Speech analytics – what does it all mean?
By Steve Rosier
Posted in Customer Engagement
When it comes to understanding your customer, organisations have the onerous task of managing the multiple platforms and streams of insight that customers post, tweet, blog and of course, call through to the contact centre. But what sits behind the customer communication – what is really driving it? A good place to start to look for this answer is the contact centre.
While a typical tweet is only a handful of words, a typical customer call to a contact centre is more than 1,000. This interaction provides rich insight into the true drivers of customer behaviours, wishes and unmet needs. While feedback from social media sites provides us with valuable information, much of that information is either: a) solicited by us and therefore arrives within the parameters set by our questions, or b) a summation of past experience with little context into what’s driving a particular comment.
In recent years, marketers have turned to speech analytics in an effort to better understand customer behaviour and feedback. This critical listening post is the lifeblood of the contact centre, but has daunted marketers due to the sheer amount of information it gathers. Current speech analytics tools make it easy to categorise, search and track key metrics of interest—retention, brand awareness, product and service quality, and customer satisfaction.
Even more critically, speech analytics can offer a unique glimpse into the drivers of these metrics: a) why customers leave, b) why customers view a brand well or poorly, and c) why customers like/dislike a company’s products and services. These customer interactions can also serve as focus groups on demand, enabling marketers to quickly access opinions already expressed in customer calls without having to make additional contact.
Today’s speech analytics software lets marketers combine CRM and other structured data from their marketing repository. This information can then be mined for related customer calls, pinpointing a recurring concern or perhaps even a larger trend. We’ve even seen some innovative departments use speech analytics to build customer profiles, such as “attrition risk,” by effectively using the contact centre to identify hidden segments in the customer set.
As with most feedback sources, marketing departments rely on asking the right questions. Feedback is often provided within the context of the questions asked. Today’s advanced speech analytics tools can helpfully detect spikes or dips in what customers are talking about, even without direction from the user, triggering alerts to inform the right teams ¾ and serving as an early warning system that a storm could be on the way. By tapping into these customer concerns early, organisations can resolve the issues that can drive down customer satisfaction scores and keep them from flaring up in social media.
The contact centre has long been an important source of customer feedback, and speech analytics tools help marketing departments fully mine the value stored in customer calls, quickly and easily. When combined with evaluating other customer touch points ¾ such as email, phone interactions, chat, social media and more ¾ marketers can fully develop their voice of the customer program and see the full 360-degree view of the customer.
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