Congratulations! You’ve accomplished what you thought was the hardest part of acquiring a speech or text analytics solution – you successfully implemented it. The application is up and running, collecting and analyzing customer conversations and free-form comments from surveys, chat conversations and social media posts. This is where the fun begins as you start acquiring a deep understanding of customer insights and opportunities. But knowing what customers are saying is only half the battle. The real challenge is figuring out how to use this information as an enterprise change agent.
Putting Interaction Analytics to Work
The power of interaction (speech and text) analytics is that it gives you a way to capture and structure conversations and interactions with your customers and prospects. Now that you have these insights, you need to figure out how to use them, either to fix problems or create new products. The benefits come from applying the findings to the appropriate department or activity. Here are a few best practices that will help your organization succeed in realizing substantial and quantifiable benefits from speech and text analytics.
- Make Interaction Analytics an Enterprise Application
Interaction analytics is an enterprise-class solution that should be managed by a department independent of any of the operating departments, such as sales, marketing or service. This team should report to a senior executive, such as the chief operating office or chief customer officer, who has a broad scope of responsibility and can drive change wherever it is needed in the company.
- Create an Interaction Analytics Enterprise-Wide Steering Committee
Although the inputs from speech and text analytics typically come from a contact center or marketing department, the insights and findings apply to many areas of the enterprise. One customer may complain about a specific branch, while another may provide suggestions for a new product idea. Then there could be a blogger who freely shares a detailed competitive analysis comparing your products to those of competitors – information that you have paid thousands of dollars to acquire in the past. All of this information needs to be collected, analyzed and shared with the relevant department managers. These managers must be held accountable for addressing the underlying issues and opportunities and reporting back to a steering committee. This means that there needs to be a formal change management process for delivering findings, receiving the inputs about what is going to be done to fix them, and then evaluating whether the changes were effective. DMG recommends that department managers be recognized and rewarded for making the necessary changes; otherwise, the findings will be relegated to the “back burner” by being added to a list of priorities that may (or may not) be addressed when there is time.
- Dedicate Time and Resources to Learning to Use the Application
Pre-implementation, the vendor provides courses and workshops to teach a company to use the application. These courses are essential, but provide only a portion of what you need to know in order to address your organization’s specific issues. This really is a case of “the devil is in the details.” It takes substantial effort to identify the right terms and phrases to capture the relevant information for each interaction analytics search. The best users frequently update and alter their searches to ensure that they are continuing to capture the right information. The vendors’ courses teach you to use the speech and text analytics tools, but it takes experience to figure out how to apply it to your own customer base.
- Start Small
Interaction analytics is powerful. These analytical solutions can transcribe conversations that contain valuable insights about many areas within a company. But you’re not going to be able to address everything all at once. Therefore, it’s important to prioritize needs and address them one at a time. Dedicate time to analyzing and fixing one issue before moving onto the next, and user confidence in the application will grow as benefits are realized.
Interaction analytics should become the “go to” application to understand the impact of issues and opportunities on an organization. When a speech and text analytics program is managed by experts, it can essentially become a “laboratory” for evaluating the pros and cons of new product ideas, system and functional changes, marketing programs, and a whole lot more. The key to success is taking a quasi-scientific approach by surrounding the application with well-established change management practices and rewarding users for properly applying the findings.