Considerations for Introducing Speech Recognition Automation to Your Contact Center

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Voice recognition technology is changing the face of consumer markets across the globe. Voice searches are now the number two choice for mobile web searches. People are becoming accustomed to the technology as a part of their daily lives.

Beyond personal use, voice recognition can also have huge benefits for businesses. One example is in the contact center business process outsourcing (BPO) market. Here, automated compliance monitoring and speech analytics are just two areas of the technology that can provide significant rewards.

Companies can benefit from speech recognition automation in a number of ways, including the following:

Reduced costs:

  • Automatic transcription of recorded calls is normally done by manually typing. Whereas at best only a sample can be transcribed manually, the speech recognition engine can process all of the calls, whether in real time or offline.
  • Compliance monitoring. Using artificial intelligence and natural language processing, the technology can compare the transcribed calls to templates, in the case of outbound sales calls. It automatically flags words or phrases suspecting of being non-compliant, in turn saving vast amounts of time and cost in the audit process.
  • Automatic call routing. AI and natural language understanding enable the technology to automatically steer calls to the appropriately skilled agents just by allowing callers to say why they are calling in their own words. This minimizes call queuing, improving customer experiences and freeing up lines at busy times.

Improved Security:

Call centers operating in highly regulated markets rely on strong security measures. Banks, for example, often confirm identities with a series of questions, but these are not fail-proof. An alternative is to use voice biometrics to identify callers using unique features within their voices, reducing fraud and improving CX since callers do not have to go through the arduous question-and-answer routine that is the norm.

Of course, decision makers might have reservations about implementing automation via speech recognition technology. This is because voice recognition solutions, quite rightly, are seen as extremely sophisticated in their abilities and overly complex or demanding of resources and effort. However, this couldn't be further from the truth; the technology can be easily and quickly deliverable, with many built-in automatic processes for smooth running, scalability, and hands-off adoption.

Also true is that implementation involves next to zero interruption of day-to-day business. This, combined with flexibility of siting the software on the vendor's cloud, the customer's cloud, or on premises, can mean little or no change to existing IT setups.

The second misconception is that speech recognition technology will change organizational processes. This does not have to be the case. The key is to choose a provider who can bring a flexible approach to its offering that enables contact centers to integrate speech recognition technology with minimal disruption, a solution that supports existing business processes, maintaining and then maximizing efficiency.

When choosing a speech recognition technology provider, a few qualities to consider to ensure that they are best fit for your business include the following:

  • Knowledge -- Your business needs are unique to your industry. In the banking sector, for example, call centers will require solutions that can provide a high level of security, so you might need a vendor whose specialties include voice biometrics, allowing the call center to seemlessley automate caller identification and verification procedures.
  • Optimization -- The chosen solution should be able to deliver business benefits from the moment it is implemented and contain functionality that continues to optimize its performance automatically. This is sure to get the backing of agents and managers alike.
  • Effectiveness -- Make sure the vendor is equally effective in how it can support your evolving needs; digital transformation is not a one-shot process, and once you get used to using one form of automation you will wish to progress, adding new areas of functionality. In this respect, some vendors will not be so effective in the longer term, since they specialize in very limited areas of speech technology. It might pay dividends to read industry reports to identify vendors that can offer the broadest range of speech functionality.
  • Scalability -- Finally, it is essential that the solution you implement can grow with your business. Any speech recognition technology that you use becomes a necessary part of your business and needs to be able to keep up with plans for growth. Automated compliance monitoring, for example, should allow you to handle more calls as your business demands.

Implementing this four-step assessment will help your contact center implement speech recognition technology that benefits the business effectively and immediately without causing disruption to current processes.</p

Gary Williams is director of sales and consultancy at Spitch.

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