The pros and cons of real-time speech analytics to monitor agents

Lori Bocklund

Real-time speech analytics is in its early stages, both as a technology and in contact center use. Not all vendors offer it, and most that do announced availability within the last year. Adoption of speech analytics in general is fairly low, and companies that currently use or are planning to adopt analytics are focusing on driving value from the technology.

When considering speech analytics, real-time or not, don’t view it simply as a tool to monitor agents. Its value goes well beyond that in terms of insights and actions it can drive for your contact center as well as other parts of the company.

Achieving value from speech analytics requires analysts and defined business objectives, whether  focused on quality, compliance, sales, relationship building, product insights or other goals. Pursuing real-time speech analytics requires people and processes to identify what they’re looking for in a conversation and trigger the right actions -- such as through scripts, integration with other systems (like CRM or knowledge bases) -- or desired outcomes when the conversation is taking a defined path.

The benefits can be great for both the customer and the company -- reduced call lengths, increased call resolution and targeted cross-sell and up-sell, for example. However, companies pursuing this technology must be willing to invest in the people and processes to use it effectively, both up-front and ongoing. Anyone tackling this project today could be considered an “early adopter,” so if your organization is interested, make sure it can make the right investments of time and resources and expect some bumps along the way. Not many companies have done this yet and thus cannot yet share their learning or provide insights that will improve the products. Your organization will be a pioneer but may blaze a trail that leads to great advantages if all goes well.

View the next item in this Essential Guide: Speech analytics is worth the pain or view the full guide: A guide to call center analytics

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