The Underestimated Impact of Call Center Voice Analytics 

Author: Simon Black | Date: 24/06/2020

Call center voice analytics software has had a profound impact on how customer support operates — and this impact is only set to grow. According to recent market research, the global voice and speech analytics market is poised to increase by $4.28 billion between 2022 and 2029, progressing at a CAGR of 18.3% during the forecast period.1

From reducing agent churn to providing key performance insights, voice analytics can drive efficiencies across the call center. As natural language processing (NLP) artificial intelligence (AI) continues to grow in sophistication and quality, we can expect the insights from voice analytics to become even more accurate. 

While some critics might argue that the rise of omnichannel means voice analytics is soon to become obsolete, the numbers indicate otherwise. Text and email channels are on the rise, yes, but phone calls remain a popular way to contact customer services; research has shown that 69% of customers prefer to use phone support over other channels.2 

In this article, we’ll explore what call center voice analytics is, why it’s beneficial, and how it’s set to evolve over the next few years.

Suggested reading: Read our eBook, ‘Your Contact Center Could Operate Better… A Lot Better’, to discover more about how technology can transform call center operations.

What is voice analytics?

Voice analytics (VA) can be simply defined as the use of technology to analyze agent calls and conversions. It uses NLP to automatically transcribe audio data into written data, and, subsequently, into numeric data points. Voice analytics dramatically improves call center performance by:

  • Replacing time-consuming manual call monitoring processes, which capture less than 2% of all customer-agent interactions3
  • Driving efficiency within customer calls and call analysis
  • Providing managers with more time to focus on other areas of the business

Not only are traditional, manual monitoring processes slow, they are also inaccurate. Managers cannot gain a deep understanding of their call center’s achievements, and their view of contact center agent performance may be skewed by one-off good or bad calls.

Voice analytics solves this problem by automating the whole process. This provides managers with clear key performance indicator (KPI) metrics, alongside average handling time (AHT) and first contact resolution (FCR) data.

How do voice analytics and speech analytics differ?

Voice analytics and speech analytics are often used interchangeably, but there are subtle differences between them. Where speech analytics assesses data sourced from multiple channels — such as social media, emails, or text messages — voice analytics only assesses call data. Typically, voice analytics is combined with speech and text analytics software to provide a well-rounded, comprehensive solution. 

Post-call vs real-time analytics

Real-time speech analytics is one of the fastest growing trends in the field of call center software. This refers to technology that collates and interprets data while calls are still in progress, and can use this data to provide real-time feedback on agent performance.

Post-call analytics, on the other hand, works by uploading call data in batches at the end of a day or week. Although real-time has a certain glamor to it, post-call speech analytics is sufficient for almost all call center use cases. 

Suggested reading: Interested in exploring contact center speech analytics solutions in more depth? Read our article, ‘Best Speech Analytics Software Tools’, to learn more.

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What are the benefits of call center voice analytics?

A recent report by Hubspot summarized the main challenges faced by modern call centers:4

  • A lack of prioritization: customer questions are not answered properly.
  • Too many tools: making agent roles increasingly difficult.
  • Not enough time: both as a result of high average handling times and limited resources.

So, how do call center speech and voice analytics help to overcome these problems?

Understand customer perspectives

Many of the challenges faced by call centers stem from the fact that it is becoming harder to understand and empathize with customers — a difficulty only compounded by the fact that customer expectations are now higher than ever before.5 Agents are required to work towards increasingly tight AHTs, and have less opportunity to get to know each customer on a personal level.

Voice analytics tools help by providing managers and agents with insight into the emotions of their customers through a technique known as customer sentiment analytics. AI can intelligently analyze the pitch, loudness, timbre, speech rate and pauses in a customer’s voice, while recognizing keywords that mark satisfaction or dissatisfaction. For example, if a customer is speaking loudly and using words like ‘hate’ or ‘upset’, voice analytics can infer that the call quality may be lower.

Simplify the review process

Some 52% of agents cite that dealing with upset customers is one of their biggest challenges.6 With a voice analytics solution in place, managers can pinpoint exactly when and why customers are getting upset — and amend their customer service script pathways accordingly.

But improving customer service is only half of the story; reviews supported by voice analytics data also enable managers to better support their agents, by providing feedback that is relevant and personalized to them. In place of ineffective, cookie-cutter coaching, managers can provide targeted training for call center staff, providing each agent with the specific skills they need to succeed.

Pro tip: Voice analytics can help to improve agent satisfaction — however, it must be implemented correctly to prevent agents feeling overwhelmed. Look for solutions like Awaken, which offer intuitive unified agent desktops.

Improve customer experiences

Making sure your customers receive a high level of service is business-critical. In fact, 83% of customers report that good customer service is the most important factor (other than price, product, or service) when deciding on a purchase.7 This means that, without a high standard of service, call centers will not be able to meet or exceed essential customer satisfaction KPIs.

Voice analytics helps managers to reduce risk and improve contact center performance by recognising recurring customer complaints or feedback points, and ensure that their real-time guidance solutions have discussion pathways in place to deal with these. This ensures that talking points are relevant to the actual needs of the customer, subsequently reducing AHTs.

Drive efficiency across the call center

Unlike other software solutions, voice analytics works across multiple touch points in a call center’s operations. This includes:

  • Agent onboarding processes
  • Agent feedback and review sessions
  • Script development
  • Customer satisfaction data collection
  • Call center quality assurance (QA) reporting

Employing voice analytics can help to drive efficiency across all of these different areas, increasing call center productivity and improving the satisfaction of both agents and customers.

What to look out for in voice analytics solutions

Like any developing field, voice analytics is not perfect. Which software you choose could make the difference between a transformatory speech analytics solution that drives business growth, and a burdensome tool that confuses agents and increases costs. 

If you’re looking to purchase voice analytics technology, it’s worth keeping an eye out for the following features:

  • High transcription accuracy: This is one of the biggest barriers to voice analytics; in order to provide accurate data, the software must be able to interpret and transcribe call data. Strong solutions will incorporate noise canceling technology or other similar features that help to increase accuracy.
  • Straightforward integrations: Most call centers will already have some software in place to analyze and assess calls — and won’t want to entirely overhaul these systems. It’s best to look for solutions that can be integrated into your existing technology, reducing implementation and long-term costs.
  • Rolling contracts: No one wants to be locked into a single solution. Strong voice analytics software will offer flexible pricing, which allows you to regularly evaluate and review how well the technology is working within your organization.

Accelerate your business performance in 2023

Employing analytics is one of the best ways to accelerate your business performance in 2023. Its ability to drive cost savings of 30% and improve customer satisfaction by 10% has seen it become one of the most popular call center technologies of the last decade — although many still underestimate its impact.8 

Awaken is a leading call center software provider, offering a full suite of dynamic agent guidance and high-accuracy speech, voice and text analytics solutions. We are committed to supporting customer experiences, and aim to enhance the performance of each and every call center we work with.

Contact us to learn more about our voice analytics solutions, or book a free demo to try them out for yourself.

1  Global Voice and Speech Analytics Market – Industry Trends and Forecast to 2029 

2  Do Customers More Frequently Use Chat or Phone Support? [HubSpot Data] 

3  From speech to insights: The value of the human voice 

4  Free Download: HubSpot Annual State of Service Report 

5  Free Download: HubSpot Annual State of Service Report 

6  Free Download: HubSpot Annual State of Service Report 

7  31 customer service statistics you need to know 

8  From speech to insights: The value of the human voice