Improving Agent Performance with Speech Analytics

Most people want to do a great job – it's good for both their psyche and their wallet. It feels great to be recognized for doing a great job and even better when rewarded with commissions, bonuses and salary increases. Most of us have to work, but it's more gratifying if your job makes you feel good so you want to get up in the morning and know that you're going to make a contribution to your employer and its customers.

Contact center agent is one of the toughest jobs there is, and few people are "naturals" with all of the required skills. ("Naturals" are people who have outstanding customer service skills and love interacting with customers.) Agents have to deal with lots of different people and personalities, most of whom are pleasant but a few who make you wonder about human decency and kindness. Whether answering calls or working in an omni-channel environment handling emails, chats, SMS and social media, in addition to calls, agents must be prepared to deal with a wide variety of inquiries and sales opportunities.

As an agent, it's wonderfully fulfilling when you do a great job, which happens when you help a customer buy the right product or gift and you hear the thrill in their voice. Or when you answer a question or solve a problem, giving the customer some peace of mind.

Analyze Customer Interactions with Speech Analytics

Most agents really want to excel, but they need training and ongoing coaching and feedback to achieve peak performance. This is where speech analytics comes in. Speech analytics is an application that listens to and analyzes up to 100% of all phone conversations. (Text analytics does the same thing for written communications like email, chat, SMS and social media posts.) Speech and text analytics solutions can listen to and review 100% of everything said and done by agents, and identify interactions where they should be recognized for doing right and other situations where there is opportunity for improvement.

It's amazing what speech and text analytics can find and the positive impact they have on agents, the contact center, the enterprise, and therefore customers and your bottom line.  Consider, for example, the case of EE, the leading UK telecom. EE turned to speech analytics to automatically collect and analyze every call and flag complaints and callbacks, escalations, credits or refunds, and compliance script issues. With more refined insight into customer interactions, agents and their team leaders were better able to preempt serious customer complaints at an ever-earlier stage and increase compliance with the EE dispute resolution process. In addition, access to best practices and identification of areas for improvement enabled supervisors to target coaching and agents to self-improve. Within three months, the company went from proactively managing no complaints at all to taking the initiative for 80% of priority complaints and 60% of serious complaints. Within a year, the company had also realized a 46% increase in employee satisfaction.

Contact center managers, QA leaders and trainers should use the agent performance information identified by speech and text analytics solutions to enhance training programs, and as the primary input for one-on-one coaching sessions and team meetings. Agents are looking for ways to improve, and they welcome feedback that will help them do a great job. They want to be proud of their accomplishments and their contributions to the company; speech and text analytics makes this possible.


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