Speech Analytics Gets Real (Time)

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Speech analytics is no longer the new kid on the voice recognition block. After just over a decade, the market is booming and will continue to grow, thanks to multiple factors, most notably the emergence of real-time speech analytics.

Donna Fluss, president of DMG Consulting, says that the first time her company looked into the speech analytics market 11 years ago, there were only 23 commercial implementations. Fluss explains that at that point, speech analytics was used primarily in government agencies. It would take years before enterprises realized that speech analytics had the potential to work in the private sector, she says.

"I knew back then that speech analytics would be extremely compelling because it is, and remains, the only application that can structure phone conversations and find insights and trends," says Fluss, who names Nexidia as the first entrant to the speech analytics space. CallMiner followed closely behind, as did Utopy, which was acquired by Genesys in 2013.

In fact, according to DMG, the speech analytics market is showing "exceptional performance." The firm said that the number of reported contact center seats has increased 26 percent, from 2.3 million in July 2013 to 2.9 million as of the end of May 2014.

The upward trajectory is expected to continue: DMG estimates that the speech analytics market will climb by 20 percent in 2014, 18 percent in 2015, and 16 percent in 2016 and 2017.

"This market is moving in the right direction and the uptake is substantial," Fluss says. "It's now growing more quickly than it ever has before."

What Can Speech Analytics Do for You?

Whether it's post-call or real-time, both types of speech analytics help contact centers unearth hidden gems in conversations. Speech analytics is not only about phone calls, but about the root causes of issues, both the good and the bad. The technology can discover call patterns and trends, staffing and training problems, technical issues, and previously undiscovered revenue possibilities, to name just a few examples.

Most often, speech analytics is used to determine why a customer leaves a company—the dreaded churn factor. Data derived from speech analytics can offer important clues to organizations, which can then develop strategies to win customers back or keep them from leaving in the first place. More use cases for speech analytics are showing up in various industries, such as financial services, telecommunications, and, increasingly, healthcare.

"Customers will tell you when something is right and they will tell you when something's wrong," says Ryan Pellet, chief strategy officer at Nexidia. "The amount of information that you can collect is what Nexidia considers to be the largest nonmonetized asset of any company that is listening to interactions through speech analytics."

In the financial arena, companies have to be in sync with increasingly tighter government regulations, such as the Payment Card 

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