Businesses are often so focused on targeting the masses that they tend not to address the specific needs of their customers. While they know who their target audience is, the tools they have at their disposal are not sufficient to help organisations gain a comprehensive understanding of their customers.

Regardless of industry, a business’s customers come in all shapes and sizes. Aside from hailing from different cultural and social backgrounds each has their own reason for contacting a business, whether it’s to follow up on a purchase, lodge a complaint, report a problem or inquire about a product or service.

As the point of contact between the company and the outside world, it’s a call centre agent’s responsibility to engage customers in a way that is more responsive and provides more value according to their specific needs, while also serving the company’s interests.

Speech analytics presents a huge opportunity for businesses to optimise customer experience. It is contact centre software that monitors recorded calls to gather customer information. This enables contact centre agents to deliver faster and more customised solutions.

Speech analytics in action

The first usage of speech analytics in the contact centre is the collection of historical call information. Whenever a customer contacts a business via telephone, speech recognition software records, transcribes and analyses the conversation.

The results are stored in a database that can be accessed via dashboards and compiled into reports for further analysis by users. The information helps agents understand why and how customers are engaging with the contact centre. Having a more detailed picture of the business’s target customers puts it in a position to deliver a tailored service, improving the customer journey and driving loyalty.

A second use of speech analytics is the capturing of data in real-time. As the conversation unfolds, the software’s live monitoring capabilities offer agents the ability to track speech patterns and emotions in customers. It analyses, for example, the pace, stress, tone or a number of other elements in a customer’s voice and, drawing on historic customer interaction data, provides agents with on-screen prompts on how to initiate relevant actions or responses during a real-time conversation.

Of course, speech analytics does more than just enhance the customer experience. According to the article The Role Of Speech Analytics In Customer Experience, there are plenty of cross-sell and up-sell opportunities to be found among customer data, which can boost a business’s revenue.

It can further decrease operational expenses, especially if a contact centre is outsourced. Providers such as these usually offer customer support functions at a low operational cost.

In the age of the more empowered customer, customer satisfaction is an essential differentiator for many organisations. A business that is able to identify customer trends and take action at an individual level has a greater opportunity to build brand loyalty.