How can Speech Recognition Solutions benefit Call Centers?

The most prevalent use of speech in a call center environment is the speech-enabled call router or auto attendant. Not only can calls be answered by an intelligent and friendly automated system, but callers can quickly be routed to the right person to answer their question.

Other effective uses of speech include customer satisfaction surveys that enable call center managers to track agent performance and come up with success metrics. Of course, many call centers of retailers have implemented speech-driven ordering systems that allow customers to place, track and make changes to orders placed on the web or via telephone.

Contact Centers aim to reduce costs and increase efficiencies in operations. Speech technology is a handy tool for this purpose, since it can bring such benefits as:

  • Reducing operational costs

Speech recognition gives call centers the potential for considerable reductions in operational costs. The savings can be significant: reduced labour expenses, reduced call times, increased call containment rates, reduced hold times. Usually, the largest cost component affecting profitability in the call center is labor, and a key performance measure is average cost per call. Speech recognition reduces live agent handling of many routine calls by providing more customer self-service access to the information or service needed to complete a call successfully. Calls handled by speech-enabled IVR cost up to 87 percent less than calls handled by live agents (MTI: Four Ways Speech Recognition Is Going To Change The Mid-Market Retail Call Center).

  • Improving customer experience

Speech technology can quickly authenticate and route callers to the right departments. This facilitates faster call handling and resolution rates, which improves customer satisfaction.

Customers want greater access to product information and control of their shopping and service experiences. Some retailers, equipped with natural speech recognition, are giving customers a sense of control eliminating any perceptions of inconvenience.

  • Enhancing workforce productivity

Call centers support heavy cost pressure due to high turnover of staff, inconsistent service levels, costs of replacement and training, and the hiring of contingent workers to meet variable call volume demands. Agent efficiency is the key cost factor in most call center operations.

Freed from handling routine, easily automated calls, call center agents can handle more complex, higher value calls. They can become true service and sales representatives, and solve problems, strengthen customer relationships and generate revenue.

Speech automation can provide very useful data about call center interactions. Businesses can develop agent performance metrics that allows tracking customer satisfaction, sales effectiveness and other criteria that enhance service quality and the bottomline.

Deviating low-level routine calls to speech recognition solutions allows agents to handle higher value calls. This improves agent morale and decreases agent turnover rates, which brings cost savings for the contact center.

  • Increasing revenue generation

Customers expect 24/7 access to completely integrated product and customer information. Smart retailers recognize in this expectation the opportunity to influence customers during their shopping and service experiences. This adaptability will result in much more effective and cost-effective call centers that bring revenue.


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