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Speech Analytics: Debunking the Myths

Like the urban legends that lurk ceaselessly on the Internet, every industry has its own share of myths that seem to take on a life of their own.  Even in the contact center industry we have our share of myths, misunderstandings and mix-ups.

Unfortunately, we don’t have our own version of Snopes to check on the validity of contact center myths, so very often they’ll take on a life of their own, lasting much longer than they should or would if the truth were exposed.Paul_Stockford_400x400_resized.png

Speech analytics is one of the contact center market segments that seems to generate more misunderstandings and myths than other technology solution segments.

I’ve personally heard a number of stories about speech analytics implementations that make me want to grab the storyteller by the shoulders and explain in no uncertain terms where the problem lies—and it’s not with the speech analytics software.

Perhaps my perspective is a bit skewed because I’m such an analytics fanboy. The greatest benefit of speech analytics, in my opinion, is that it addresses a problem that shows up in one way or another in just about every contact center.

The problem? We don’t know what we don’t know.

By transcribing and mining recorded voice customer communications for business intelligence, speech analytics can uncover nuggets of information that can have an immediate and positive impact on not only the customer service function, but on operations throughout the enterprise.  All you have to do is install the software, put your feet up on your desk and wait for all that valuable information to magically appear on your desktop.

Wait a minute. That’s one of the myths about speech analytics—the part about putting your feet up and waiting for the information to magically appear is anyway. That’s not the way speech analytics works, but for many speech analytics users it is their expectation.

No one buys workforce management (WFM) software, downloads it to the server and waits for schedules to be magically generated. There is a level of expectation that accompanies a WFM implementation in terms of the dedicated resources required to make WFM perform at optimal levels. Analysts must work with the WFM software on a daily basis—a full-time job—in order to realize the maximum return on investment (ROI) of a WFM solution.

Like WFM, speech analytics requires dedicated resources to make it perform at its best. While speech analytics software will bring anomalies and anything of interest to the attention of the user, it is the user’s responsibility to take that information and run with it.

For example, analytics will pinpoint unusual distribution of words or phrases that would likely go missed otherwise. As these words and phrases bubble to the user’s desktop, it is up to him or her to decide what to do next and take appropriate action. That’s why you need an army of analysts for speech analytics.

Wait another minute. I think that’s another myth—the army part I mean. While dedicated resources are required to maximize an investment in speech analytics, these resources should not be an economic burden on the contact center or the enterprise.

While attending Verint Engage 2016 in Chicago last month, I met a Verint customer from the financial services industry who swears by the value of speech analytics. She told me about how it has not only sharpened their quality management process but has saved the company potentially millions of dollars in losses by identifying fraudsters when they call the contact center.

When I asked this particular customer about her contact center’s dedicated speech analytics resources, I was surprised to hear that they have one speech analytics analyst and two interns taking care of their 700 seat contact center.

The bottom line is speech analytics, like workforce management, does require dedicated resources; however, the resources required are far from overwhelming. More importantly, speech analytics offers a rapid, tangible ROI similar to workforce management.

If you’ve been putting off adding speech analytics software to your contact center customer care arsenal due to what can best be summed up as industry myths, consider this blog your Snopes reality check and take another look. Speech analytics is within the reach of any contact center today.

For more on how speech analytics can potentially benefit your organization, check out Verint’s August 3 “Ask the Experts” Webinar.

The post Speech Analytics: Debunking the Myths appeared first on Customer Experience Management Blog.

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