claims.
Speech-analytics systems model and predict customer behavior. In so doing, they identify trends to improve customer retention. They also provide organizations with an understanding of what types of interactions mean the most to a customer and which ones play a part in changing the customer's attitude toward the company, also known as "moments of truth."


Patrick Botz serves as global director of marketing for VPI (vpi-corp.com), a global provider of interactions-recording and workforce-optimization solutions for contact centers. As a customer-relationship-management practitioner, he focuses on the mission-critical aspects of capturing customer intelligence and optimizing workforce performance in real time. Botz has a master's degree in business administration from Pepperdine University and a bachelor's degree in engineering from Arizona State University. Contact him at PBotz@vpi-corp.com.


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