Interaction Analytics Reduces Risk—and Enlarges Customer Happiness

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As a matter of good business practice, companies should be dedicated to delivering outstanding service to customers at every step of every interaction, and through every customer touch point. Some companies fail to appreciate this, unfortunately; the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was established to protect consumers from bad business practices, ensuring that companies treat customers with fairness and integrity. It's a pity that not every company seems to do right by its customers, as evidenced by the large financial penalties—ranging from $43 million to $105 million—levied on some U.S. mobile carriers, for example. Given the technologies available today, after all, there is no longer any reasonable excuse for not paying attention to customers’ needs.

Speech and Text Analytics Provide Customer Insights

Speech and text analytics (known collectively as interaction analytics) provide insights into customer needs, wants, and insights. These solutions capture, analyze, and structure customer conversations and written communications so that the discussions can be made available for the company to analyze. The structured data can be used to detect customer concerns in general—and in particular, to identify which agents are not complying with their scripts and policies. Interaction analytics can also be used to recognize new issues as they arise, such as a large number of complaints about new prices and fees.

This allows an organization to flag and address customer concerns before they escalate enough to be called to the attention of regulatory bodies. Of course, the organization has to want to hear what its customers are saying for the solutions to be of value.

Speech and text analytics cannot prevent a company from violating regulations or mishandling customer complaints, but it can rapidly identify and quantify the issues, if the findings are shared throughout the organization. Although speech and text analytics solutions are typically applied to calls and written communications that are received by contact centers, they can identify service and corporate issues.

Best Practices for Reducing Corporate Risk

Here are a few best practices that will help organizations use interaction analytics to reduce the risk of legal and regulatory violations.

  1. Establish a corporate interaction analytics team to manage and oversee system findings. The team should report to a senior executive who oversees the overall customer experience and should be empowered to work throughout the enterprise.
  2. Apply interaction analytics as a change agent. The team should meet with all relevant departments on a weekly or monthly basis to discuss findings; department managers should be required to share their plans for addressing issues and then be held accountable for making the necessary changes.
  3. Identify root causes. Interaction analytics can be used to identify the reasons why customers are interacting with your organization.
  4. Conduct trend analysis. Root causes can be analyzed to track trends on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
  5. Use script adherence. This practice can help ensure that agents say the right things and do not say the wrong things. Provide coaching on a timely basis to agents who need guidance.
  6. Check for consent verification. When selling products and services, use interaction analytics to verify that customers have consented to services and fees.
  7. Ensure adherence to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). Speech analytics can be employed to automate the triggering of pause/resume controls to the voice and screen recording systems; this ensures compliance with these important credit card regulations.
  8. Identify serious customer concerns in real time. Monitoring transactions and providing alerts in real time allows managers to intervene while the caller is still on the line; this emerging use of speech analytics is helping organizations identify unhappy callers, at-risk customers, and hot prospects.

Utilizing interaction analytics in these ways will position a company to improve the customer experience and reduce the risk of refunds and fines. But it takes more than technology to prevent bad business practices. For interaction analytics to be used successfully, companies must create a culture of change and transparency and reward their managers for working together to improve the customer journey.

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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