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Speech analytics is such a large topic that, in this article, we are going to go through some of the most common questions that we get asked, and by the end of the article, you should be able to explain what is speech analytics in a call center? There are some overlaps in the answers, but we have tried to keep the overlap at a minimum. All of the questions in this guide relate to bot call and contact centers, so the term may be changed. If you would like to know the differences, read Call Center vs Contact Center – 1 Simple Difference.

What Is Speech Analytics In A Call Center? – A Complete Q&A

While we have tried to answer all of the common questions in this article, if there is anything you would still like to know, please contact us, and we will try to assist you with your individual requirements. Some of the questions will become new articles revolving around the question in a little more detail. As we create those articles, we will link to them in this article.

Speech Analytics Definition

Speech analysis is the study and data collection of information from a recorded conversation between a company’s customer service team and its customers from any phone line with recording capabilities. However, you can also use it for any other contact channels that you may have. The data is then used to improve the customer experience through better processes, coaching, training, and other key indicators that the company uses or needs.

What Does Speech Analytics Mean?

The analysis of recorded data via computer software to gain more information than regular methods are capable of. They provide you with the resources and the opportunity to see any data that you like revolving around a set phrase.

What Is Speech Analytics?

Speech analytics tech began as a fundamental way for the governments to track certain keywords or phrases they wanted to monitor. Those words and phrases would often be ones connected to risks of national security. The methods used then were primitive in comparison to now. However,  the basic principle was similar to one people still use today. LVCSR or Large Vocabulary Continuous Speech Recognition would transcribe speech into text, then pick up on those keywords or phrases and notify an operator to check the entire call for a complete understanding of the conversation. However, the accuracy of those transcriptions and searches were only ever <50% accurate. Technology is more available and advanced now than it was then, and the difference is noticeable. While we still have the ability to use speech to text software to analyze calls, LVCSR is more capable of picking up sounds over a range of accents and languages. The advancement in technology has seen a huge increase in accuracy, too. From the ~50% up to 95-99% today.

What Is Speech Analytics Software?

Any software that can recognize sounds in vocabulary is speech analytics. As we have written above, the software we use today is a lot more advanced. In fact, it is so advanced that, instead of recording calls, transcribing them, and waiting for the results, we can now analyze customer calls as they are on the phone. Not all software systems and applications are the same, though. We will go through evaluating speech analytics tools later on in the article, though.

How Does Speech Analytics Work?

There are two primary methods that SA uses – they are phonetics and LVCSR. Phonetic systems convert words into sounds (phoneme) within words and place them together to see the word. It is not as accurate as LVCSR, as many sounds appear in many words. There are only 44 phonemes in the English language, and they can get mixed up. LVCSR Can be a lot slower than phonetics, but it is a lot more accurate. It matches whole words to a database and checks that they fit together in the sentence and makes sense. We have given a more detailed explanation of them both in our article here.

What Can Speech Analytics Do?

There are many uses of speech analytics. While the first use for it was national security, the evolution of capabilities has provided many more applications. Again, though, the level of use that you get will vary from supplier to supplier. Here is a list of some of the capabilities:
  • Turns calls into System readable data. – Even with the best call center agents, you can get unstructured conversations. There is no real way to control what a customer says and when they say it. The right software will turn that phonecall into easy-to-understand data, where you can carry out searches of databases for pre-defined queries with the underlying search engine. Better analysis tools can even come with emotion recognition to understand how customers feel.
What Can Speech Analytics Do?
  • Eases Quality Management. – Quality monitoring is one of the most common reasons for companies using this type of software. However, within quality management, there are other benefits, too. For example, you can gain insights into customer service operation expectations through root cause analysis of operational issues, product development, customer loyalty, customer retention, and any other aspect of quality that you require.
  • Increases Operational Efficiency. – Operational effectiveness is or should be at the top of every manager’s list for their call center. That often involves understanding what the end-users want and using actionable recommendations to get there. Analytics can provide a lot of information. From competitive intelligence from other businesses, for example, when a customer calls you asking about a different product, valuable business intelligence from your own company can increase marketing effectiveness through customer relationship management.
  • Trend analysis. – Analyzing trends within your customer conversations and marking them against custom key performance indicators and criteria that you set allows you to see what types of customers you receive and for what percentage of calls. Furthermore, you can analyze trends within agent performance too.
  • Monitor agent performance. – Agent compliance and attitudes have a direct link to customer satisfaction. A good speech analytics solution will allow compliance checking to ensure complete adherence to scripts for regulatory requirements and compliance statements. Furthermore, real-time alerts to missed items and automatic scoring will allow you to monitor and rectify concerns as soon as you notice them.
  • Customer sentiment. – One of the newer, more advanced technologies in speech analytics is being able to gain an insight into the feelings of your customers. Sentiment analysis gives you a fuller picture of how your customers actually feel during a call.
  • Automatic topic analysis. – Many call centers receive calls about various topics. That can require them to route the calls themselves to a different team member or take notes about the topic. Good software will tag calls and provide automatic routing to provide a better service.
As you can see, there are many things that you can achieve with good analytics software. While we have listed most of the main categories here, with the right program, you can gain more insight than we have shown through customization of each aspect, too.

Why Use Speech Analytics?

The most common use is for quality assurance, for visibility into business issues throughout a customer journey. How a contact center uses, the information can vary from monitoring specific customer interactions to ensuring a high first call resolution rate or any other key metric they require. Why Use Speech Analytics? There is a lot of information in a single phone call, and it is difficult to make notes of everything. That often leads to missing vital information, which recording software can extract and create reports on. Furthermore, it reduces the requirement for expensive and time-consuming surveys, as it is all completed during the call with sentiment analysis.

Why Is Speech Analytics Important? (Why Do We Need Speech Analytics?)

While recording and analyzing phone conversations is beneficial in ensuring the best customer interactions, it is becoming essential for monitoring compliance. Companies have so many regulations that contact centers need to abide by that it is nearly impossible to ensure script compliance on every call without analytics tools.

Why Does A Company Use Speech Analytics?

Whether you run large operations for an entire business or a small office with a lot of phone calls, random call sampling for trigger words or script compliance can take a long time, even if the call was only a few minutes long. Depending on the vendor, good speech analytics applications can provide real-time analytics and key business insights, saving time and money, providing a real return on investment.

How Can Speech Analytics Benefit A Business?

In one sentence: It reduces time and cost, ensures compliance to guidelines, and provides insight into the performance of contact center agents, allowing for systematic changes for quality improvement. Whether you are a manager, supervisor, analyst, or agent, having a record of audio files allows for improvement in many business areas. Read: What Customer Voice Analytics Can Do For A Company

How To Use Speech Analytics

The use of speech analytics will vary depending on the desired result. However, the concept should incorporate it into your phone system, decide what information you want to gain from the calls, and allow the system to work for you. Again, though, depending on what you are looking to improve (quality assurance, regulation compliance, or business processes), you may have various techniques to choose from. For example, if your primary concern is quality and compliance, you will need to look at syntax initialization and tuning for known rules and key phrases. If you want to improve your business process, you will need to spend more time deciding what to look for and how to tune it. Our demo results article will give you more insight.

How To Evaluate Speech Analytics

Evaluating which analytics technologies are the best fit for your company boils down to five main requirements:
  • Speed 
  • Accuracy
  • Insights available
  • Adaptability
  • Filter capability
Most companies will try to sell you their product on their strengths. However, those five are your primary concern. We have an article that explains that in more detail here.

How To Implement Speech Analytics

Implementation requires some planning on your behalf. However, it is certainly worth the effort. Again, there are a few key points that you need to consider:
  • Pick challenges
  • Create metadata lists
  • Talk to your staff
  • Create teams
  • Integration
  • Patience
While that is not everything you need to think about, we have an article that goes into more detail.

How To Improve Speech Analytics

Improving your results starts with getting the best system that you can for your requirements. It would be best if you had constant collaboration between your Quality Assurance team and the vendor to improve and fine-tune your syntax to a point where your accuracy is 90-95%. However, you still need to constantly check for new word spotting and key terms that arise over the course of using speech analytics.

Who Uses Speech Analytics?

Any business can use the software. However, it is more common for those that have higher than average call volume. Contact centers are now the main users of any speech analytics solution, primarily to improve customer experience and agent compliance.

Why Cloud Centers Use Speech Analytics

The systems can provide teams and managers with real-time reports no matter where they are in the world, allowing remote monitoring and adjustments to processes. In times that people are all having to work from home, it can be difficult to monitor. However, the best speech analytics solution will allow for easy integration. Why Cloud Centers Use Speech Analytics Read: Covid-19 And Call Centers

How Much Does Speech Analytics Cost?

If you are running an in-house QA team, it can be costly. Furthermore, it is tough to scale the project to meet your business requirements. When you outsource the process, it is a lot cheaper and easier to scale. Some businesses will charge you a fixed contract, no matter how many calls they need to review. Others will charge you by the review time (how long it takes them to review your calls).  However, here at Call Criteria, we charge by the call minutes. That gives you complete visibility into how much it will cost. If you would like to find out our prices for your requirements, please click here. Read: Why Outsource Your Quality Team? Outsourced Quality Control – Should you Outsource? 7 Benefits to Outsourcing

What Is Speech Analytics In A Call Center? Q&A – Conclusion

We hope that this article has given you most of the answers you are looking for regarding speech analytics. All of the answers we have given here are simplified to allow for a single article. However, as we stated at the beginning of the article, we will link each article into this one as we create them, allowing you to navigate to a more detailed explanation. If you have any other questions, or you would like to see how Call Criteria can help you with your Quality Assurance, sales performance, sentiment analysis, or anything else, please contact us.