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Speech analytics

Even though the speech analytics market is expected to see a compound annual growth rate of more than 18% through 2022, confusion still remains around its benefits and use cases – especially for South African organisations operating contact centres.

Some of the confusion arises from a lack of education around the distinction between voice authentication and speech analytics. Voice authentication is predominantly used to reduce fraud risk and improve compliance. It is an automated method for identifying individuals based on measurable biological and behavioural characteristics, and you will see it most frequently used in the financial services industry. Physical traits (such as vocal tract dimensions) combined with harmonics and speech patterns create a unique digital pattern or voice print that is then used to identify a customer. Although there are other benefits (such as enhanced CX through quicker customer identification), this technology has been primarily used to combat the risk of identity theft through the contact centre.

Speech analytics, on the other hand, automatically identifies, groups, and organises words and phrases used during a voice call to reveal trends, opportunities, and areas for concern. In much the same way that humans can connect conceptually related words to create context, speech analytics automates this process to derive real insight from everyday conversations between customers and agents. While this can also reveal occurrences of non-compliance and fraud across phone interactions, the use of the technology extends beyond this application.

Considering that customers are speaking to businesses daily, speech analytics therefore represents a massive opportunity in the market. It empowers the organisation to have a better understanding of what the customer is telling them – and then uses that to improve engagement, operations and overall business strategies.

Instant, relevant customer insight

Marketing departments spend a considerable amount of time and money on conducting primary market research to inform their strategies on pricing, products, advertising, branding and customer specific metrics such as satisfaction and loyalty. Unlike the lengthy data collection and analysis periods associated with these studies or the low completion rates of ad hoc customer surveys, speech analytics automatically collects and analyses this data to reveal instant, relevant and valuable customer insight.

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