Should planners embrace Speech Analytics?

This is a question which has been at the back of my head for nearly a decade now. It has come back to the fore as my ex-colleague Steve Woosey and his new business partner David Davies will be presenting on the topic at Injixo’s excellent PlanCon event in Manchester at the start of October.

About a decade ago I sat in a technology workshop, led I believe by NICE, extolling the virtues of how Speech Analytics could enhance the quality delivered by contact centres. I know several companies have used the software, with sometimes mixed results, over the past year – but I don’t personally think it has become as mainstream as it could have in the intervening period. I sometimes hear comments that it can be expensive – but is it more a case that like many available software solutions we see so many possibilities, have access to so much data, and aren’t quite sure where to focus our energies. In today’s competitive world, any investment needs to make return on investment, and I wonder if resource planning is a natural bedfellow for speech analytics software.

Think about it. Customers call for many reasons, and it is the forecasters job to understand those reasons, identify the patterns around them, and predict for the future. What if we could subdivide our historic calls into categories and look for patterns within the patterns? Could this help identify more root cause for volume, make sense of significant deviations and allow us to plan better for the future?

We all know how much pressure the real-time team can be under to fix it when queues develop. What if some type of real time report on call causes was available and they could spot why the deviation was occurring on the day. Would this allow us to make better decisions on the appropriate reaction. We could be selective in our preventative toolkit of changes – or feel more confident when speaking to operations and get buy-in for a collaborative resolution.

I’m trying and failing to link to scheduling as shifts, breaks and lunches shouldn’t really be discussed on the calls. However if we could add that edge to our forecasts and identify the causes of deviations on the day, it may allow for more stable scheduling over time.

I would love to hear from companies who have taken this approach. Not one I have come across too often – but most planners are natural analysts. Why not take another system which has the potential to provide rich analytics and try to improve our processes and outputs.

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