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Speech Analytics in Customer Service – How to Protect Employees and Customers

In this special guest feature, Piergiorgio Vittori, CEO of Spitch.ai‘s U.S. division, explains how speech and conversation analytics help a company improve its service and identify weak points. Vittori is leading Spitch’s expansion into the U.S. market following his successful efforts as Vice President of Worldwide Business Development and Regional Managing Director. Previously, Vittori led global development and sales at Verbio, Nuance Communications, and at Loquendo where he led the U.S. team as they surpassed the company’s European revenue and became one of the major speech technology players in the market at the time.

As customer service analytics advance through monitoring and data gathering, employee and customer privacy have never been more important. While regulations are trying to keep up, it is all too common to hear about companies playing on the edge, gathering as much data as possible without crossing the invisible line that’s “too far”.  We know data analysis plays a crucial role in improving business and productivity, enhancing product, and creating visibility into what is working and what is not, but it’s now absolutely crucial for companies to know how to do it well to protect all parties involved. 

Speech and conversation analytics help a company improve its service and identify weak points. It can transform the customer experience by providing visibility into the interaction between a customer and an agent, and it is no longer limited to only one channel. Whether chatbot or phone call, once omnichannel conversation data is derived, it plays a role in decision making. From identifying quality of work and effectiveness to determining opportunities for automation, speech data turns into insights and it can greatly improve customer satisfaction while reducing the risk of non-compliance. Companies that leverage speech analytics not only improve their CX but also their product, business operations, and overall sales strategy and process. 

Isolate Valuable Data For Privacy

Extracting specific data can be a challenge for some companies, which is why there is software that allows you to determine what you need. There is a wealth of data that can be pulled from any given scenario or interaction between a customer and an agent, but segmenting the data that is relevant and effective, is next level. Extracting quality and useful data helps streamline insights later because it removes the “junk” from the pile. It also helps protect businesses and customers from overstepping boundaries and gathering unnecessary personal information. 

In order to protect all participants involved, businesses need to disclose that data gathering, oftentimes mentioned as “your call is being recorded”, is happening as well as communicating how the data will be used. While adding this type of disclosure in a chat bot or phone call sounds excessive, having a place on the business website, email footer, or other visible location, can be an adequate disclaimer and help protect a business in the long run. Clearly stating what the data will be used for is key and second, sharing how long it will be saved for is imperative. Company employee information should include this in documentation as well, to protect employees.

Omni-channel Speech Analytics 

Omni-channel speech analytics can sound messy, but in reality it’s simply a reflection of how customers engage with a business. From chat bots to phone calls to emails, customers don’t typically stay on one channel. Managing the data across multiple channels can sound like an IT and data nightmare, but software can make sure support or customer agents access real-time data and remain helpful and on-topic. 

One way to help minimize privacy issues is voice morphing in voice calls and data redaction in either voice or text communications. Inbound and outbound interactions can include personal information, but in many cases this is not relevant for analyzing the quality of service provided. 

In many circumstances it doesn’t matter who is on which side of the conversation, but what is happening and how this can trigger a CX improvement or simply a company’s internal process optimization. 

Clean, accurate data gathering is what will protect customers and employees. 

In case knowing who is in the call is important for a better service provision, contact centers should be utilizing the latest technologies to accurately identify callers. Regardless of a VA or a human agent, text-independent and hybrid voice biometrics use live, spontaneous speech to identify and authenticate callers in a few seconds, limiting the opportunity to misidentify or incorrectly collect data. This will also limit the need to share personal information, a sensitive matter that is well regulated. 

Protect Your Data

If the proper customer and employee protections are in place, the final item is to safely secue all data collection. On-premise vendors offer an extra layer of data protection and security, including meta-data, that can be the differentiator between secure conversational data and a data leak. There are added benefits when a business can move from on-premises to the cloud and vice versa without rebuilding a solution. It keeps data protected and securely transportable based on a company’s need. 

Disclosing when conversations are being recorded, protecting the data gathered, and using trusted systems and vendors can help mitigate the risk and protect all parties involved. But for a company to do this, it starts with using the right tools. IT professionals are often challenged with verifying software before an enterprise company uses it and when it comes to conversational analytics, so much has been done already, there’s no need to recreate a wheel. Find a software that is easy to implement, flexible, and will help you gather and access the data that matters, safely and securely.

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