IT, New Media & Software

Friday, 17 October 2008 11:29

Speech analytics for improved customer service

{pp}The use of speech analytics in a contact centre environment is fairly widespread, but its use in a post-call survey is a new application with important benefits for companies wanting to raise the bar in customer service.

Speech analytics is able to detect a customer’s mood, monitor his/her tone and react to key words (e.g. swear words). “By using speech analytics in a post-call survey, the contact centre can automatically detect how that customer is feeling – not necessarily from the content of their responses, but from the tone”, says Dave Paulding, Interactive Intelligence’s regional sales director for UK and Africa. If the contact centre decides that the customer is upset, it can be programmed to transfer the call immediately to a team leader or supervisor who can deal with the problem there and then. This is revolutionary for problem resolution.

Even without speech analytics, post-call surveys have gone a long way to help companies get a realistic view on customer satisfaction levels. A survey of 362 companies conducted by Bain & Company in the US in 2006 revealed a startling incongruity. Companies were asked if they were delivering a superior service, and 80% replied “yes”. Their customers were asked if they were receiving a superior service and 8% replied “yes”.

Over the past few years, contact centres have woken up to the fact that they need to do more to get an accurate view of their customers’ experience of their service. As technology has advanced, companies are choosing post-call surveys over mailed questionnaires and follow-up calls as they have a relatively high response rate – 10-15% versus 2% in mailed surveys – they are cheap to implement, and companies can get the results quickly. But while post-call surveys enable the company to get a view on service areas that could be improved, as well as input into agent training that may be required, the customer who received the bad service is still leaving the contact centre with a problem. With the use of speech analytics in a post-call survey, the company still gets the feedback on areas for improvement, and is also empowered to take active steps to change a customer’s experience from a bad one to a good one.

“Another benefit for using speech analytics in post-call surveys is that contact centres can completely customise their post-call survey settings to take an action appropriate to their organisation. Some vendors offer a self-configuration option using a set-up wizard, so it is not necessary for the contact centre to call out a technician every time that want to change their post-call survey”, says Paulding. For companies wanting to change the dynamics in their customer relations and raise the bar customer satisfaction, speech analytics in post-call surveys is a critical step.

About Interactive Intelligence
Interactive Intelligence Inc. (Nasdaq: ININ) is a global provider of unified business communications solutions for contact centre automation, enterprise IP telephony, and enterprise messaging. The company was founded in 1994 and has more than 3,000 customers worldwide. Interactive Intelligence is among the top 500 global software and services suppliers, and is ranked among the top 200 North American networking vendors. The company employs approximately 600 people and is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana. It has six global corporate offices, with additional sales offices throughout North America, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific.

Contact Information:
Interactive Intelligence
+1 317.872.3000
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Editorial contact details:
Interactive Intelligence
Dave Paulding Regional Sales Director,
UK & Africa UK Office: +44 20 8867 3676
SA Mobile: 072 737 5216
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