Your Call Centre Needs AI Conversational Analytics | What, Why and How
Author: Simon Black | Date: 08/03/2023
Providing customers with exceptional customer service is the priority of every company. With 78% of customers reporting they feel differently about a company after a single interaction, offering a high quality service is not just a pleasantry: it’s essential for maintaining customer satisfaction, retention and revenue goals.1
As the call centre industry becomes increasingly competitive, customer service teams are looking for new and innovative ways to drive customer and agent satisfaction.2 One of these ways — and the topic of this article — is conversational analytics.
In this blog, we’re going to explore what conversational analytics is, how it works, and why it’s beneficial. Let’s get started.
Suggested reading: You can learn more about transforming contact centre outcomes and efficiency in our free eBook —Your Contact Centre Could Operate Better… A Lot Better.
What is conversational analytics?
Conversational analytics, sometimes known as conversational intelligence, is the process of extracting data from the conversations that occur between contact centre agents and customers on a daily basis. It uses AI to gain crucial insights into call centre conversations, which might be difficult to access with traditional business intelligence (BI) solutions. Conversational analytics can extract data from:
- Voice data from phone calls
- Text data from emails, chatbots, and social media conversations
It’s important to note that this term is used interchangeably with a number of others, including conversation intelligence, conversation analytics, conversation intelligence platform, post-call analytics, speech analytics, voice analytics, and interaction analytics. However, each of these terms points to the same essential function.
How conversational analytics works
A conversational analytics software utilises cutting-edge technology, including artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and natural language processing (NLP), to turn conversational data into actionable insights.
With the help of NLP, conversation intelligence software is able to understand and interpret conversations with a high level of accuracy, whether they occur over the phone, email, text, or social media.
Meanwhile, machine learning integrations allow conversational analytics tools to explore data and identify patterns — flagging a particular word or phrase, for example. Over time, the system learns and expands its knowledge, taking on more complex tasks while increasing its accuracy.
Conversational analytics is a particularly powerful tool because it assesses what is being said using customer sentiment analytics, giving insight into both what is said, and why. This helps call centres to gauge what customers really feel, want and need, without having to use random call recording and monitoring processes.
The benefits of conversational analytics
Now we know what conversational analytics is and how it works, let’s move on to the most important part — why conversational analytics is beneficial for improving call centre performance and customer satisfaction.
Increase first call resolutions
How do you achieve outstanding customer service outcomes if you don’t know what your customers really want or think? Conversational analytics allows users to understand their customers’ conversations, interests, frustrations, and goals, using sentiment analysis to recognise points of heightened emotion or moments for agent intervention. With conversational analytics, team leaders can:
- Pinpoint where operational improvements are needed.
- Ensure quality assurance standards are met on all calls.
- Fine-tune the way support is delivered, eliminating up to 30% of unnecessary enquiries.
- Enable agents to resolve more customer queries at the first time of asking, increasing first contact resolution (FCR) and cost-per-call rates.
With these insights in hand, agents can easily assess their own performance while managers can ensure their agent training is suitably targeted. As agent performance improves, first call resolutions and customer satisfaction will increase.
Improve call centre efficiency
Efficiency is the key to a call centre’s success — and not just because it allows agents to process more calls. Some 83% of customers expect to interact with someone as soon as they contact a company, setting high standards for agent response times.3 While some businesses use automated replies to respond to customers faster, human conversations are still a highly valued part of customer service.4
Conversational AI analytics improves call centre efficiency without eliminating that all-important human element. It does this by:
- Reducing agent coaching time: managers will have access to a comprehensive dashboard of up-to-date call data, meaning that they can tailor customer service coaching according to which agents require the most support.
- Better equipped agents: with more targeted and insight-based training, agents will be able to handle calls at a faster rate.
- Clear path to resolution: When used alongside agent guidance tools, conversational analytics can provide agents with a clear understanding of common customer talking points and how to resolve them.
Enhance internal communications
Although internal communication is not customer-facing, it can have a big impact on customer experiences. Poor communication within a call centre could look like:
- Agents not being sure what regulations they need to follow.
- Managers not having a clear understanding of their agent’s knowledge gaps, skills, or ongoing training goals.
- High call escalation levels, as agents are unsure of how to respond to customer queries.
- Low FCR rates.
Conversation intelligence platforms provide call centre teams with clearer communication channels and a better understanding of internal policies and external regulations. If needed, managers can distribute call data to their agents to allow them to independently explore what could trigger a compliance breach, and what conversation techniques work most effectively.
Ensure compliance during customer interactions
Call centre staff have a complicated job. Not only do they have to use a range of people skills in order to listen to and help customers in a calm and empathetic way, they also have to navigate complicated processes — all while staying on the right side of regulatory and contact centre compliance.
Conversational analytics can help here too. By setting up compliance triggers, managers get alerted in real-time when compliance is at risk or has been breached — and take immediate action to remedy the situation. This allows call centres to better protect customers, agents, and the entire organisation.
Reduce customer churn
Customers today expect high-quality service across multiple channels. They want their issue to be resolved quickly, with little fuss or bother, and ideally during the first interaction. If you can’t offer your customers this, chances are they’ll look elsewhere for a business that can.
The cost of customer churn cannot be underestimated. In fact, it costs five times more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain an existing one, while increasing customer retention by just 5% can increase profits by 95%.
By analysing the customer experience across all channels, conversational analytics tools offer managers actionable insights with which to improve call handling and customer experiences.
Ultimately, this allows you to reduce customer churn, increase brand loyalty, and boost your call centre’s bottom line.
Reduce agent churn
Besides helping contact centre agents to provide a better standard of service, conversational analytics is also a powerful tool for supporting agent performance and wellbeing.
One call centre reported that AI technology improved their agent satisfaction by 69%; the same technology that is used so effectively to understand customer sentiment can be used to monitor and understand how agents are feeling in real-time.5
If sales reps are struggling with stress, low morale, or a lack of key skills, managers can step in to provide additional support. Leaders can pinpoint areas where additional training may be needed, allowing them to identify and close skills gaps on an individual basis.
The better-equipped agents are to handle the pressures of contact centre work, the better they will perform and the happier they will be. This naturally results in a higher standard of service, more content customers, and reduced staff turnover.
Suggested reading: Read our blog, ‘A Guide to Improving Mental Health and Reducing Stress in the Contact Centre’, to discover more ways you can support your agents.
Work with Awaken to provide exceptional customer experiences
At Awaken, we’re pioneers in the world of contact centre technology. Our ground-breaking platform — conceived by people with decades of real-world experience in customer support — is packed with features designed to simplify and improve the way you support your customers and agents.
Central to this is our conversational analytics tool, which offers two distinct processes:
- Speech analytics: Turning spoken conversation into a readable text format, which can then be analysed to identify keywords and phrases that are crucial to successful outcomes
- Voice analytics: Harnesses the power of AI and ML to analyse conversational data — from phone conversations to email, instant messaging, and social media. The software then applies customer sentiment analytics to uncover the meaning and emotion behind specific words and phrases
These processes combine to create powerful insights that help you gain a deep understanding of your customers, agents, and overall performance — and make positive changes that drive better outcomes.