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Top five benefits of speech analytics tools for contact centers

Learn the top benefits of speech analytics technology for contact centers, and how speech analytics tools can lead to a better customer experience.

Speech analytics is one of the fastest growing segments of the contact center technology market, according to analysts and experts. Speech analytics tools are appealing because they allow companies to take action on unstructured data from customer interactions, and gain rare insights about their customers.

With new technologies, such as real-time speech analytics, emotional analytics and AI, contact centers can create better customer experiences. As interest grows in speech analytics, more vendors are beginning to appear, eager to provide the supply for the increasing demand.

When used properly, and with contact center best practices, speech analytics software can give a company a significant competitive advantage. If you're considering speech analytics for your call center, browse our list of the top five benefits of speech analytics tools.

1. Improve the customer experience

Improving the customer experience is one of the main reasons companies deploy speech analytics technology in the first place. Speech analytics software mines and analyzes audio data, detecting things like emotion, tone and stress in a customer's voice; the reason for the call; satisfaction; the products mentioned; and more. Speech analytics tools can also identify if a customer is getting upset or frustrated. Users can quickly identify a customer's needs, wants and expectations, and gauge how to best address any issues.

Contact center expert Donna Fluss saw the speech analytics market growing at a rapid pace.

For example, in 2007, when speech analytics was still a relatively new technology, the number of speech analytics implementations increased to 1,242, a 106% jump from 2006. And, in 2016, DMG Consulting LLC said the market continued to grow by 30.6%, citing speech analytics as the must-have strategic solution for enterprises. DMG predicts speech analytics tools will continue to see steady growth, saying the market will grow 18% in 2017, 17% in 2018, 15% in 2019 and 14% in 2020.

2. Coach and monitor contact center agents, improve service quality

Contact center (or call center) managers can use speech analytics software to monitor customers and call center agents simultaneously. Managers can track contact center agents' adherence to scripts and make sure regulatory requirements are met. 

Speech analytics technology is also useful for coaching contact center agents that stray from the script or who are underperforming, improving first call resolution and reducing call volume. Operational and performance issues that occur throughout the enterprise can be tracked and managed, leading to improved service quality across the board.

Speech analytics tools also help managers identify difficult calls, and then create specific workflows for handling those types of calls, leading to a more seamless experience.

3. Reduce operating expenses and save money

According to Fluss, speech analytics can pay for itself in three to nine months. The software can reduce call center costs -- it decreases operating expenses by detecting cost savings and ways to avoid spending money, while generating incremental revenue. There has also been an increasing trend in the enterprise in investing and prioritizing the customer experience over controlling costs.

Speech analytics tools can also be easily integrated with other applications, allowing organizations to create a cohesive and satisfactory customer experience. However, it's important to remember that, while the benefits can be substantial, they don't come easy. A significant investment of time and resources is required in order to tune a speech analytics application for a specific site.

4. Identify up-sell and cross-sell opportunities, boost revenue

The call center isn't the only area of the enterprise that can benefit from speech analytics software. Sales organizations using speech analytics can use the technology to identify up-sell and cross-sell opportunities, leading to increased sales conversation rates. Sales managers using speech analytics tools can also use the data to learn about how a particular up-sell or cross-sell impacted a customer's level of satisfaction, and how different customer demographics respond to offers. 

Real-time speech analytics applications can be used to create personalized up-sell and cross-sell opportunities that meet a customer's specific needs as the call is happening. Real-time analytics also helps managers provide agents with immediate support should an issue arise.

Speech analytics tools can also be used to track the effectiveness of marketing campaigns by identifying the customer's age, gender or any other specified marketing campaign target.

5. Reduce customer attrition

Many companies see a decrease in customer attrition rates after deploying speech analytics technology. According to Fluss, speech analytics can help companies identify why customers are leaving, giving them the opportunity to make the changes necessary to keep customers coming back. Also, improved service quality results in improved customer experiences and satisfaction, giving customers less of a reason to leave in the first place.

While these five core benefits remain steadfast, speech analytics tools continue to evolve. Speech analytics technology is beginning to incorporate AI and machine learning into new tools in the hopes of not just being able to analyze customers on calls, but to eventually be able to predict customer behavior. This would allow organizations to solve problems before they even happened, creating an even smoother customer experience.

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