Archive for the ‘Speech Analytics’ Category

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

Tuesday, 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

Tuesday, 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

Friday, 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?

Monday, 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.

Risk Management: how to prevent £1.3bn bank losses

Thursday, 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

Monday, 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.

 

 

 

 

Social Media Measurement Now Includes Speech Analytics

Thursday, 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. (more…)

Live Speech Analytics Could Have Saved Banks Millions on PPI Pay-Outs

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

 Banks could have been in a better position to identify costly PPI (Payment Protection Insurance) miss-selling mistakes by using new live speech analytics, saving them hundreds of millions, if not billions of pounds on customer pay-outs.

New, emerging speech analytics technology can help any organisation, and in particular highly regulated banks, be in a position to know exactly what is being said, or sold, during or straight after every phone call handled by their call centre agents.

Analysing all calls as they are occurring gives supervisors the ability to identify errors or omissions and help agents rectify calls to protect the customer, and at the same time save the company millions in regulatory fines or customer compensation.

New Live Speech Analytics can identify miss-selling – innocent or otherwise

Speech analytics solutions have been around for a number of years, providing post-call trend analysis for call centres. Due to limitations in processing speed and prohibitive costs, only a selection of all voice recordings were actually analysed to provide valuable insight into customer and agent behaviour.

Now a new generation of speech analytics technology is emerging via specialist vendors which is taking ‘first call resolution’ to the next level, enabling companies to avoid any risk of miss-selling earlier, to recover quickly from mistakes, or at worst detect them. New speech analytics solutions include the ability to analyse every call as it is happening, in turn triggering live prompts to an agent’s or supervisor’s screen. Any keyword or phrase can be searched for. Any question and answer combination can be used as a trigger to prompt an agent to change the course of their conversation during a call. And all the time supervisors can see a real-time picture of what is being said in their call centre without having to physically listen to calls. Future enhancements will even see speech analytics identifying different customer emotions, giving supervisors the ability to flag up angry or distressed customers or agents in real-time.

Applying new live speech analytics technology could have helped identify the most inappropriate sales of PPI, giving agents the chance to rectify a miss-sell, thus saving the banks an embarrassing apology and hundreds of million of pounds worth of pay-outs.

Yesterday Barclays, HSBC and RBS (via the BBA, British Bankers Association) followed Lloyds’ example and chose to back down in their legal fight over the miss-selling of payment protection insurance (PPI). The insurance policies are designed to pay out for customers who have been made redundant, or are on long term sick leave in order to cover mortgage, loan or credit card payments. However the self- employed can never be made redundant and those with existing health issues are not necessarily eligible for policy redemption claimed due to extended sick leave.

Compliance is paramount in avoiding fines and compensation

Miss-selling is just one of the many issues around compliance affecting banks, insurance companies and financial enterprises today. Such companies need to demonstrate to the Financial Services Authority (FSA) that they are trading compliantly including voice recording calls made and received over traditional landlines, and in some cases mobile phones. Live speech analytics can ensure 100% compliance on every phone call handled by every call centre agent in a cost effective way that does not require expensive professional services or costly integration with existing voice recording equipment. Indeed the Return on Investment (ROI) of deploying such a solution can be realised, in some cases, in less than a year!

For more information on next generation live speech analytics and how it can help save your company millions of pounds, contact GemaTech on 0845 345 3333 or visit our website at www.gematech.com.

5 Tips for Call Centre Compliance

Friday, April 15th, 2011

FSA fines for non-compliance have trebled in the last year. Here are my 5 top tips for ensuring your call centre ensures best endevaours for total compliance:

1. Call Recording

A necessity these days for FSA regulated call centres, voice recording of all calls handled by your call centre is not new. But the solutions available today make it difficult in deciding which supplier to use. Go with the large players and you may find the bill expensive and the systems cumbersome. Choose a smaller supplier and you may not get the support you need. My advice is that when shopping for a call recording solution ask your potential  supplier the following questions:

  • Is it a scalable solution?
  • Is it easy to use and fast to search and retrieve recordings?
  • Does it offer a resilience option should your call centre be evacuated to a recovery site for any reason?
  • Does it offer dual channel recording to isolate speaking parties?
  • Does it include a satisfactory level of encryption?
  • Are you getting the best value for money?

2. Call Scripting

Creation and management of your call scripts are vital to ensure that your call agents are aware of the legal necessity to make customers aware of certain information before they make a purchase.  Choose a scripting package that has the ability to raise flags at certain points to help the agent be reminded of what to say and when. Also choose a scripting package that can be easily amended at any time for all agents.

3. PCI Compliance

New PCI compliance rules mean that organisations cannot retain customer credit and debit card details whcih can then be accessed by a third party. Encryption is not enough to fulfill this requirement. There are three ways that I would strongly recommend you consider in achieving PCI compliance:

  • Obviscate the conversation. This means that when call recording, the conversation relating to taking credit card details is obscured with unintelligable sounds that can not be diciphered by any listener.
  • Use monotone dtmf tone. Allow the customer to enter their credit card details using their phone keypad and ensure that all that can be heard are monotone tones for each number.
  • Finally consider new technology which enables the voice recording to stop as soon as the call agent clicks on the field to start inputing the credit card details on their computer screen and whcih turns the recording back on when all the financial details have been entered.

4. Live Call Analysing

The ultimate way to ensure that every call is 100% compliant is to be able to analyse every call handled by every agent as it is happening, and actively prompt the agent to say the required phrases before they put the phone down. This may seem like a far-fetched ideal but actually live call analysis is available today.

5. Business Continuity

Finally don’t forget that compliance regulations are still enforcable even if your business operations are disrupted. Therefore have you considered whether or not your incoming calls can still get through or if voice recording continues if your agents are forced to work from home, from a recovery site or on their mobile phones? Also if during peak times you allow overflow agents to work from home, do they provide a seamless service to your customers? Can they be monitored? And what contingency do you have if your outsourced call centre lets you down or suffers a disruption?

I hope you find these tips useful, if you did feel free to pass them on…

Live Speech Analytics a Big Hit at Call Centre Summit

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

New live speech analytics was a big hit at last week’s Call Centre and Customer Services Summit at Whittlebury Hall in Northamptonshire. We met Call Centre Managers from all sectors of industry including travel, retail, IT and finance and the overriding themes of quality management, efficiency and compliance were shared by all. When introducing GemaTech’s new Call Analyzer to people, the response was a big hit.

From the start of the summit where delegates were introduced to the latest research by the Customer Services Institute, throughout the event it was clear that everyone is still aiming for first call resolution rates to improve, customer service to improve whilst at the same time creating efficiencies and achieving compliance wherever possible.

Speech analytics technology has entered a new generation. Where first generation solutions made many promises, customers were left feeling disappointed with the cost and lengthy set up times which did not deliver the ROI expected. Next generation solutions are catching up with the unfulfilled promises of yesteryear and Call Analyzer is the first to deliver the results.

Delivering real-time that actually means real-time: ie. spoken word is analysed as it is spoken, Call Analyzer is the first solution in the UK that delivers truly live analysis, live on the call agent prompting and can be set up within a matter of hours or days.

We are looking forward to September’s customer services and call centre summit where it is likely that a new demo area will be set up and people will be able to see live speech analytics in action.