Speech analytics software can help your small to medium sized business (SMB) in countless ways including enabling you to identify which on-the-phone sales practices are working best, identify at-risk customers about to defect, and provide important voice-of-the-customer intelligence immediately following the call. These and many other advantages mean the time is right for you to start considering speech analytics for your business.
You may be thinking that speech analytics software is too expensive and designed primarily for large enterprises. Well, this used to be the case. Now, for as little as $800 a month, you and your business can be armed with this invaluable tool so you can start realizing all the benefits it has to offer.
The way speech analytics technology works is that it comes with call recording technology built in so first every call your staff makes is automatically recorded and stored. Then, the speech analytics software will automatically mine all calls for select keywords that you specify. Reports are then delivered to your managers in near real time to alert them of important occurances such as a customer, e.g., that just mentioned a variation of the words "cancel my account". Think for a moment how valuable it would be to have near real time alerts of when such a phrase was being uttered by your customers. What would you do with this invaluable intelligence? You would have a supervisor call the customer right back and try to save them from defecting. Right? If you are successful in stopping even one client from leaving, then speech analytics is worth its weight gold.
Another example might be every customer that utters the word "supervisor". With speech analytics software you will be notified almost immediately and can listen carefully to these calls to find out the reasons for their discontent. Could it be due to a business process error or an underperforming agent? Either way, you will know and can take immediate corrective action so more customers won't become dissastisfied.
If you are an SMB contemplating speech analytics, carefully weight these considerations before making any decisions:
1. How much is the implementation process and how long does it take to get up and running?
2. Is the call recording capability built in or do I have to purchase that separately?
3. How do I intend to use speech analytics: to increase revenue, improve customer service, uncover competitive intelligence, reduce costs, improve regulatory compliance...? (once you have determined the reason or reasons, inquire with your vendors how they can help you meet these goals.)
4. Ask the vendor to explain the following costs, if they apply: license fee for calls analyzed, implementation costs, bandwidth costs if hosted offsite, costs for additional users, extra hardware expenses, system training, etc. What are the upfront costs and what are the ongoing costs?
5. Which speech recognition technology is used? Phonetic Speech Analysis (audio is processed into a sequence of sounds and the results are presented in a lattice of possibilities) or Large Vocabulary Continuous Speech Recognition, which applies a dictionary or language model of upwards of 100,000 words and pharases to produce a full transcript.