7 Speech Analytics Call Center Use Cases

Author: Simon Black | Date: 28/03/2023

In today’s digital world, people expect slick, streamlined customer experiences. In fact, 90% of business leaders report that customer expectations have never been higher.1 

To remain competitive, call centers must ensure they are taking steps toward improving customer experiences and agent wellbeing. According to a recent report, however, customer service leaders simply don’t have the resources they need to meet customers’ growing expectations.2 

Contact center technology — and speech analytics in particular — has the power to transform the way customer support teams operate. While it’s not a new piece of tech, speech analytics continues to have a profound and positive impact on how call centers operate.

In this article, we’ll explain how speech analytics can improve customer service results, looking at seven key call center speech analytics use cases. 

Suggested reading: Read our blog, ‘Your Contact Centre Could Operate Better… A Lot Better’, to discover how speech analytics can drive contact center performance.

1. Ensure quality assurance

Quality assurance (QA) is one of the most important call center processes, tying together and underpinning many company-wide KPIs. An estimated 92% of professionals report that they use call center monitoring to improve the overall quality of customer service,  rather than to fulfill less essential goals such as identifying sales opportunities or encouraging upselling.3 

That said, many companies still rely on outdated QA methods that are incapable of effectively tracking the actual level of service across a contact center. Without the right technology, managers may be forced to perform random call monitoring, which provides very limited — and often inaccurate — insights. This is where contact center speech analytics can help. 

Speech analytics monitors agent and customer interactions and transcribes them into written data. By feeding this into contact center quality monitoring software, you can track keywords within calls — and generate quality ratings accordingly. 

For example, quality assurance software can recognize negative keywords — such as ‘I hate this product’ or ‘you aren’t helping’ — and rate the call’s satisfaction scores lower as a result. This provides managers with valuable insights into the satisfaction of their customers, ultimately allowing them to make improvements that encourage higher call qualities and ensuring that quality assurance goals are met.

2. Reduce AHT and increase FCRs

For a contact center to be successful, average handling times (AHT) must be low and first-call resolutions (FCRs) must be high. If they aren’t, customers are simply waiting too long for their issue to be resolved.

Reports show that high FCR rates can help to drive customer loyalty and repeat business; when value enhancements are in place, customers are more than two and a half times more likely to repurchase, and over three times more likely to recommend a company to others.4

Speech analytics can be used to automatically monitor every call that takes place and identify areas for improvement. Armed with this information, managers can make positive changes, including training targeted toward improving call handling speed and performance.

Utilizing speech analytics software tools can have a powerful knock-on effect on other measurable and non-measurable call center metrics, including:

  • A reduction in repeat callers
  • Improved customer satisfaction
  • Reduced customer churn
  • Happier, less stressed agents

Pro tip: Do you want to build an intelligent contact center? Implement speech analytics to better listen to, understand, and guide your agents.

3. Enable sentiment analysis

Customer service has the potential to be a huge driver of growth. Not only do satisfied customers stick around, but they also tend to spread the word. However, due to outdated processes and tools, many businesses are falling short of what customers expect. Speech analytics provides the raw material for customer sentiment analytics, which can be used to drive better customer service.. 

This is the process of automatically identifying and analyzing the intent or emotion behind a piece of language. Sentiment analysis can bring many benefits to call centers, such as: 

  • Providing deep insights into customer satisfaction levels and whether you are offering the best customer service possible
  • Allowing you to pinpoint where improvements need to be made, or where efficiency might be lacking
  • Enabling you to understand how interactions are progressing, without having to listen to all of your call centers’ calls
  • Enabling you to learn more about how your agents’ wellbeing is being affected by high-emotion calls

For sentiment analysis to be accurate, however, your speech analytics solution must be able to provide extremely accurate transcriptions. This can be particularly challenging in busy contact centers, where background noise is constant.

At Awaken, we’ve partnered with a noise-cancellation software company for this very reason. Not only will this help us improve your call quality, but it will also ensure a more accurate analysis of each call. 

Suggested reading: To learn more about Awaken’s noise-cancellation software, read our recent news update: ‘Are you ready for real-time? Join the debate at the Call and Contact Centre Expo (UK)’.

4. Better understand your agents

The customer support industry has suffered from high employee turnover rates for as long as anyone can remember. Over a quarter of contact center staff (26%) quit their jobs each year, compared with the UK average of 15% across all industries.5

In some ways, this isn’t surprising; contact centers can be stressful environments, and customer service roles are often viewed as stepping stones toward other career opportunities. Tight training budgets or wider time constraints often mean that agents are given generalized training and then thrown into the deep end with minimal support.   

Call center speech analytics provides managers with a more comprehensive understanding of how calls are going, and allows them to better understand their agents’ performance. Managers can then more easily spot areas where agents need additional support or guidance, leading to:

Without speech analytics software, managers can only listen in manually to random calls or call recordings. Not only is this a huge drain on time and resources, it can also lead to a skewed understanding of contact center agent performance and wellbeing. This could then allow consistently poor agent performance to slip under the radar, negatively affecting your call center’s KPIs. 

5. Improve regulatory compliance

Turnover rates in contact centers are notoriously high, resting at an estimated 35-45% turnover per year.6 With so many agents coming and going, it can be difficult for managers to ensure that contact center compliance standards are consistently met — and in most call centers, compliance is something that is dealt with only after a breach has taken place.

Speech analytics can be used to inform real-time agent guidance tools, which use predefined scripts to guide agents and prevent compliance from being breached. Agent guidance ensures that they always take the next best action, and follow fully compliant predefined conversation flows; if compliance is ever at risk, agents and their managers can be warned in the moment.

Analytics provides clear insights over time of which agent script pathways are working successfully and which could benefit from refinement. These scripts can be customized by call center managers to ensure they fit in with industry-specific regulations or privacy requirements.

Together, real-time guidance and speech analytics ensure more streamlined customer interactions, while reducing compliance breaches across your team. 

Pro tip: Awaken’s dynamic agent guidance has been shown to ensure compliance across 70% of calls. 

6. Streamline training

As well as improving call center agent experiences, analytics and guidance tools can be used together to help to simplify call center staff training processes. With a clear view of their agents’ performance, managers will be able to understand the challenges that their call center is facing, and take the necessary steps to improve. 

For example, a manager might learn from their speech analytics insights tool that many agents are struggling to meet tight compliance requirements. They might subsequently choose to implement an agent guidance tool, which guides agents through script pathways, and synthesises information onto one, easy-to-read dashboard.

And this ‘insight—action—improvement’ principle applies at an individual level too: if a particular agent is struggling in an area where others are succeeding, managers can offer them targeted training and guidance to help them improve their customer support skills.

For managers, this streamlined customer service coaching and training process can reduce operational costs and free up space within call center budgets for expansion or reinvestment. For employees, it means reduced stress, improved agent wellbeing, and greater satisfaction. For customers, it means a more streamlined experience. 

7. Make real-time agent assist possible

Process-driven guidance is a powerful way to improve call quality and ensure compliance. But when driven by real-time speech analytics — a process known as agent assist — this guidance can be even more powerful. 

Real-time agent assist leverages artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to analyze customer needs and emotions. It then provides agents with in-call coaching and insights, enabling them to provide better customer service that is tailored to the customer at hand. With agent assist, agents need less formal training, and call performance can be optimized in real-time.

Currently, agent assist is not widely used in contact centers. This is because:

  • Most speech analytics tools use batch analysis, with calls being uploaded in bulk at the end of the day — this means that AI cannot provide insights in the moment
  • Although it offers many benefits, most call centers don’t actually have enough need for real-time agent assist
  • Many call centers operate within highly-regulated industries, which require agents to follow specific, script-led conversation routes that are not suited to assist solutions

Until agent assist is widespread, post-call analytics is the best way to guide agents and improve call center performance.

Suggested reading: Learn more about the rise of ‘real-time’ by reading our blog, ‘Are Call Centres Ready for Real-Time Speech Analytics?’.

Drive growth with speech analytics

Recent research shows that 40% of companies view customer service as an expense instead of a driver of growth — an increase of almost 25% in one year alone.7 But it doesn’t have to be this way. With speech analytics, managers can transform the way their call centers operate, encouraging compliance, improving agent satisfaction, and driving revenue in the process.

With decades of experience in call center analytics and improvement, Awaken understands the challenges that call center managers face. That’s why we’ve built a suite of call center tools — including speech analytics — designed to deliver better agent support and improved customer experiences. 

Interested in finding out more about the impact speech analytics could have on your call center? Book your free demo today. 

1  Hubspot Annual State of Service in 2022.

2 Hubspot Annual State of Service in 2022. 

3 Companies Prioritise Customer Service Over Sales When Monitoring Conversations. 

4  What is First Call Resolution? How to Improve FCR 

5  Call Centre Turnover: A Vicious Circle with No Easy Way Out.

6  Keeping your Contact Center Agents in their Seats – Quality Assurance and Training Connection 

7  HubSpot Annual State of Service in 2022.