Contact centres: Speech Analytics finds the problems. Call Analyzer solves them.

December 6th, 2011

99% of speech analytics solutions work in the same way. By processing hours of ‘post-call’ voice recordings from a period of time within the contact centre, each system in their own way will deliver reports on different types of searches: from identifying instances of key words or phrases to more sophisticated ‘trend’ and ‘root cause’ analysis. The latest innovation is completely different. GemaTech are the only vendors to analyse, train and monitor all agents simultaneously and automatically on every live call to drive down quality monitoring costs.

The problem with current speech analysis is that the organisation has to turn the analysis output into meaningful and targeted training in order to have an impact and improvement on front line service provided by the agents. But it doesn’t stop there…in order to find out if the training has been effective you still have to monitor and measure every agent to discover whether the training, and therefore analysis, has had any kind of positive impact on improving customer service and increasing first call resolution. Often the amount of analysis data that is produced can be massive, requiring time and effort to be translated and more often than not this can end up falling into the preverbial black hole!

Not any more. GemaTech have chosen a different path. Whilst other speech analytics vendors have decided to diversify into analysis data held in CRM solutions, social media and email, GemaTech have decided to tackle the voice issue head on. By providing a solution which doesn’t analyse voice recordings, but analyses conversations as  they happen, the focus is placed on helping the agent during the call and effectively cutting out the back end processing requirement. Therefore analysis, training and measurement takes place simultaneously and automatically – requiring no manual intervention from analysts, team leaders or training staff. As a bonus all calls are analysed, all of the time, not just a sample of calls.

For more information call Karen at GemaTech on 0845 345 8718 or email me at k.jones@gematech.com.

How to achieve contact centre compliance and minimise financial risk with new live speech analytics

November 22nd, 2011

Achieving consistent compliance is high on the agenda of most regulated organisations due to the increasing risk of crippling financial penalties. New live, on-call, speech
analytics technology can enable such organisations to minimise their risk while at the same time increase operational efficiencies and improve quality assurance.

For contact centres selling finance, insurance, mobile phone contracts, utility contracts or even tasked with debt collection (to name but a few), there are certain key statements which have to be said when talking to customers over the phone. Neglecting to ask key questions such as “this is a five year contract, are you happy to go ahead?” can make a contract null and void or leave the organisation open to non-compliance penalties by industry bodies such as the Financial Services Association (FSA) and more recently in the media Ofgem who have imposed multi-million pound fines on an increasing number of the “Big 6” energy suppliers.

By way of example, one particular mobile phone retailer was fined £245,000 in 2006 for not treating its customers fairly following telephone sales of general insurance. Rather than telling the customer over the phone information such as features and benefits of the mobile insurance policy they were buying, how long it lasts and the duration of the ‘cooling off’ period, they planned to send out a written document following the call instead. However 118,000 customers never received the document, and therefore the fine was issued. What’s more because the FSA was not informed of the system’s failing in a timely manner the fine was particularly harsh.

This organisation experienced a dilemma shared by many call centres. They had a choice to either train their telesales agents to remember to give and obtain essential information during the call, or choose to send written documentation after the call. The latter of which clearly failed.

Human error or system error: both can be avoided, but historically it has proved harder to prevent human error. How many senior managers have had one of those moments when a poorly handled call, or series of calls has led to particularly bad PR or direct loss of revenue?

The first generation of speech analytics solutions in use today aim to pinpoint calls and agents that are non-compliant by analysing hours of voice recordings, but unfortunately not before the damage has already been done. Call backs to the customer are then required to rectify the situation which can reduce first call resolution and increase customer dissatisfaction and call handling time.

While many of the first generation speech analytics vendors have moved sideways into providing multi-channel analytics (to include data analysis of emails, SMS texts, Tweets etc.), there is one vendor that has focused on perfecting the ability and benefits of live, on-call, speech analytics. GemaTech’s new Call Analyzer monitors and analyses calls as they happen on agent by agent basis, enabling an interactive desktop prompt to commend or correct every agent as their call progresses. Not only are calls now recorded for compliance purposes, but every call is monitored and analysed automatically so that cases of non-compliance are instantly highlighted to both agent and supervisor providing the ability to address the issue before the call is finished.

Speech Analytics: 5 Key Problems Solved

October 14th, 2011

While many speech analytics vendors are moving into ‘interaction analytics’ to incorporate analysis of data from emails, SMS texts, CRM systems and online social media, one company have remained focused on getting the speech analytics part right by fixing all the problems that the first generation speech analytics have left in their wake.

GemaTech have harnessed this speech analytics ‘gold’ and have developed a solution that solves the 5 key problems

 

Problem 1:   My Voice Recording supplier won’t give me access to my voice recording files making speech analytics too difficult

Solution: GemaTech’s Call Analyzer is a completely stand alone solution which doesn’t require any integration with any existing call recording equipment. Simples.

 

Problem 2:  I need to employ expensive specialist speech analysts to configure the analytics system

Solution: Most speech analytics solutions require some amount of ‘training’ to be fully configured and therefore require the services of a professional speech analyst, but GemaTech’s Call Analyzer has done the hard work already. Just type in the key words and phrases you want the system to search for and a handy tool will create the breakdown of individual phonemes, as well as telling you if the phrase is maximised for search accuracy. So anyone can configure the system with half a day’s training.

 

Problem 3:  It’s taking months to get the speech analytics system working!

Solution: Firstly Call Analyzer is a ‘plug and play’ solution with no integration to voice recording equipment required. Secondly anyone can be trained on configuring the solution in around half a day. Thirdly no on-going professional services are required, meaning that benefits can be realised within the first few days of installation.

 

Problem 4:  The speech analytics system is generating so much data that it can’t easily be turned into actionable benefits

Solution: For those companies who have successfully installed a speech analytics solution, I have been told that often so much data is produced by the system that turning the data into real tangible benefits which can improve agent performace on the phone, is slow, if done at all! Call Analyzer however cuts out this process. By anlaysing calls as they happen and prompting agents as a result of what is being said to the customer at-that-precise-moment, there is no need for back-end processing. The benefits and training go directly to the individual agent as each call is happening.

 

Problem 5: The costs of this speech analytics solution just keep going up and up!

Solution: Upgrades, professional services, system training….suddenly the price you originally agreed on for your speech analytics solution is going up and up and you are powerless to say no. Not so with Call Analyzer….there are no hidden costs. What you see is what you get and upgrades are included in the price.

So, take another look at speech analytics and tell me if any of these problems ring true with you. Are there any others I’ve missed? What are your experiences? Do you think such a system is too good to be true? Call me…challenge me…

What does ‘Live’ Speech Analytics actually mean?

September 26th, 2011

Speech analytics has been around for about a decade. The first generation speech analytics solutions promised a lot but proved to be prohibitively expensive, requiring on-going professional services to configure the search engines.

However a new wave of live speech analytics has arrived in the last couple of years. Nexidia, a company solely focused on data mining large amounts of voice recordings has emerged as a leader in the field of trend analysis. Established voice recording vendors such as Nice and Verint have also developed their own data mining analytics primarily as value added services for their customers. But if customers hadn’t caught up with the first tranche of speech analytics technology they are out of luck as the next wave of analytics has been expanded to now include ‘live’ and data analytics, delivering what is now known as ‘contact centre analytics’ (to include data mining of social media outputs, email and text messages) just to muddy the waters, making it difficult to discern what ‘real-time’ and ‘live’ speech analytics actually means.

For some vendors, real-time means that the results of data mining large amounts of voice recordings occurs so fast as to be seen as ‘real-time’. Others can process data very quickly once a call has been recorded. But as far as I can tell, no other company can do on-the-call speech analysis as GemaTech can. This being the primary reason why GemaTech have developed Call Analyzer – offering to market a completely stand-alone real-time speech analytics solution which doesn’t require integration with an existing voice recording vendors equipment. It doesn’t do data, it only does voice. But after all, isn’t that the point? You cannot fully control your call centre agents and what they say on every call, but if you could influence, correct and guide them automatically on every call for the very best chance of the very best outcome – isn’t that the holy grail of speech analytics? Isn’t that what it primarily set out to achieve? And therefore isn’t that the benefit of live speech analytics?

For further information on live speech analytics I would strongly recommend reading the FREE Contact Babel, Inner Circle Guide to Speech Analytics and if you are serious about speech analytics, watch this space for the up coming report from DMG Consulting.

Emergency People Management Requires Effective Communication Tools

September 23rd, 2011

Acting quickly to secure the safety of people in any emergency is a priority and therefore using effective communication tools is essential.

Unfortunately the news is often filled with stories of lone gunmen on school or college campuses threatening to shoot students or as in the recent case in Norway, actually undertaking a hofrrific attack.

But for every exceptional case there are plenty of situations which go under the radar of the headlines, so these types of occurances are more common than you might expect. Having plans in place as well as effective communication tools is essential. Rapid notification solutions are perhaps the best known way of reaching lots of people fast. Using a software application to send out emails, text messages and to post messages on web status pages is a fast way of getting information to the people you need to protect e.g. students and staff. For an example of how this is used in action can I refer you to a website by the University of Texas following an incident last year. It shows how they used email, texts, website status pages and even social media to keep communicating with students.

Under stress it must be said that solutions which are easily accessible, yet secure, and more importantly easy to use are perhaps the most effective when it comes to being able to communicate fast and effectively. Finally, knowing that the messages have a guaranteed delivery mechanism is also of importance, after all you need to know that those text messages are going to get through and take network priority.

 

 

Risk Management: how to prevent £1.3bn bank losses

September 15th, 2011

Risk management is one of the highest topics on every investment bank’s agenda, and probably even more so following the news that a rogue trader has been detained on suspicion of losing UBS around £1.3 ($2) billion. But how can banks ensure that their risk management is watertight?

Well from a voice communications point of view the voice recording of phone calls has been around for a number of years, but the key to using such a tool successfully is being able to search for parts of conversations which are non-compliant, and when you consider how many calls are handled during one day of trading, fast search and retrieval is paramount.

Coming into effect in November, certain mobile phone calls must also be recorded to be compliant with new FSA regulations which should help plug the hole of rogue traders using work mobile phones rather than landlines.

Perhaps more exciting though is the rise of advanced live speech analytics solutions which can pinpoint key phrases and words said during a phone conversation and flag the compliance officer to take immediate action to manage the risk. Unlike bulk analysis on voice recordings which can take hours and is usually only undertaken on a sample of calls, live speech analysis can monitor every word of every call as it is happening.

Technology is great and is advancing at a great rate but at the end of the day it is still down to human inquisitiveness and perception to identify rogue traders. It’s just that he tools are getting better and are making this job even easier, so hopefully we will see fewer headlines about banks losing £1.3 billion to rogue trading.

Live Speech Analytics: Use for Compliance, Training and Quality Monitoring

September 12th, 2011

Live is the latest buzz word in speech analytics because of it’s value in helping organisations sift through the information gathered in their call centres. But customer feedback is only one application of live speech analysis. Knowing in real-time what is being said by agents and customers on every call can be used to ensure compliance with industry regulations such as FSA (Financial services authority), automate time consuming agent training and introduce live quality monitoring of all agents on all calls.

This revolution in technology is the amalgamation of the latest speech-to-text, phonetics and key phrase recognition innovations. Unlike first generation solutions, next generation speech analytics solutions do not require on-going expensive professional services and ‘training’ because it has now become intrinsic to the software.

What this means is that an agent can be handling a live call, and a discreet desktop client can indicate when the agent has spoken key phrases (or even bad phrases) during the course of the conversation. The system therefore monitors agent performance, adherence to compliance phrases and send statistics back to the call centre manager or team leader on how the agent is performing on a call by call basis.

So the live speech analytics market is gathering momentum and the choice is expanding depending upon an organisation’s objectives, be they understanding customers or monitoring agents, there is a solution for everyone.

 

 

 

 

9/11 Top 3 Tips to be Telecoms Continuity Prepared

September 5th, 2011

As we approach the tenth anniversary of 9/11 it’s a sobering reminder to businesses to have their telecoms continuity plans up to date and tested.

Now is the best time to  re-enforce the necessity of having your business telecoms continuity plans in order. So here are my top 3 tips for being prepared: Read the rest of this entry »

Hurricane, Earthquake and Verizon Telecoms Strike Could Have Created Telecoms Chaos for US Business, Reveal GemaTech Telecoms Recovery Experts

September 1st, 2011

US Businesses have been lucky to survive three major disruptions in the past month. But just think what would have happened to a business’ telecoms infrastructure, and therefore their business if Hurricane Irene, the recent East Coast earthquake and the 2 week strike by Verizon workers had conspired to act with even more force at exactly the same time and place?

The East Coast of the US has been extremely lucky. The earthquake which hit Washington on the 23rd August reached 5.8 on the Richter scale and was felt from North Carolina to New England. Luckily the impact caused minimal damage, but a more powerful quake could have broken both telecoms and power cables and dislodged essential telecoms circuits, according to telecoms business continuity experts at GemaTech. If Hurricane Irene had hit the East Coast with more power, severe flooding would have compounded the problem, making it impossible to reconnect circuits quickly. Thirdly factor-in a Verizon workforce strike (which did in fact occur on the 7th August and lasted for some two weeks) and there would have been no-one available to get any broken telecoms circuits back up and running anyway. The perfect storm of these three events coinciding could have been a major disaster for any organisation which has inadequate, or indeed no, telecoms resilience plan. And there are no guarantees such a scenario could not still happen at some point in the future. Eventually luck will run out…

Just think what the impact would be on a business if their telecoms circuits failed, if employees were denied access to their offices or if the transport system was out of action. How long would it take the city and telecoms carriers to repair and restore normal service? If buildings were severely damaged or waterlogged it would take major resources to rebuild infrastructure, and if lots of customers are in the same situation a carrier is going to be inundated with work – all at top priority.

Specialist telecoms technology company GemaTech (carrier compatible providers of telecoms business continuity services) understands that telecommunications is the engine of any organisation. It connects a business with its customers and suppliers, and enables all communication via voice and data. When that infrastructure is disrupted, the ability to continue operating as a business is compromised and money is lost fast. After all how many US businesses can continue operating effectively when they have no ability to communicate with their customers?

But protecting your business telecoms doesn’t have to be expensive. For just the price of a cup of coffee a day, an individual number can be re-routed safely and securely from one office location to another, a cell phone or a home phone, enabling an employee to continue receiving those mission critical inbound calls by working from somewhere else. GemaTech have been delivering proven business telecoms resilience, which can be activated within a few minutes following a disruption, to blue chip organisations in the US and UK for many years, and is relied upon in times of telecoms failure by organisations in various industry sectors where telecoms is mission critical including hospitals and investment banks.

One day luck will run out, and those businesses left unprepared risk losing everything. But, for those who have prepared for the worst (for the sacrifice of a few cups of coffee!) the COO can sleep safe in the knowledge that it can be business as usual even if earthquake, hurricane and telecoms strikes create the ‘perfect storm’.

For further information on GemaTech’s product portfolio contact Karen Jones, Marketing Manager

Social Media Measurement Now Includes Speech Analytics

July 7th, 2011

Social Media offers a wealth of market research which businesses ignore at their peril. Straight from your customers via Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites comes the truth about your products, service, reputation and competitors. Not their thoughts from last week or yesterday but their thoughts from minutes or even seconds ago. And data analytics tools are quick to monitor, capture and analyse such interactions. Speech analytics has lagged behind such data tools…until now. Read the rest of this entry »