What Effects will Speech Recognition have on Call Centers?

Effects of enhanced speech recognition on call centers

ASR, or Automatic Speech Recognition, combines the realm of computer science, linguistics and electrical engineering to deliver an enriching tool for communication and business insights. Today, combined with deep learning and big data, ASR engines can seamlessly translate the spoken word into text transcripts. Whether you’re a freshly-minted agent or are placed higher up on the ladder, the data extracted from voice call transcripts can be game-changing in terms of boosting employee performance.

Employees at call centers often arrive for short-term contracts. For those who cannot adjust to the repetitive, ‘customer-is-right’ attitude that’s necessary for a successful center, the monotony snowballs into flawed job performance. Managers, thus, spend much time upskilling employees, boosting morale and training new faces. But what could they do to cut through the fatigue of basic tasks, or even study their success rate? Invest in an Integrated Voice Response (IVR) system, in combination with an ASR tool.

Why IVR?

From the get-go, an IVR system is a panacea for ill-organised contact centers, especially ones itching for an upgrade. Not only is it remarkably customisable, but pre-recorded messages by professionals help customers form a sleek impression of your company from the get-go.

As part of a more comprehensive cloud telephony dashboard, an IVR service can weave in call routing and call barging based on an agent’s strengths; have multiple tiers for a fluid breakdown of options, and highlight self-service features that raise chances of first-contact resolution without the need for human engagement. Businesses can expand and stack up on applications, and the IVR, as a scalable cloud telephony tool, can grow with them.

Toss in automatic speech recognition into the mix, and monitoring your customer experience becomes a cakewalk.

How ASR amplifies call centers?

First, there’s the fundamental outcome that turning text into speech will support call centers in analysing all incoming and outgoing calls. Employee reports may be subjective or suffer from bias when it comes to troubleshooting, and having complete transcripts on hand can assist administrators to accurately judge and set-up customer experience and divide it into channels. This helps spot errors in business communication, track common complaints, and prepare agents with answers for future dispute resolution.

Remember that temporary satisfaction isn’t enough. When it comes to customer relationship management, you have to go all the way.

Call centers fitted with an IVR system also make use of a central monitoring dashboard. A uniform processing point for daily workflows, the dashboard allows managers to review active, on-hold and dropped calls. It also provides business analytics, which not only come in handy to track and pivot ongoing campaigns but generates detailed reports for upper management. Companies can then even align their messaging scripts based on trends in the transcripts.

Foster calm connections

During times of crises, such as the current coronavirus pandemic, event reconstruction is important. Panic can set in on both ends of the phone line, as call volume and customer grievances are likely to shoot up. In those urgent situations, crisp speech-to-text transcripts help agents relay critical information to their managers that may have otherwise been lost to haste and human error. Spam calls also show up more often than you’d think, and a competent ASR engine can find patterns in such conversations to ultimately block the number on the next ring.

Create a keyword pool

Don’t force your agents to parse through time-worn call logs or incomplete transcriptions. Instead, employ speech-to-text to create a master log of common queries and popular resolution techniques. The CSR may then search for a problem keyword, and the log will readily prop up handling ideas for inspiration.

Leave no man behind

If a call center chooses to hire agents with partially impaired hearing or vision, then speech-to-text transcriptions help remove the obstacles that might frustrate an otherwise talented executive. This revs up job satisfaction and self-esteem, which helps streamline performance to meet goals.

Conversely, callers with similar challenges can contact call centers by virtue of ASR built into an IVR system. This results in the hearing party’s audio being transcribed into real-time texts, or ‘captioned telephony’, for the impaired caller to read and respond to.

Jack of all tongues

ASR systems that are ‘speaker-dependent’, meaning they require manual feeding of isolated vocabulary into their software, can be boosted by machine learning algorithms. The greater the diversity of accents or languages that are fed into the software, the more refined its ability to understand and transcribe a wide range of talking styles. With practice, it also becomes more intelligent at doing this. Inevitably, it leads to better public outreach, and customers who appreciate the extra effort a company has put in to listen to their needs.

Push on the DIY spirit

For customers who prefer resolving issues or filing suggestions without human interruptions, an ASR service combined with an IVR system boosts self-sufficiency using voice commands. This could be anything from a voice calling feature that connects callers to a specific department in the company, to a customer satisfaction survey, to simple data entry. Voice commands have existed for a while, but somehow, they are still perceived as novel, continually evoking childlike glee on the first call.

Improved privacy

If your business wants to shift to enhanced voice calls but lies in a sector where confidentiality is imperative to build customer loyalty, then an automatic speech recognition service can greatly live up to its name. Registered users can have their voice recorded and recognised by several characteristics in the form of a voice biometric. The caller can then use only their voice to authenticate details, verify identity, or complete transactions securely.

ASRs can also be coded such that the identity of the caller, and not necessarily what they’re saying, is what the software picks up on. If it matches someone in the customer database, they can then be connected to the agent at the call center with whom they share a comfortable, trusted rapport. If it’s a new caller, you learn of how many such calls you get in a day, how well they go, and what you can do to make them last longer. Easy customer segmentation and quicker servicing, all without having to ask for detail.

At the end of the day, voice recognition software provides an organic, intuitive call experience, one that touch keypads can never replicate. According to research by artificial intelligence company Nuance, the top industries adopting ASR today are technology, transportation, hospitality, retail and finance. All of these sectors registered a whopping 75 per cent increase in determining call intent after becoming early adopters of voice recognition software. With Servetel’s in-built speech-to-text capabilities in its IVR service—and almost every caller owning a smartphone with good processing power—it’s time your call center joined the big leagues. Make the move before its too late. Contact our experts today at out toll-free number 1800-103-6989.

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