Turn Speech Analytics into an Enterprise Change Agent

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Speech and text analytics are powerful service tools because they provide insights into customer needs by structuring customer conversations and converting them into metadata that can be analyzed. The findings can help to identify customer trends, opportunities, and attrition risks. Such tools can be used in real time to alert management of mishandled customer conversations, regulatory issues, agents who are not complying with scripts, and potential fraud. Speech and text analytics can tell you why customers are calling in and/or writing about your organization.

The challenge is to properly use and apply the findings from these applications. What do you do with the trends and insights that are uncovered in customer communications? In today’s world, where communications and transactions happen at the speed of a smartphone, companies need to move very quickly if they want to take advantage of the findings from speech and text analytics. They need a process for sharing findings among sales, service, marketing, product development, legal, regulatory, fraud, and other departments so that they can respond appropriately. This is the value proposition and promise of speech/text analytics. DMG Consulting research finds that the quantifiable contributions of speech analytics grow as the findings from these solutions are used by more departments within a company.

Today’s customers believe they deserve great service at every step of their journey and are quick to share dissatisfaction via social media. Enterprises invest in their service organizations to offer an outstanding customer experience, and they expect to see a payback. Speech and text analytics are highly effective at identifying enterprise-wide opportunities, whether for service improvements or new sales and revenue opportunities.

Enterprises should adopt these steps to realize the greatest return from an investment in speech and text analytics:

1. Treat speech and text analytics as enterprise business intelligence solutions. Although such solutions typically analyze contact center recordings and written inquiries, the findings and insights can apply to the entire company.

2. Find a senior executive to champion the initiative. This will give the effort credibility.

3. Create an enterprise-wide committee to oversee the speech/text analytics initiative. The committee should include representatives from all departments where system findings apply, and it should compose a charter pledging to use the findings to drive change within the company. It should work with all department managers to explain the purpose and benefit of speech/text analytics so that the solution is well received.

4. Hire experienced resources to implement and roll out the speech/text analytics solution. If resources are not available, hire the technology vendor to help with the implementation and train internal resources.

5. Identify two to three targeted uses of the speech/text analytics solution. Address these opportunities thoroughly before rolling the solution out widely.

6. For each of the targeted opportunities, identify key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the effectiveness of the solution. Prior to rolling out the speech/text analytics solution companywide, use the KPIs to measure performance and save this data as a baseline. Six months after rolling out the speech/text analytics solution, re-evaluate performance based on the KPIs to determine the impact and contributions of the speech/text analytics solution.

7. Once data is available, apply the speech/text analytics findings to other targeted challenges. Use the solution to diagnose issues and work with appropriate department managers throughout the organization to fix each of the issues. The committee’s goal should be to address challenges and make necessary corrections to improve the customer experience and journey.

8. Once the initial challenges are fully addressed, move on to new opportunities as identified by the solution. But continue to keep track and measure performance for all previous issues.

Speech and text analytics can provide insights into the performance of many operating areas within enterprises, as customers and prospects freely share their thoughts and feedback with service organizations. Companies that are successfully using speech/text analytics are applying this data to drive organizational change. The findings help to improve the performance of contact centers because they can be analyzed to identify opportunities for improvement. But the ultimate power and benefit of these solutions comes from using them to detect and address the underlying issues that drive people to reach out in the first place.

Donna Fluss (donna.fluss@dmgconsult.com) is the president of DMG Consulting, a provider of contact center, analytics, and back-office market research and consulting.

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