Today’s Business Terms – Speech Analytics

An increasingly important component of call and contact center business intelligence, speech analytics is the practice of closely examining recorded customer calls in order to gain data and insights. Even in today’s increasingly digital society, one-on-one phone conversations still make up a significant majority of the interactions between companies and customers. When analyzed and studied properly, these recorded interactions can prove to be an invaluable source of information.

Not so long ago, it was cost-prohibitive for most companies to record their customer calls, and the content of those calls had to be assessed manually. Today, recording customer telephone interactions is both an easy and an essential practice for businesses, which means that more customer information is available than ever before if the appropriate tools are used to access it. Enter speech analytics.

Speech analytics uses specialized technology to process, mine, and analyze audio data. Speech analytics software can detect emotion or stress levels in a customer’s voice, identify particular keywords or phrases that are used often, and calculate the proportion of speech to non-speech time. The technology used in speech analytics falls into three main categories: phonetics-based, text to speech, or grammar-based. Each of these methods of analysis can offer particular advantages depending on a company’s distinct needs and operational practices.

The benefits of speech analytics are easy to identify. The most common reason why many companies begin using the technology is to help improve their customers’ experience—speech analytics can help companies with all aspects of customer-agent interaction, from pinpointing the needs and expectations of one individual to responding quickly and effectively to widespread problems. Speech analytics can also be used to monitor and coach call center agents in real time, to find opportunities for up-selling or cross-selling, to reduce customer attrition by better addressing underlying problems, and to decrease operating expenses. For a large enterprise like iQor, whose contact center agents handle over 20 million customer interactions monthly, speech analytics is a vital business practice.