Blog 16th Apr 2020
image of lady taking a call in a contact center wearing headset

10 ways voice technology can improve your contact center customer experience.

Introduction

Download our Smart Guide to discover 10 ways using voice technology can improve your contact center customer experience.

 

Why is customer experience important to contact centers?

Customer experience is a priority for contact centers. Agents often represent the first interaction between a customer and the business. They are under pressure to ensure customers have the best experience.

The ramifications of a bad experience have a direct impact on revenues. Research from Magnetic North revealed that 71% of customers would consider moving to a competitor if they had to repeat their query to multiple contact center agents.

They also found that 32% of customers would go to a competitor immediately if the business did not meet their expectations for response time. This is echoed in a PwC study which revealed that 32% of customers would consider leaving a brand they loved after just one poor experience. The impact of bad customer experience costs UK brands £234 billion a year in lost sales.

With organizations making it easier to onboard new customers it has never been more important to ensure there are no reasons for customers to churn.

 

How can contact centers improve customer experience?

Some 86% of contact centers in a Speechmatics study recognized customer experience as a direct benefit of adopting voice technology.

Having recognized that customer experience is vital, it is next important to understand how to improve it. Contact centers use an omni-channel approach to enable customers to interact on their terms. These text-based interactions can be fed into analytics engines to get a better understanding of customer interactions.

According to a Microsoft study, 44% of customers in the US prefer to interact over the phone as their primary source of customer service channel. This is significantly higher than live chat which was the second most preferred channel with 23%. With so many calls coming through the contact center, it leaves a lot of voice data untouched.

Contact centers have recorded calls for a long time, mainly to appease compliance and dispute purposes. However, according to Call Centre Helper, contact centers analyze less than 3% of interactions. This leaves 97% of call data untouched as it is difficult to evaluate in audio format.

VP Products, Ian Firth says:

“We are now in a much more data-driven business environment. When we see a lot more data around us, we need to capture it otherwise we lose out on the business value of analytics.”

 

The use of analytics in improving contact center customer experience

Customer experience can be improved by evaluating customer interactions. From email and SMS to IVR and customer calls, the need for analytics is essential. Omni-channel text platforms can be combined with voice data from customer calls to provide a rich data set for contact centers. It gives contact centers access to unfiltered data on the voice of the customer to ascertain what customers want and importantly, what they don’t want.

Traditionally, contact centers recorded calls for compliance and dispute purposes. Now, they are using voice technology to transform these calls into a valuable text asset. This can be fed into natural language processing (NLP) tools to provide meaningful and actionable insights from voice data.

Market Research Future expects that the global contact center analytics market will reach approximately $1.52 billion by 2023.

Analytics provide considerable efficiencies for contact centers. Download Speechmatics’ Smart Guide to discover 10 ways contact centers can improve customer experience.

  1. 360 view of the customer
  2. Speed-up dispute / issue resolution
  3. Improve customer satisfaction
  4. Leverage sentiment analysis
  5. Identify best practices
  6.  Improve agent performance
    i. Knowledge base
    ii. Better training
    iii. Improve job satisfaction
  7. Call routing
  8. Interaction history
  9. Identify risk / compliance issues
  10. Automated tools and processes

From analyzing the voice of the customer to agents and internal processes, analytics empower contact centers to improve customer experience. It helps to understand the internal workforce, identify knowledge or training gaps and to roll out data-driven programs and campaigns.

For example, data taken from unfiltered customer interactions provides a wealth of information about the customer. This data can be used to improve engagement across all customer touchpoints. Are customers happy during the buying stage but then unhappy with the delivery method of the product? Analytics enable brands to transform bad experiences into good ones to improve the overall experience.

Scott Bakken, Cofounder and CEO at MainTrax said:

“Improvements in speech analytics will go far beyond simply increasing word recognition and transcription accuracy. Our understanding of the nuances and deeper levels of human communication is still being expanded, and future solutions will go far beyond simply looking for relevant keywords or phrases, or other content-heavy words, considering all the words being used as well as the structure, pacing, flow and tone of the conversation.”

 

How voice technology underpins analytics and improved customer experience

So, we know analytics is important, but how can you derive new meaning and actionable insights from voice data?

Analytics provide a lot of value to the contact center. However, its application is limited without an accurate transcription to underpin it. It is estimated that contact centers capture billions of hours of voice data each year.

Voice technology makes call data accessible immediately at a fraction of the storage capacity. It allows contact centers to access millions of hours of customer interactions which can be used for analytics. This analysis can inform training to improve agent performance and ultimately the customer experience.

Not any speech-to-text service will do, however. With so many customer interactions taking place over the phone it has never been more important to transform this voice data into text. It doesn’t matter how good the analytics solution is if the speech-to-text capability is not best-in-class – all the other solutions in your technology stack will be at a disadvantage right from the word go. For an analytics platform to add real value, it needs to be fed with high-quality input. Accurate transcriptions of customer interactions are therefore essential.

Whether it’s to route the caller to a specially trained agent to personalize the interaction or to determine the sentiment of a call to evoke a specific response, the need for an accurate transcription to underpin the understanding of a call is key.

Converting calls into text enable organizations to consolidate call data with data obtained from other omni-channel sources. Evaluating insights across all customer touchpoints allows organizations to analyze and identify areas of improvement and best practices. Contact centers can use these insights to provide customers with what they want, when they want and how they want it.

 

A guide to improved customer experience

infographic detailing how contact centers can improve customer experience using voice technology

 

Conclusion: Improving contact center customer experience

The contact center is a hub of information and innovation. To improve customer experiences and engagement, contact centers need to make the most of the data they have to make data-driven decisions. The need to analyze data across all customer and employee touchpoints, be this SMS, email, IVR, internal workflows or customer calls is essential to inform these decisions. Voice technology underpins the accurate analysis of the voice of the customer.

Analyzing voice data enables contact centers to unlock new meaning and value from customer interactions at scale. While previously only 3% of call data was evaluated, voice technology makes it easy to archive and evaluate 100% of customer interactions. Contact centers can find patterns and trends within interactions to inform decisions that impact the customer experience.

Combining insights obtained by analyzing voice data with other omni-channel sources, contact centers can get a representational view of the customer across all touchpoints. They can evaluate agents from different perspectives, improve agent training in real-time, highlight best practices and get feedback on every interaction made within or even outside the contact center.

At a time when customer experience and engagement has never been so important, machine learning and artificial intelligence are enabling contact centers to make data-driven decisions to influence these factors. Analytics makes quality customer experiences possible. But remember, analytics of voice data is only possible with an accurate transcription to underpin it.

Download our Smart Guide

Pieter Knight, Speechmatics

     

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