On the occasion of the Global Summit on Customer Experience Management in Telecoms 2016 in London, Spitch was pleased to host a roundtable discussion titled Contact Centre 2020: Rise of the Machines.
Spitch CEO, Alexey Popov, posed some provocative questions at the outset: “What is the goal of any customer experience executive? Providing a great customer experience that is defined as satisfaction and loyalty. But what is it that makes an experience really great? Accuracy. You know, it is a busy world we are living in. People have many things to do, many places to be, and they want to finish their business quickly. So they really appreciate when you help them doing that and exactly this is what speech technology does – it helps you to help them.”
Participants at the event discussed various important questions such as:
- Will machines replace humans in call centres? According to participants it may be inevitable. Today’s speech solutions can resolve transactional problems on first contact, often in less than a minute. Neural networks technology now enables machines to detect individual pronunciations, dialects, and key words. Machines can scan archives of customer conversations and pick out the best responses and tailor these accordingly to the customer and situation at hand.
But can machines really be as effective as humans? The real question for participants turned out to be: Effective in what? If the goal is creating a human-to-human relationship, then the answer is probably no. If the goal is improving accuracy and efficiency as a gateway to building a long-term relationship with the customer, then the answer is probably yes – if done right.
- Can machines take charge of quality assurance at contact centres? One common complaint among participants was that when it comes to feedback surveys and other 20th century quality assurance tools, people have terrible memories. Modern speech technologies use deep learning algorithms and sentiment analysis to evaluate customer satisfaction in real-time. They are designed to help call centre managers meet their targets, improving conventional metrics like handle time and hold time. But the real value of these solutions is that they support live dialogue with the caller and enable high-value resolution – saving companies and their customers a lot of grief, time, and money.
- Can speech analytics increase product sales? Smart sales decisions are based on the smart use of data. But for the executives in attendance, the sheer wealth of information sometimes gets in the way. Information by itself has little value without the means to access key data points quickly and intelligently. Speech technology helps to unlock the vast amounts of unstructured data and translates this data into meaningful action – whether that is making predictions about a customer’s readiness to buy, putting that information at an agent’s fingertips, or learning more about a customer’s preferences. In addition to micro-scale product positioning and personalisation, speech solutions can also provide macro-scale predictive analysis of sales trends.
- Can machines help businesses understand how customers feel? There is more to conversations than words. Machines can now discern the emotion behind the words, too. Semantic speech recognition technology can recognise not just what is said, but what is meant. There is a complex science underpinning these solutions, which quickly adapt and adopt the latest breakthroughs in machine learning technology. Using this continuous learning mechanism, the system is made robust to deviation in voice or emotion. Participants felt that this kind of sentiment analysis would also be useful to evaluate customer satisfaction.
- Can mobile apps change the nature of contact centre conversations? Participants unanimously agreed that the call centre, as we know it, is on its way out. But the strength and diversity of mobile telephony means that telephony will remain the most popular host for high-touch customer dialogue. 30% of businesses are planning to introduce new mobile application solutions this year. This has the potential to transform customer experience management. Speech technologies help companies stay on top of the trend by integrating seamlessly with mobile solutions. Customers can ask questions into their phones and speech analytics will solve their problem or reply with a resolution by text.
Spitch CEO Alexey Popov, captured the mood in his closing remarks: “The key to any good relationship is listening - really listening. When you are able to listen carefully, you can get to the heart of the problem, provide a high-value resolution, and – if done properly – create a wonderful customer experience. Because speech technologies work in real-time and extract real meaning from conversations, customers hang up with a smile.”
When it comes to speech technology, companies need more than the standard “from the box” solution to provide an efficient, cost-effective, and pleasant customer experience. With a Zurich-based R&D team that boasts 50 years of experience in spoken language technologies, Spitch is at the forefront in the application of machine learning science. We work closely with integration partners and corporate clients to create a highly bespoke speech solution for each organisation as it suits their needs. Therefore, Spitch is ready to start with POC projects on the customer site in order to demonstrate the huge and unique advantage of their solutions. For a visualization of our solutions we advise you to consult our video.
Spitch solutions are specifically, among others, useful in telecoms and banking of course, but also for insurance companies and governments. If you want further information or improve your work process and make it more efficient, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our business development and/or technical teams via firstname.lastname@example.org.