Ever feel that you are speaking but no one is paying attention? As the American writer and poet, Alice Deur Miller once said, “Listening is not merely not talking, though even that is beyond most of our powers; it means taking a vigorous, human interest in what is being told us.” I’ve been considering this point – how does the call centre industry, that’s expected to reach $407.1 billion worldwide by 2022 (according to Global Industry Analysts), do more to better understand customers and improve the journey while driving greater efficiencies?
We recently heard of a case whereby a business was receiving an increase in customer calls thanks to miscommunication on their part. Customers were calling in their numbers to clarify the information they had received by mail from the business. Driving customer demand up by 5% per month to double-check the information on a campaign that’s aim was to inform yet caused mass confusion is an expensive mistake to make! Not only is it the waste of direct mail collateral and fulfilment it’s also costly in terms of servicing each unnecessary inbound call. If companies are struggling to get communications to their own customers right, then how are they going to keep up with customer expectations?
The Rapid Customer Advancement
As highlighted by a recent PWC report we are on the upward curve of a new consumer, known as Digital Natives. This isn’t a total surprise, but we may be further ahead of this prediction thanks to the digital accelerant, also known as Covid-19! That’s why it’s absolutely imperative that businesses look to new practices to engage and retain their digitally savvy customer base.
Looking at the insurance sector alone, PWC found that 71% of consumers surveyed used some form of digital research before buying insurance and 26% bought their policies online. It is therefore time to get as sophisticated as our consumers and truly understand their needs and expectations. Only then can you deliver a service or information in a way that can be easily understood.
Artificial Intelligence for the Digital Natives
If only you had a way to read your customers’ minds! Well, actually you do, and it’s called call monitoring. It’s the perfect way to better inform not only your call centre agents but also your entire sales and marketing campaigns. By using voice analytics you can monitor and analyse calls to draw out pertinent information that will help you to drive greater efficiencies and provide a customer journey fit for the 21st century.
By embracing artificial intelligence (AI) you can monitor every single call taking place on a campaign, across your contact centre. Conversations are analysed so that you can draw out details such as the reason for the call, searching for particular phrases on a weekly or monthly basis that not only help agents to quickly spot issues and escalate where necessary but also to help sales and marketing bring any problems to a halt as soon as possible.
Information Equals Experience Evolution
You can use this data to ascertain the types of calls your agents are receiving. Here are a few scenarios where this information can help you to not only identify the types of calls but also discover smarter ways of serving your customers:
- Are the calls about policy renewals that could be easily activated through an email or direct mail campaign?
- Is there a product fault, recall or upgrade where customers could be advised via email and resolve through self-service on your app or via your website?
- Is there a warranty that needs registering or a service for a product that could be booked online?
There are plenty of examples of how customers want to interact with products and services digitally. The key thing is that you find what works for your business and enables your customers to reach you in whatever way works best for them. If the data highlights peak periods at certain points in the relationship/service lifecycle and also an appetite for customers to self-serve via your website, portal or app then you should be looking to meet them where they are.
Other times you will find that customers do want the human touch and you will be able to invest in the right tools and allow enough time for your agents to give your business, service or product and, ultimately, your customer the focus they deserve. By embracing voice analytics and drawing out critical insight you’ll be able to identify the appropriate channels for your customers and truly transform your business digitally.
Voice Analytics at Work
Our conversational voice analytics is proven to increase performance and reduce contact centre stuff churn because agents are better equipped to deal with whatever the customer throws at them. Automated transcription commences from the outset of a call with seeded words, acronyms, names and fuzzy text search as well as identification of disclosures and key terms or phrases based on the campaign in question. Furthermore, natural language processing along with topic modelling helps to uncover hidden semantic structures within text bodies. It’s so much more sophisticated than simply call monitoring but you can quickly see how you can quickly get a better understanding of your customers’ needs.
Time to Transform the Customer Journey
Voice analytics is just one of the many things we do to help businesses evolve their customer experiences. Being able to make informed decisions that drive efficiencies and help you to prioritise where call handling is required and where customers can digitally self-serve is truly transformational. We’ve found on average that contact centres taking this approach are able to reduce costs by 10% all while delivering a better, frictionless customer journey. Your customers are ready and want a better digital experience, the question is, are you?