Ovum: Investment in Speech Analytics in Call Centers Set to Double

Global call center spending on speech analytics is set to double, growing from around $95 million in 2009 to $180 million by 2014, according to Ovum.

A new report released today by the independent telecom analyst has found that although still an early-adopter technology, speech analytics will grow in importance during the next few years, helping businesses to improve customer loyalty and processes.

Spending on speech analytics will increase at a compound annual growth rate of 13.5 percent between 2009 and 2014, predicts Aphrodite Brinsmead, an Ovum analyst and author of the report. "Companies have shown significantly more interest in the technology as they begin to understand the business case. Consequently they can now justify the costs despite tightening IT budgets. Vendors have increased their market education efforts, in addition to offering flexible pricing and scaled-down versions of the solutions. This makes speech analytics more accessible, laying the foundations for increased adoption," she said.

Brinsmead identifies the key functions of speech analytics as call categorization, emotion detection, and root cause analysis to find the key reasons that customers call a call center. Speech analytics can be used to search for key words and phrases to determine whether agents are adhering to scripts. Calls can also be grouped into categories, such as repeat calls or cancellations. By using speech analytics to identify repeated issues, companies can work toward improving problem-resolution strategies, create better processes, and improve customer service, she said.

“The high growth comes from a small base of early adopters, and the technology is unlikely to become a core, must-have technology like call recording or [quality management]any time soon. Although the principal uses for speech analytics—categorizing calls and finding issues—could prove useful for any organization, the technology is not yet essential for a call center to function.” 

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