Speech Compliance Branches Out from the Contact Center into the Enterprise

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Verint provides a trading and collaboration compliance platform for the financial services industry that features compliance recording, speech analytics, and policy control technology. Called Verint Interaction Recording, it is an on-premises or hybrid cloud compliance solution that is designed for omnichannel contact centers; the product captures, indexes, retrieves, stores, and archives voice, video, and text interactions across multiple channels. The solution is designed to help organizations fulfill their record-keeping requirements, protect information privacy, perform fraud analysis, and manage communications. 

SteelEye is a cloud-based platform that helps financial firms consolidate trade and communications data to meet regulatory obligations. The vendor’s analytics solutions enable business to consolidate conversational data and single out individual traders, calls, and even words to check if their actions are compliant with regulations. In December 2017, SteelEye partnered with Verint, and SteelEye’s record keeping, trade reconstruction, and best-execution capabilities were combined with Verint’s recording and modular communications solutions in a single platform.

Clearing High Hurdles

But deploying speech technology to boost compliance presents firms with several challenges. When these tools are introduced, employees sometimes feel that Big Brother is watching. “One challenge for businesses has been resistance to the monitoring of employees’ behavior,” says Matt Smith, CEO of SteelEye. “Many individuals argue that an organization analyzing its employees and their actions in this way is a breach of their privacy—people can no longer go about their business without a machine analyzing the way they speak, what they say, and who they talk to.” 

The way that organizations present the results of the monitoring information to employees can have a significant impact on how employees view the tools. Rather than using the tools for punitive reinforcement, they need to use them in a positive fashion. Managers should recognize and reward employees who adhere to the scripts and coach those who fall short so they can do better. 

Traditionally, speech analytics have been applied after transactions. “Businesses would like to respond and correct possible compliance breaches in real time,” notes DMG’s Fluss. That desire presents hurdles. The software to diagnose possible breaches is complex and requires a great deal of processing power. Corporations would need to deploy high-end solutions and tune them so they identify potential compliance violations as they arise. 

It’s All About the Money 

This leads to another challenge with these solutions: They can be expensive. Oftentimes, the cost starts in the low-six-figure range and runs to the millions for large call centers with thousands of seats. So how do corporations justify such large investments? 

The regulations are not just paper tigers. Criminal prosecution and heavy fines have proven to be real threats to businesses. “The Financial Conduct Authority [FCA] has shown that they are willing to impose crippling sanctions on organizations which fail to meet their compliance requirements,” explains SteelEye’s Smith. “In the U.K. last year there was a 75% increase in the number of FCA investigations, and this hasn’t gone unnoticed by the industry, with many speculating that future penalties will be more severe.”

In addition, the tools fit with the current desire to enhance the customer experience. Ideally, agents perform at higher levels once problems are identified and they are given the tools to address them. 

Recently, speech technology has been rapidly evolving. More information is being collected, and its analytics and reporting features have become more granular. These advances have been occurring at a time when compliance regulations have been on the rise. As a result, more firms are turning to technology to ensure that their operation runs in accordance with company guidelines.  

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