Good managers intuitively know that listening to what customers have to say is a critical success factor when it comes to doing business. The highest performing companies actively encourage honest client feedback to gain valuable business insights. This leads to tangible operational efficiency and service improvements to boost customer loyalty and positively impact the all-important bottom line.
So it comes as no surprise that investment in technology that simplifies and accelerates the process for gathering and analysing large amounts of crucial customer feedback is on the rise. According to US-based DMG Consulting, the contact centre speech analytics market continues to grow. Their latest research reveals that the number of reported contact centre speech analytics seats grew by 26% from 2,292,733 in July 2013 to 2,889,031 as of end of May 2014.
The business case for speech analytics is also compelling, with cost reduction through automation, improved profitability and operational efficiency as well as an enhanced customer experience topping the list of key drivers for deploying the technology.
But what needs to be done to secure a successful implementation of speech analytics in the contact centre? Here are five critical steps to follow when planning the roll-out:
1) Set your business objectives
Right from the start, it’s vital to understand what exactly you are trying to achieve by deploying speech analytics technology. What are the priorities? This could be anything from reducing average call handling times, increasing first-time fixes to improving customer satisfaction levels. Or, will customer feedback be used to strengthen the corporate brand and even make tangible improvements to new product and service innovation?
Be ruthless. Focus on no more than three objectives. Then ensure there are firm metrics in place to actively track progress and measure the effectiveness of speech analytics against the chosen goals.
2) Build the right team
Create a dedicated analytics team. Take time to build a cross-functional team of professionals from all levels of the organisation who are 100% focused on working together to define the business objectives, agree the end goals and develop an efficient set of criteria to measure the effectiveness of the programme. Be sure to include customer-facing staff who have the expert knowledge and right experience necessary to make the programme work in practice as well as glean the all-important feedback directly from customers.
3) Select the right tool for your business
Many companies have long recorded all customer conversations that take place in the contact centre but have often been constrained by the limits of traditional on premise technology. The latest cloud-based multi-channel contact centre solutions which integrate seamlessly with innovative speech analytics technology have changed all that.
These combine the proven benefits of a traditional on-premise solution with the increased flexibility, scalability and reliability of a virtual solution, along with guaranteed lower costs, smooth and swift implementation times, no upfront capital investment and easy access for remote workers.
4) Plan for change
As with every initiative that involves new technology, some resistance to change is inevitable. Communicate, communicate, communicate! What is happening and why? How will it affect each department? Will it increase workloads or have the opposite effect, leading to unwanted and unsettling staff redundancies? Be prepared to demonstrate a well-thought out business case backed up with hard statistics.
Explaining the benefits of the new customer analytics programme is critical to staff buy-in, widespread user adoption and, longer-term, maximising the potential of the system.
5) Review and revise against results
Once the new technology is up and running maintain a culture of continual learning and constant fine-tuning of the original speech analytics programme.
Adopting this five-point approach will keep organisations listening to the voices of their customers to spot significant changes in consumer behaviour. Speech analytics provides the hard evidence business leaders need to drive continual improvements to products and services and maintain a competitive edge to boost the all important bottom-line.