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In 1971 a study famously concluded that only 7% of communication is verbal. However, this often-quoted statistic not only undermines the effectiveness of spoken communications but the comprehensive nature of the research itself.

The piece’s author – Professor Mehrabian of UCLA – found that 55% of communication is about body language. He also reasoned that 38% is about the way people speak rather than the words used. With articulation included, the spoken word accounts for a significant 45% of how people communicate.

Speech analytics works by analysing spoken words, variations in pitch, silences and other verbal cues. Using it means you take the raw data from phone calls and convert it into information your business can use to improve the customer experience in five key ways.

  1. Speech analytics ensures vital information is never lost

Even the most attentive customer service agents can drown in a sea of words. After handling hundreds of calls day in, day out, it becomes very hard to retain important information. In a busy environment, real-time speech analytics provides the ultimate fail-safe.

Speech analytics takes unstructured data (thousands of hours’ worth of calls) and turns it into structured data. The software then analyses this data, detecting things like the reason for the call, the products mentioned and the tone of the customer’s and agent’s voices. It’s also possible to convert speech-based data into different formats such as text, which you can mine for specific keywords and indicators of customer sentiment.

In short, speech analytics software ensures data that would otherwise disappear forever gets recycled and fed into optimising the customer experience.

  1. Speech analytics allows you to effectively gauge customer satisfaction

Customer service is a strategic asset your business can use to set it apart from competitors. That’s why evaluating customer satisfaction with everything from company procedures and policies to complaints about your products or service is so crucial.

Although surveys are currently the number one method businesses use for measuring feedback, speech analytics provides much more insight around the customer experience.

Speech analytics uncovers the reality of what happened during a call and the root cause for any dissatisfaction. Surveys, on the other hand, have a small sample size and only ask questions you think are the most important, which can create significant intelligence gaps.

  1. Speech analytics tells you what your customers want

If surveys are the main method for measuring customer feedback, focus groups are the favoured technique for finding out what they want. But once again, speech analytics provides an easy and cost-effective alternative to learning what customers want.

Sometimes it can even create up-sell and cross-sell opportunities.

Imagine a customer calls asking for a service you don’t currently offer but could easily implement. If this turns into a recurring pattern, speech analytics can help you to spot and then monetise these opportunities more efficiently. Being able to identify what your customers want more easily increases the chances of exceeding their unique wants and needs.

  1. Monitoring call centre agents can create better coaching opportunities

The top priority for most contact centre managers is to ensure their team is delivering a high level of customer service.

Speech analytics software makes it easier to identify the reasons for repeat calls as well as whether your agents adhere to scripts and follow regulatory conditions. It can also be used to learn how your most successful agents work and how to replicate their winning techniques.

In combination, this type of data means you can create tailor-made training packages for specific agents. And being able to target training at individual agents is much more effective than creating one-size-fits-all training solutions for all your employees.

  1. Speech analytics helps to retain customers and reduce churn

In NewVoiceMedia’s White Paper, Serial Switchers Strike Again, we discovered that 70% of consumers are more loyal to a company when they provide excellent customer service, and 40% spend more.

Speech analytics can reveal the most frequently made complaints and the most common reasons why customers call your business. It can also systematically scan calls to spot trends, flag individual calls for analysis and implement many other processes for improved quality assurance.

All in all, speech analytics can provide the tools you need to improve service quality, increase satisfaction and give your customers less reason to abandon your business in the first place.

So, there you have it: five ways speech analytics can help your business plug its customer service intelligence gap.

To learn more about excelling in sales and service, take a look at our selection of insight-packed white papers.

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About Ashley Unitt

Ashley founded NewVoiceMedia to exploit the obvious benefits of putting an enterprise-class contact centre in the cloud, and now serves as Chief Scientist, leading the architecture and research teams.

Prior to NewVoiceMedia he spent ten years at Ltd developing innovative CTI software solutions including voicemail systems, hot-desking products and an open source gate keeper.

Ashley's blog will focus on security, PCI-DSS and general cloud computing issues.

Outside of work he spends most of his time running around after his two young children. You can follow Ashley on Twitter at

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