How Speech Recognition Can Change Customer Satisfaction


Contact centers are under immense pressure to deliver positive customer experiences that create value and help organizations meet business goals. Pieter Knight, senior executive at Speechmatic says by harnessing the power of automatic speech recognition systems, contact centers can boost CX, improve quality of service and get over the regulatory compliance hump. 

For contact centers, customer satisfaction is crucial. Poor customer experiences can affect customer satisfaction, loyalty, and ultimately a businesses’ bottom line. In fact, customer intelligence platform VisionCritical estimates the overall impact of bad customer experiences in the U.S. is more than $537 billion a year.  

According to a PwC studyOpens a new window , one in three customers is prepared to consider leaving a brand they love after even just one poor experience. And 73% of customers point to experience as an important factor in their purchasing decisions, behind cost and product quality. PwC found customers are willing to pay more for the experience qualities that matter most to them – 43% of consumers would pay more for greater convenience, 42% would pay more for a friendly, welcoming experience and 65% of U.S. customers find a positive experience with a brand to be more influential than great advertising.  

While contact center interactions used to be limited to phone conversations, they have now adopted a more personalized, omnichannel approach with options including phone, text, email, chatbots, and more. Text-based interactions are often fed into analytics engines to get a better understanding of customer interactions, but voice data is typically left untouched. 

To compensate, many contact centers record calls for compliance and dispute purposes. However, this call data can also be a valuable asset to analyze customer interactions — something that is woefully underutilized. In fact, research from Call Centre HelperOpens a new window suggests that contact centers analyze less than 3% of customer interactions.  

Learn More: What Is a Speech-Enabled Call Center and Why Might You Need One?

Driving Enhanced CX with Speech Recognition Tech 

In order to improve the customer experience, contact centers need to make the most of this information to make data-driven decisions. Speech recognition technology holds the key to unlocking new meaning and value from customer interactions at scale – it makes it easy to archive and evaluate 100% of customer interactions. Patterns and trends can then be seen and used to inform decisions that improve customer experience.  

By combining insights obtained by analyzing voice data with other omnichannel sources, contact centers can get a more holistic view of the customer experience across all touchpoints. This allows contact center managers to improve agent training and evaluation, highlight best practices, and get feedback on customer interactions.  

However, for an analytics platform to add value, it must be able to pull from highly accurate data. Advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence have paved the way for speech-to-text technology that can detect and transcribe in real-time as well as recorded calls.  

Learn More: Is Your Contact Center Ready for the Post-COVID Age?

Voice Tech Can Get Over the Hump of Regulatory Compliance 

Contact center agents are tasked with keeping customers happy, but with increasing call volume, the pressure to reduce call handle time, and a range of customer personalities, sometimes this task can be more difficult than it may seem. By directing challenging calls to the contact center agents most likely to be able to help, contact centers can ensure customers’ issues are resolved more quickly and efficiently. Voice technology enables real-time identification of such calls and effective contact center call routing to connect callers to specific agents or specialized teams who are better equipped to deal with the issues. 

Regulatory compliance is another area where speech recognition technology has a crucial role to play, as contact centers are under increasing pressure to ensure the security of all recorded call data. In the case of a compliance dispute, contact centers can transfer voice data into text, ranking searches by relevance and displaying them as text summaries with search words automatically highlighted. This allows contact centers to automatically evaluate and categorize customer interactions into groups that are relevant to specific compliance regulations. 

A real-time transcription solution can be used to help with compliance during a call by ensuring the correct things are being said to prevent non-compliant behavior such as mis-selling.

Empowering Contact Center Agent With Voice Tech 

Agents are a contact center’s greatest asset, so empowering them to do their jobs more effectively is key. Speech recognition technology makes it possible to offer personalized agent training, based on real-life interactions with customers – using call transcripts to identify best practices by analyzing how issues have been dealt with in the past to achieve first contact resolution. This analysis can also highlight patterns and trends to help speed up future dispute resolutions. If an organization discovers that customers are happy when purchasing its products but then unhappy with the delivery method, for example, they can make the necessary changes to delivery to improve customer satisfaction.  

Quite often when people speak, the words they use are not enough to understand what they really mean. The way people talk – including word emphasis, rate of speech, volume, etc – is indicative of their feelings about a certain situation. That’s why sentiment analysis is used by contact centers to determine the mood of customers and which responses evoke positive or negative emotions based on the tone, pitch, and frequency of their voice. But even the best analytics systems and sentiment engines require the right input to reach their value potential. Accurate speech-to-text technology underpins the process of transforming the customer voice into a usable format for sentiment analysis.  

Customers increasingly crave seamless, personalized experiences. Machine learning and artificial intelligence offer valuable new opportunities for contact centers to deliver this experience. The secret to success will be harnessing the potential of automatic speech recognition technology and transforming it into business insights and a world-class customer experience.  

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