Posted on: 23/08/2019

As published in Smart Customer Service

As call centers look increasingly at differentiation through personalising the customer journey, task automation and leveraging AI, with the ultimate goals of maximising revenue, reducing churn and increasing brand loyalty and employee engagement/efficiency,  while also delivering cost efficiencies and savings, it’s crucial that they consider the hugely valuable insights available in the conversations that are taking place daily across the organisations. However this is often overlooked.

While trying to improve call times, customer satisfaction, and track or implement company-wide standards, it is imperative for organizations to analyze and tap into the wealth of information within captured voice data from call recordings of conversations taking place both within the call center environment and the wider organization. For example, a call may originate in the call center, but be resolved by another team e.g. sales or finance and sight of the customer journey is lost. A recent survey* of CIOs and other IT management enterprise employees showed that on average, fewer than 50% of organization-wide conversations are being captured. This is a significant oversight - unless all conversation is captured, organizations are failing to understand the true voice of the customer. Furthermore, if organizations are not equipped to record conversation that occurs about customers, they miss out on insights surrounding that transaction. This results in businesses acting upon incomplete - or worse, incorrect - insights about customers.

As transcription, machine learning, and artificial intelligence make leaps and bounds in sophistication, organizations now have a significant business opportunity to take advantage of voice data at scale in both structured and unstructured format - especially so in customer service, a part of the enterprise where voice is a key component. Voice is an especially salient data point as it can convey intent, sentiment, emotion, action, and context - information that is often difficult to discern in other forms of data.

Additionally, 55% of those surveyed stated that their customer service departments could benefit from better analysis of voice data. Unfortunately, a mere 8% believe the voice data their organization is capturing is easily accessible for fueling AI engines and analytics. This is a staggering gap between the potential value seen and the current reality of achieving that value so why are 92% of organizations unwilling or unable to tap into these valuable insights at the tips of their fingers?

The first issue is that voice data is rarely ever stored in one, cohesive place. Even in data-driven organizations, voice data is often locked away in a complicated mix of cloud and on-premise telecom systems, far away from providing any insight or value. The second issue is historically, how difficult voice has been to analyze at scale in an unstructured form. Once an organization is collecting call center voice data, analysis would quickly become impossible with a large enough data set, providing that data is accessible. Indeed 84%* of organisations we surveyed expressed that it is pivotal to their voice strategies to have an open API approach, allowing freedom and options, feeding voice data into tools and applications of their choice and, crucially, not tying them to one provider.

Luckily, with recent technological advancements, all is not lost for these organizations. By making a conscious decision to record all customer interactions happening in the workplace, an organization would already be ahead of the pack. Finding a solution that can capture and transcribe voice data throughout the enterprise, fuel AI to improve the customer experience, and drive business and process improvements is more pertinent now than ever before and makes analyzing unstructured voice data at scale a true possibility.

One particularly difficult data point to discern when analyzing information is sentiment. As technology advances, sentiment analysis is now something that can be accurately analyzed from voice data, without taking an unreasonable amount of time. Sarcasm, skepticism, and other emotions are difficult to obtain from simply reading transcriptions. However, if the recording of the conversation is available and not just a transcription, it is significantly easier to understand the subjective context of what is being said. This allows for a more accurate analysis, and benefits the bottom line of any organization looking to improve processes.

Improving the quality and cost-efficiency of the customer service department should be a priority for any forward-thinking organization. As technology advances to allow for more capabilities around analyzing the data from the customer service department, organizations should make sure they are collecting and storing this data properly to take full advantage of the presented opportunity - with information that is already there, untapped. As the recent survey exemplifies, organizations that make the most of their voice data for the departments that need it the most are poised to gain a significant competitive advantage.


*Survey conducted by Sapio Research for Red Box, asking 588 IT Directors or C-level executives responsible for IT across UK, US and Singapore

View all