National Seminar Reports: Blueprints for Success in Speech Analytics

Once again there was huge interest in this speech analytics workshop, with a great attendance from a wide variety of member organisations who are looking to gain benefit fast from a technology that has now come of age. The focus of the workshop was on how we use Speech Analytics and where it fits into the bigger picture of improving our customer service or sales.
Practical experience continues to be the main thing our members want to hear about. “It was very interesting to hear from those who know about Speech Analytics and are using it”, Kevin Boulton from Ingenico explains. As Karl Fletcher from Freeman Gratton Holdings put it we also need to realise that “this is information that needs people to convert it into usefulness”. Cheryl Binnis from LV= added the important comment that we need to “triangulate customer, quality and systems data to give meaningful insight”.
Building on the eight case studies shared in our conference programmes over the last 3 years and the material published in January in our industry-leading book of best practice in speech analytics, this workshop takes our best practice materials to the next level, by focussing on blueprints for selected application areas.  Take a look at the case studies suggested, from our Innovation Awards.
Blueprint materials will be documented and shared to attendees as we publish them.  They are being incorporated into two new training courses designed to help members jump the learning curve: a two-day specialist course for those already using or about to use speech analytics and a one-day management workshop for people wanting to plan out the best way to use this technology. “The training sounds like a great idea”, comments Dan Davies from Welsh Water, ”we’re all pretty much writing the book as we go along at the moment”.  

  1. Cross Sales and Up Sales – Speech analytics is a fantastic tool to support performance and call coaching for inbound teams, by creating new insight on what makes the best sales call, who is exhibiting the right approaches/phrases (or not) and how to replicate the best sales approaches.  For example British Gas drove a giant rise in sales performance and created a new measure of Sales Effectiveness, which can now be tracked and managed.  At Apex agents in a blended inbound/outbound environment started to hit or exceed target through targeted coaching.
  2. First contact resolution – There are many ways to use speech to support issue resolution on the call –from analysis of call drivers or tracking key call behaviours to real time pop-ups, targeted coaching or deep dive analysis.  This group is for those who want to look at how you focus on a key business priority and access new insight by analysing the actual content of conversations.  Great practical examples in the case studies from British Gas, Conduit and Ventura.  
  3. Process improvement – Another huge opportunity is ‘deep dive’ analysis to focus on a particular process or call type.  This means listening to a selection calls (or parts of calls) that are identified by speech analytics. From this, a deeper level of analysis and insight can be offered to project teams tasked with making improvements – and the reduction in calls or call length can be automatically tracked once the processes are improved. At npower on one product, for example, long calls dropped 60% in the winter and complaints 71%. At Barclays the customers experience for caller verification was dramatically improved. Also useful in reducing avoidable contact in the public sector.
  4. Targeted coaching – No longer are we limited to 4-6 randomly selected calls per month; nor need we brief or train the whole centre to drive change on a particular process or customer issue. There are a host of diverse problems that can be addressed at the same time, by only targeting the people who need it.  DAS used the technology to help ‘back office’ teams get comfortable with resolving issues by phone – and a host of practical experience is shared in case studies from Apex, British Gas, Conduit, and Ventura. Real benefits for the team leader as well as the agents.
  5. Compliance – With growing focus on compliance in finance and other sectors, speech is an ideal tool for looking at highly specified requirements or scripts for what the agent needs to include.  By recording all calls, it is possible to pick up accurately any that raise selected compliance issues.  For example Talk Talk addressed a wide range of issues raised by OFCOM and Barclays used speech to support agents in making the need for verification much more customer friendly, with strong employee benefits as a result too.   
  6. Voice of the customer – Research in the US suggests this is a rising trend in use of analytics.  Build a deeper picture of what your customer is experiencing by adding indirect or inferred feedback from speech analytics to that gained by direct surveys or research. By identifying dissatisfied callers, you can look at the root causes or coach and manage individual issues.  For example, Conduit used speech to raise NPS by 9%, after analysing calls where customer surveys gave low NPS scores and taking action to make changes.  Some organisations also analyse verbatims from customer surveys (text or voice). 
The workshop included a practical demonstration by Noam Herzenstein, Interaction Optimization Specialist from NICE who had flown over the USA.  The round-table workshops were facilitated by experts including Innovation Award finalists and experts from Nexidia and Verint.  NICE and Nexidia were specialist sponsors of this workshop - thanks to them for their support.
See the presentation from the first part of the workshop.
Take a look at these articles, videos and links
Speech Analytics at The Forum


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