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May 15, 2020

The benefits of speech analytics when managing a remote workforce: Our top tips and considerations

The benefits of speech analytics when managing a remote workforce: Our top tips and considerations

Contact centers currently managing their workforces remotely face a myriad of challenges around agent performance, quality, and compliance. Deployed well, a speech analytics tool can be incredibly useful, not just in addressing these challenges, but also creating opportunities to drastically reduce risk, identify and scale best practices, and unlock your calls as an unprecedented source of insight for your business. 

What follows is our top tips for how speech analytics can help you to run your virtual contact center more efficiently and effectively, and the main things to consider when choosing a tool.

Drastically reduce risk by monitoring all interactions

Even if you record 100% of your calls, due to sheer volume, it would be impossible to listen to them all. That’s why, on average, around 98% of contact center interactions go unmonitored or unreviewed. Remote work only exacerbates this problem, as managers are unable to walk the floor, listen in on calls, and get a general feel for the quality of interactions taking place in their contact center. 

Speech analytics tools allow you to improve upon this rate exponentially, taking you from 2% of calls reviewed to 100%. The basic process with most solutions goes as follows: you upload your calls, they are transcribed by advanced AI and then analyzed based on keywords and phrases chosen by you, to match your business needs. This data is then used by the platform to automatically populate customizable scorecards, though be careful, as some solutions will charge extra for that. 

Useful tools will then allow you to create reports; view aggregated data and surface trends using a vast range of data points, from keywords and sentiment to any call metadata you desire. Done well, this will transform your ability to identify and understand performance, quality, and regulatory risks in your organization. And, by understanding these customer interactions you can create effective handling strategies be they self-service workflows or triggered automation.

Be alerted to emerging risk, fast

Leveling up your quality and risk management processes is, of course, important, but some incidents need to be spotted and addressed immediately. With your workforce all at home, it’s impossible to say what problematic behaviors could occur on unmonitored calls in an uncontrolled environment.

If and when the worst occurs, you want to be informed as quickly as possible. By using the same keyword, phrase, and sentiment recognition technology as the above, the best speech analytics tools can be configured to provide you with custom alerts and notifications. These can be completely customizable by you, set up to notify the most appropriate people on your team, and alert you to risk in close to real-time. Applied to 100% of calls, this is going to reduce the chance of something risky slipping through unnoticed to a fraction of what it was before.

Understand call sentiment when you have no managers on the floor

It’s impossible to replace the value of having an experienced manager walk the contact center floor, listen in on phone calls, and generally get a feel for the team’s morale and performance. However, an advanced speech analytics tool can help you go a long way to filling this void. 

The best tools use advanced AI to measure the sentiment of all of your calls accurately. The most obvious and foremost benefit of this is going to be the insight it will give into your customer experience. However, it will also allow you to keep an eye on your team’s morale and how they are dealing with the lockdown, given the potential for stress and feelings of isolation that it represents.

How are your customers being affected?

Of course, while they might be your most immediate concern, your agents are not the only ones being affected by our current situation. With public health, job losses and social isolation being just a few of the issues that we are facing right now, it’s highly likely that the way that your customers need and want to interact with your business has changed.

While we can make assumptions about these effects, to truly understand this dynamic takes data and insight. This is where speech analytics comes in. You’ll be not only able to gauge overall sentiment but also use intelligent search, word clouds, and trend data from hundreds of thousands of calls to uncover your customers’ specific concerns and what they need from your business. The insights are not only going to help you provide a great customer experience but will also help to inform the operational, marketing, and coaching strategies needed to adapt to these extraordinary circumstances.

Identify and scale best practices

Of course, more insight often leads to more questions, and the next layer to peel back once you have identified your customer’s current concerns is understanding how your agents are dealing with this. Depending on the function of your business, it could be very likely that they’re having a much higher volume of sensitive conversations than they were under normal circumstances.

For the sake of your business’ reputation and customer and client retention, these conversations must be handled appropriately and effectively. With speech analytics, not only can you monitor effectively for this, but you can also far more easily identify the best examples of high-performing agents doing it well.

That’s also one of the main benefits of speech analytics more generally. With the ability to analyze both the linguistic details and overall sentiment of 100% of your calls, you are far more empowered to uncover the best practices that already exist in your organization. 

Improve your ability to train and coach agents, even as they are working from home

Most speech analytics tools will allow you to uncover not only agent best practice but also the other side of the coin – poor performance. However, only the best tools have built-in functionality to allow you to translate this insight directly into training and coaching strategies. That means being able to search and retrieve the most important calls, manually review them while adding notes and tagging specific parts of the audio, and then distributing these to teams or individuals as coaching resources – all while working remotely.

These capabilities will allow you to provide detailed, objective, targeted feedback to your agents wherever they are, whether you are looking to support underperformers, or scale the talents of a shining star across your whole team.

Checklist: Things to consider when choosing a Speech Analytics solution

Ease of implementation and ongoing use

Now might not be the time for a lengthy integration project to adopt new technology – something that could lead to both financial and logistical challenges. Nor is it necessarily a good time to be hiring new data analysts and speech analytics experts.

When you are reviewing your options for a speech analytics tool, think about these things:

  • Will it require on-premises technology, or is it cloud-based?
  • How long and complicated is the implementation process?
  • How easily will it integrate with my existing platform and processes?
  • Will I require in-house analyst expertise to use the tool and access insights?

Security

All contact centers have security concerns, especially if they are taking payments, and scattering of agents to private locations has only magnified these. The main two things to consider with regards to speech analytics in this area are:

  • Are calls being uploaded via a secure FTP to a PCI compliant platform?
  • Is the transcription AI sophisticated enough to redact sensitive data from the call transcripts automatically?

Speed to insight

Things move fast and, alerts and notifications, particularly, are only as effective as the speed with which they can be received. 

It’s worth finding out how fast the process of upload, processing, analysis, and feedback will take. The best tools will provide this intraday, but some companies will charge extra for this service.

Hidden charges

Speed is not the only thing that some companies charge extra for. Think hard about what capabilities speech analytics can offer, and which of these are going to be most valuable for your business. Then consider that some companies will charge extra for things like:

  • Automated scorecards
  • Call tagging
  • Data exports
  • Speaker separation
  • Sensitive data redaction
  • Ongoing support and consultation

So, hopefully, we have demonstrated that, while there is a lot to consider when choosing a speech analytics solution, deployed well, it can offer a vast range of benefits – especially in the context of managing your operation remotely. 

At its core, it’s about being able to unlock the potential of hundreds of thousands of your business’s interactions as a source of data for your business, and then having the tools you need to turn that data into insight-led strategies. Done well, it can transform your customer and agent experience, drastically reduce risk, and allow you to introduce operational efficiencies that will drive your bottom line. 

About LiveVox

LiveVox is a leading provider of enterprise cloud contact center solutions, managing more than 14+ billion interactions a year across a multichannel environment. With over 15 years of pure cloud expertise, we empower contact center leaders to drive effective engagement strategies on the consumer’s channel of choice. Our leading-edge risk mitigation and security capabilities help clients quickly adapt to a changing business environment. With new features released quarterly, LiveVox remains at the forefront of cloud contact center innovation. Supported by over 450 employees and rapidly growing, we are headquartered in San Francisco with offices in Atlanta, Denver, Bangalore, and Colombia. To learn more, schedule a demo today.

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About LiveVox

LiveVox is the only one-stop-shop for true omnichannel engagement that unifies modern channels, CRM, and WFO functionality into a single cloud customer engagement platform. Facilitating over 14B interactions annually, LiveVox makes omnichannel easy by unifying all conversations and interactions in one place. Founded in 2000, LiveVox is headquartered in San Francisco with offices in Atlanta, Denver, St. Louis, Colombia, and Bangalore.

To learn more, visit www.livevox.com or call one of our specialists at (844) 207-6663.

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