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IVR - Majority of Call Centers Will Invest in Web Chat and Speech Analytics This Year
March 28, 2012

Majority of Call Centers Will Invest in Web Chat and Speech Analytics This Year

By Jacqueline Lee, Contributing Writer

Both web chat and speech analytics implementations in call centers are expected to grow by about 60 percent this year, according to research conducted by ContactBabel (News - Alert) and published in the fifth edition of the “U.S. Contact Center Decision-Maker’s Guide.”

“Many survey respondents have indicated strongly that they would like to implement web chat and speech analytics in the near future: two technologies which hold great promise for both customers and businesses,” said Steve Morrell, the author of the report.

Many contact centers are looking to update a variety of systems. Fully one-fifth of contact centers want to upgrade their call recording, workforce management and management information systems solutions. However, the number of centers wanting to add or upgrade web chat and speech analytics was far beyond the total of those interested in updating other functionalities.

Web chat allows agents to wait on multiple customers simultaneously and provides customers with an immediate response to their questions. “Although web chat accounts only for just over 2 percent of all inbound customer interactions, it is growing strongly,” Morrell pointed out. “Web chat is more prevalent in the entertainment and leisure sector than elsewhere, but we would expect to see retailers increasing their take-up of this channel, in order to close more deals online and manage customer support more cheaply.”

Speech analytics, Morrell said, could be used to manage agent and customer interactions across multiple channels, including voice, email, web chat and social media. “Speech analytics is often currently used in the avoidance of litigation and fines through proving compliance, but it can also greatly assist cost reduction, agent improvement and business process optimization. It is moving into the multimedia space, becoming ‘Interaction Analytics.’”

Speech analytics is especially effective at identifying call center trending topics and ensuring that agents are meeting key performance metrics. Speech analytics allows call center managers to observe trends in a large number of different calls rather than spending a small fortune randomly listening to calls and hoping to happen upon training opportunities.

By helping with customer retention, speech analytics can potentially save companies hundreds of thousands of dollars because the cost of retaining current customers is much less than the cost of obtaining new customers.

“Speech analytics has the ability to predict which customers are promoting a company and those that are more likely to speak ill of it,” wrote Chris Tranquill, senior vice president and group president at ACS (News - Alert) Business Process Solutions, in a blog for the International Customer Management Institute. “Organizations can leverage this information to build programs and incentives to ensure loyal customers are maintained while others are rewarded with improved customer service.”

Edited by Jennifer Russell

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