Using the recent Leeds conference ‘Improving Performance in the Contact Centre’ as a platform, a NICE customer was quoted as saying they could potentially achieve cost savings of £1m by using speech analytics software tools over a two year period. This example was reinforced by a case study from WPS Health Insurance who are early users of this technology.
We explore the claims and look at the facts…
According to Datamonitor there is “a growing move to provide competitive differentiation through superior customer service.” This can be achieved using tools such as advanced speech analytics, which consolidate data from both IT and Telephony systems across the enterprise. The NICE SmartCentre suite in particular adopts a multidimensional approach that incorporates sophisticated features such as word or phrase spotting, emotion detection, and screen recording to highlight how agents navigate their workstations whilst interacting with their customers.
The culminating result of successfully bringing together these information strands is powerful; management have the ability to extract data and turn it into meaningful information. Market trends and operational issues that have previously taken weeks to establish can now be identified in a matter of days and the appropriate action, be it remedial or the enhancement of an existing process, can be applied rapidly.
So how do you identify whether such tools will save you money? As you would expect this is the killer question, and achieving the big financial wins from speech analytics technology is all about the ability to turn the theoretical usage into practical application. To do this requires a clear understanding of the target business applications and you should expect these to range over a number of different business groups, some of which may reach beyond the immediate contact centre environment. As an example, do not be surprised to find that you are looking to involve Marketing and Back Office along with standard Call Centre Operations.
In summary, here are the key differences between the use of ‘speech analytics’ and standard call recording. In Call Centre Operations the primary area of focus is the x% of operating expense that is tied up in personnel costs. Most companies today have to a greater or lesser degree implemented ‘quality’ programmes to improve this area, but delivering positive results takes determination and hard work. Where this effort falls short; ‘quality’ initiatives tend to fall by the wayside. By using ‘speech analytics’ the hard work is taken out of the equation because the mountains of calls are automatically sifted to find the nuggets that have real relevance. This process means that the benefits of a quality initiative can be consistently delivered and should be delivered without fear of failure.
Other business benefits are not always immediately apparent but by thinking outside of the metaphorical ‘call centre box’ it is easy to see that the Marketing department could also be a big winner from the use of speech analytics. Because specific calls can be identified through the use of word and phrase spotting it means that customer feedback is providing near real time market intelligence. Market trends and customer acceptance can be monitored day-by-day and promotional campaigns adjusted on the fly. Assuming the business acts on this information the commercial benefits could be enormous.
The ‘back office’ would also appear to benefit in two principle areas. Firstly, by getting closer to the customer and being able to examine customer interactions on a first hand basis and secondly by achieving better reporting. Consider the following:- Team Managers typically spend more than a quarter of their time consolidating reports, team evaluations and other information from disparate systems into spreadsheets. Senior Managers then spend yet more time manipulating that data to get a clear view on overall performance.
The inherent automation within the advanced analytics tools virtually eliminates these manual processes providing a concise, accurate and timely view of business performance whenever and wherever it’s needed. Data is automatically consolidated, analysed, weighted, and delivered as a ‘single version of the truth’ at all levels throughout the organisation.
Over a surprisingly short period of time, significant cost savings can be achieved through more streamlined Management intervention alone. However, the real returns are gained through redeployment of this expensive resource to where it’s most needed elsewhere. In the particular case study referenced by NICE, this newly available time was spent re-deployed to individual one-on-one coaching to improve the skills of underachieving Sales Advisors.
In reality, the financial returns achievable are only limited by appetite for aligning individual performance with corporate objectives and scale of business. What the client study did provide is compelling evidence that the use of best of breed tools alongside best practice processes can significantly improve the corporate bottom-line performance.
In our opinion there is no doubt that ‘speech analytics’ is the future of all call centre recording. The winners will be the organisations that can efficiently put this technology to work; when and how will depend on good analysis, but doesn’t everything?
Find out more about Speech Analytics, Contact Business Systems now.