Are You Listening to Your Conversations?

March 11, 2015
310 Views

ImageToday, businesses are stuck. When it comes to listening to the conversations that flow through their voice channel, they’re stuck on sampling and high cost manual monitoring. This handicaps the business and prevents it from getting a wider view of their conversations, and hence a clearer understanding of their business.

ImageToday, businesses are stuck. When it comes to listening to the conversations that flow through their voice channel, they’re stuck on sampling and high cost manual monitoring. This handicaps the business and prevents it from getting a wider view of their conversations, and hence a clearer understanding of their business.

It’s problematic since the voice channel is exceptionally important to a business. Even in this multichannel world, customers still prefer to phone in. Around 60-80% of contacts are still by phone. Other reports show that up to 90% of IT leaders from organisations with multichannel contact centres say voice is still the most important channel– even when other channels (live chat, social media, and email) are available.

82% of Digital Marketers say it’s even important to link online marketing to offline sales. A recent survey shows that especially for big ticket items which trigger insecurities from buyers (hence they need to ask lots of questions) therefore need to communicate to the business offline. Person to person. 64% of customers get frustrated if assistance is only available online, and 65% of businesses consider phone calls as their highest quality lead score (BIA/Kelsey & Constat Commerce Monitor).

Mining the data in these conversations for truths and hidden meanings is imperative. But automatically data-mining the voice channel in real-time, cost effectively and at scale to provide insights about customer and staff behaviour has been previously unattainable. Until now.

Timing couldn’t be better because we’re in the century of the customer.

The ability for the company’s representative to understand the customer, be empathic towards them and deliver a fast solution that keeps the customer satisfied is incredibly important.

Even the personality of company representatives can also have a very large impact on how well information is received by the customer. How well we connect with customers can determine loyalty and greatly impact how they feel about a particular brand or service that we offer.

Getting it right on the phone is imperative. FuturePerfect did an analysis of their own conversations to see just exactly why and how interactions were failing. They found poor adaptability, bad discourse choices and lack of interpersonal relationship building to be the main culprits behind unsuccessful business-customer interactions. 

Those are the kinds of findings which make the case for understanding conversations.  It’s because physically listening to conversations can help in many areas, but there are three standout areas: customer experience, business improvement and compliance.

Compliance is a topical area at the moment. Since the various goings-on in the Australian financial sector, the industry is starting to realise the value of real time mining of all conversations to assist with compliance.

Ask: how do you know what advice is being given over the phone? If those conversations are happening in un-mined and unmonitored environments, it’s very difficult to tell if someone is actually adhering to business rules and procedures.  It is a major risk area for business and a concern for compliance officers – being able to monitor and mine these conversations is very important.

Listening to conversations can also have a major effect on how a business functions. Think of scripts used in call centres – are they being adhered to and, if so, are they delivering the desired result?  With conversation analysis, it is now possible, by extracting data from these conversation, to automate and process this data in real-time and at scale.

The Conversation analytics that are available today are is really making their mark: in the last 12 years, the technology has been characterised by exponential growth. In a report by MarketsandMarkets, conversation analytics is estimated to grow from a $456 million in 2014 to $1.33 billion in 2019, a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 23.9% from 2014 to 2019, fuelled, in part, by this new technology that can automatically mine conversations.

In essence, listening to and analysing conversations is about giving staff the tools to build better relationships and, in turn, giving customers the experience they expect.

This is one of the most important things to remember: “no one can copy your relationship with your customer. They can have all the competitive intelligence that is available, but no one can actually copy that relationship. Being able to have a business talk naturally with a customer and see great outcomes – that’s just one thing that can’t be copied.