Frank Sherlock of CallMiner recommends six tips for using speech analytics in the contact centre to improve the customer experience.
Many now view the contact centre as a customer experience hub, because of all the customer insight that it holds.
But how can we best use those insights to improve the customer experience?
Let’s answer this question from the perspective of a contact centre with an analytics system, with six key methods presented below.
1. Use AI to Predict NPS, C-SAT and CES Scores From Every Interaction
Interaction analytics allows organizations to connect CSAT scores across all channels with relevant customer interactions. This makes it possible to carry out targeted root-cause analysis and enables organizations to see what was behind the score, therefore identifying the various triggers for good, bad and indifferent scores.
You can then identify sources of low satisfaction rates and make changes that will significantly increase the customer experience, and in turn the corresponding satisfaction scores.
Artificial intelligence can also be used to accurately predict a customer’s Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Satisfaction (C-SAT), or Customer Effort Score (CES). This means that with access to the huge volume of data that contact centres are already collecting, interaction analytics can also predict customers’ reactions to agent actions and guide them in real time to the best course of action.
2. Identify Customers at Risk of Churning and Give Them Reasons to Stay Loyal
Interaction analytics can identify both the root causes of customer dissatisfaction and how agents handle these issues. Organizations can develop programmes, processes and agent training to best address these potential churn drivers and improve customer satisfaction and retention.
The same data analysis can also identify actions that are most effective at driving loyal customer behaviour. Deploying real-time analytics in your contact centre allows you to increase your customer save rate by providing agents with the information they need to deliver a successful outcome.
For example, if the analytics identifies words or phrases associated with churn, the agent can be alerted to offer a solution that is associated with loyalty. This can significantly increase the lifetime value of a customer. It can also reduce the cost to serve by removing the need for repeat calls.
3. Make Sure You Have an Omnichannel View for a Full Picture of the Customer Journey
The truth is that measuring the customer experience on one channel, without having a full picture of the customer journey, is pointless. Your customers give you clear advice and feedback on their experience every time they interact with you. Most companies just aren’t listening.
If you analyse every customer interaction, across every channel, using a single analytics platform, you can identify customer expectations on response times and channel preferences.
In fact, the CallMiner Churn Index showed that 41% of customers want organizations to provide a self-service facility so they can resolve their own issues without waiting.
By analysing every interaction, you will understand why people use each channel. You can then provide the right resources to meet those needs. And you can point them in the right direction to use the right channel at the right time.
4. Combine Unsolicited and Solicited Feedback to Get the Full Before, During and After Picture of the Customer Experience
Most organizations record customer calls and capture other channel interactions for quality assurance purposes. But they ignore the huge insight this same information could provide for better customer and agent experiences.
In fact, most organizations only listen to between 1% and 3% of the calls they receive each month. And yet the same organizations probably have a dedicated programme to capture solicited feedback from customers, such as survey or review sites.
There’s no doubt that survey feedback can present rich insight into the customer experience. NPS and C-SAT scores provide nicely structured data that’s easy to understand and use. But this is always captured after the experience – sometimes days or weeks later – which makes it difficult to make any changes quickly.
Another issue is that context and content are sometimes lost when survey respondents forget exactly what was happening or how they felt during their conversation.
If you analyse 100% of conversations, you will be able to reveal the insight you need to improve the customer experience. If you combine this unsolicited data with your solicited feedback you will have the true Voice of the Customer (VOC).
But you will also have the true Voice of the Employee (VOE) and understand how your frontline employees represent your brand. This insight is invaluable in improving customer experience management.
5. Demonstrate Empathy and Use Your Agents to Turn Negative Emotions Into Positive Ones
The reality is that every call centre agent will have to deal with customers who arrive in a negative frame of mind.
The CallMiner Churn Index has shown that over a third of customers (36%) say they arrive annoyed; one in six (16%) arrive angry and the same number arrive ready for an argument! Managing a call in a way that converts an unhappy customer into a happy one is therefore incredibly valuable.
Speech analytics can identify words, phrases and acoustic qualities that demonstrate when a customer is unhappy. They can also identify what triggers a negative reaction and those calls that do not deliver a positive outcome.
Fortunately, the reverse is also true. Speech analytics can uncover the words, phrases and tone that trigger a positive response.
Armed with this insight, agents can adjust what they say and how they say it according to the behaviour of the customer.
By providing supervisors and agents access to post-call analysis, it will be possible to implement best practice and reinforce positive behaviour across the whole team.
Real-time analytics enables you to go one step further and determine when a call is deteriorating and prompt the agent to adjust language and tone in time to rescue the call and deliver a better customer experience.
6. Make Listening One of Your Brand Values – It Pays!
If you really want to deliver a memorable experience, then the best thing to do is listen to your customers. The CallMiner Churn Index shows that listening is critical to success.
When asked about their emotional state before a call to a call centre, the top response by almost half of consumers (46%) is that they just want someone to listen to them. However, only half that number (23%) reported they felt listened to after the call.
Speech analytics will enable you to create a listening or ‘empathy’ score to measure each agent’s listening ability. You can then feature this on each agent’s personal scorecard and then use leaderboards to gamify the focus on listening.
If you make listening a part of your company’s DNA, you will create a powerful positive experience that sets you apart from your competitors. It’s worth making the effort. The same CallMiner study found that 68% of consumers are very likely to switch after a bad call centre experience.
But more consumers (74%) are very likely to stay loyal if they have a good call centre experience.
To increase the certainty of success, you can use real-time analytics to guide your agents so they use active listening on every call.