How AI uses
speech analytics
to transform call
and contact centers

Author: Satta Sarmah Hightower

When customers have a question or need to resolve a problem, they'll reach out to your company by email, social media or even in-person. That's why your contact center, also known as a call center, is one of your most important touchpoints for customer service. A report by Microsoft indicates that 61% of consumers will abandon a company after a poor customer service experience, which may explain why companies are increasingly using AI-driven speech analytics to improve how they engage and serve customers.

What is speech analytics?

Speech analytics is the process of analyzing words and phrases to gather data to help gain insights that can improve the customer interaction and experience. These analytics cover a variety of data points, including the call's topic, relevant keywords and phrases, the emotional language the agent and the customer convey, and the amount of talking during the call. 

How contact and call centers use speech analytics

The gathered data is then converted into text or transcripts for further analysis. Call center speech analytics can be used to better understand pain points that cause customers to abandon their purchase or leave a negative review about the company online.

The data can also be used to drive your company's business strategy. For example, if speech analytics in a bank's contact center unearths that many customers take twice as long to complete the bank's online loan application and reach out to the contact center for help, this could signal the bank needs to make changes in its online application process to improve the user experience. The data can also be used to provide insight into agent performance and where your company may need to invest more in training staff or in future process improvements to help agents work more efficiently.

Call center speech analytics are an invaluable tool for helping your business grow and strengthen long-term relationships with customers. And with the help of AI, these analytics can be more impactful.

The power of AI-enhanced speech analytics

AI brings automation, speed and predictive insights to speech analytics. With the growing volume of data that companies must wade through, standard contact center technologies like CRMs or legacy call tracking software don't offer the advanced capabilities your company needs to make better use of its data.

AI helps businesses get real-time insights into interactions and identify patterns and trends that contribute to customer churn, leading to better agent and product performance and service delivery. For example, AI-enhanced analytics could enable a national retailer to automate quality monitoring in its contact centers, which could reduce the need for additional staff and potentially lead to cost savings for the company to reinvest in other business areas.

AI-enhanced analytics can also help your business reduce call volume by identifying patterns in repeat calls to help your company make improvements in its brick-and-mortar or online experiences, as well as improve training for agents to be more effective at solving customers' problems. In some cases, AI can provide insights in real time that agents can use to improve their customer interactions.

Transform your contact center experience

In a world where every interaction produces a data point that companies can use to better understand their customers, AI is a powerful tool to help your business bridge the gap between what you know and what you don't.

To make the best use of contact and call center speech analytics, your company should start by creating a single source of truth for all the data across your organization. That means centralizing your data into a unified platform that integrates and analyzes information from multiple sources in a single location.

Along with these technology changes, your company also should equip contact center managers and agents with the tools and training they need to take full advantage of contact and call center speech analytics. Technical and non-technical business users alike need to become more data-aware and use the information at their disposal to help their companies achieve both short- and long-term business goals.

Together, with the power of AI and your staff's experience, institutional knowledge, and unique skill set, your company can fully leverage contact and call center speech analytics to meet customers' needs and deliver an experience that makes them more loyal to your brand.

Learn more about how Verizon’s AI and speech analytics solutions helped a large retail bank increase customer satisfaction.

The author of this content is a paid contributor for Verizon.