Sunday, January 26, 2014

Speech Analytics not a substitute for broken business process

Speech Analytics is now being offered widely as a solution to improve quality of service through contact centers. The recorded conversations are analysed by a software to extract information relating to the product and service. It can also be used to determine service issues related to center agents.

It is almost a certainty that we have dealt with contact centers. In most cases, what we encounter is a broken process in the back-end with the contact center operation being used as a layer to brunt the effects of the broken process. The frustrations of having to deal with a broken process is immediately felt by the customer and the contact center employee. It takes a very persistent customer to escalate and get the attention from the higher-ups of the organization.

I am not suggesting that Speech Analytics does not have a role in contact center agent issues but there is a more obvious problem. With sales and marketing driven by the pressures of business, customer service, which is usually provided through contact center operations, bears the brunt of every broken process. The availability of Cloud contact center solutions makes it easier for organizations to quickly put up a layer between the customer and the real stake-holders within the organization, through an additional layer of abstraction, namely an out-sourced service provider. Therefore the organizations will require the additional tool to analyze the recordings to learn the obvious. A simpler approach is to collect feedback from the employees who are out in the trenches and identify the low hanging fruits to address. Training and better recruitment process is a way to address the remaining agent issues. 

Automation and adoption of newer technology is wonderful. Cloud contact center services will result in more sub-contracting and out-sourcing. Technology vendors for Speech Analytics will identify areas of application within the contact center operation to find value for the application in areas like determining product strategies. But agent customer interaction is a simpler issue where the cause of frustration can be identified without too much automation.