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Voice analytics enhances customer experience

Voice analytics is revolutionising the way customer service is delivered in contact centres. Can it improve customer satisfaction levels as well?

Businesses are diving head first into ‘big data’ within their contact centres to provide a better, more personalised customer service experience. This data is bought together from a vast array of internal and external sources, including all digitised customer interactions – from phone, social media, email, instant messenger and even in-person.

Assessing this information provides businesses with a robust, fully referenceable, 360-degree view of every customer. But there’s one technology that has come on leaps and bounds as part of this customer experience equation – voice analytics – and it’s proving increasingly valuable to businesses of all sizes and industries.

Voice analytics – the process of digitally analysing interactions between customers and agents – helps businesses take their products, processes and customer service efforts to the next level.

While speech analytics has been around for more than a decade, recent advancements in digitalisation, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) have made it extremely powerful, enabling companies to transform vast troves of customer-related data into eye-opening, real-time insights.

In fact, the market is growing so quickly it’s expected to reach a valuation of US$2.17 billion by 2022.

By digitalising the conversation and comparing key-indicators against an exhaustive database, a company can forecast if a customer call is headed in the right direction or veering off track.

It can evaluate the pitch and tone of a customer’s voice against predetermined benchmarks to determine if they are satisfied or becoming upset or frustrated. Or by evaluating pauses, silence or crosstalk, the organisation can determine how successfully the agent is answering a question or resolving an issue.

Challenges and implications

The embrace of big data comes at an opportune time, not just for organisations that use contact centres, but also for the economy in general.

According to Zendesk, over the past five years, customer satisfaction has fallen 2.2% globally to 92.5% in 2018, while in Australia it has decreased by 0.94 to 95.13%.

Australian consumers also have higher expectations of customer experience (CX) than the global average. Half of Australian consumers’ expectations are higher than they were a year ago, compared to the global average of 46% – highlighting why it’s important for Australian businesses to make CX a key focus in their business.

No doubt customer satisfaction is facing an uphill battle in Australia, with trust slowly rebuilding in the wake of key events like the Banking Royal Commission. Against this backdrop, it truly is the perfect time for customer experience to shine and help rebuild satisfaction levels.

Opportunity beckons

Voice analytics has a vital role to play in this process. By using big data-based voice analytics properly, organisations now have the insights to overcome the thorniest issues challenging their customer service efforts.

They can readily identify common issues that typically prompt customer calls, resolve more problems on the first contact, shorten call-handling times and even improve the quality of their product and service offerings.

And that’s just the beginning. Bringing together speech analytics and AI will enable contact centres to instantly analyse customer conversations and provide real-time prompts on how to best handle calls.

For instance, if the system picks up cues that an agent is struggling or a customer is becoming disgruntled, it may prompt the agent to transfer the call to a more-knowledgeable agent or supervisor.

Alternatively, if the system determines that a customer seems amenable to additional products or services, it can provide the agent with a menu of cross-sell or upsell opportunities and even a suggested sales script.

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